This morning I discovered that all five cats-in-traps (the groggy moggies, if you will, which is so going to be my band's name, if I ever have a band) had eaten overnight, at least a little. (A lot in some cases. Miley had had tons of wet food [relatively speaking] although no dry food, so I wonder if there's something wrong with her teeth/mouth). So that was a good sign. Also, all the cats were more than ready to be let go. Miley was even up and hissing at me. (Hey, The Volunteer-- her teeth look pretty good on a quick inspection... heh.)
So, I carted each cat down to the grass, one at a time, and left them out (one at a time), starting with The Beast. I garnered an audience for a while, some nosy-people in nightgowns. I think they were probably alerted to the action by Tuxie's incessant meowling which started as soon as I picked up his trap. I was smart this time (unlike in 2008) and wrapped cloth around the handles of the traps I carted them up and down, and so didn't hurt my hands nearly as much as before.
We grow our feral cats big in my apartment complex-- at least the males. The Volunteer joked that even though he only took 5 of my cats to the clinic, in poundage he'd brought the most! :)
The Beast immediately ran into a tunnel upon release. Tuxie ran for the same tunnel, but then saw The Beast and decided maybe he wouldn't hang out in there. A few minutes later he was sauntering around the courtyard as though nothing had ever happened-- no, he wasn't trapped, or neutered or anything... Paint rain towards the center of the complex, so I'm not sure where he ended up. Tig(g)er sauntered out of his trap, paused to let me pet him-- then went back up the stairs I'd just carried him down so as to ask for foods. I let Miss Barnaby-Miley out last and she went into a tunnel (a different one than The Beast.)
I was gone most of today, so I haven't seen any of the cats, except Tig(g)er who was waiting by my door upon my return home. This was somewhat surprising. He let me pet him, and then wandered exactly two feet away and flopped down again. He seems to have forgiven me rather easily.
This afternoon I spoke with The Volunteer to hear about my options as far as Miley and further testing/lab work/vet care is concerned. Monetarily, it can be done (at least as far as finding out what's wrong via blood test, etc.) but it depends on a few things like, can we catch her again? and what happens if we find out some particularly bad news? or even mediocre news in a tame cat, but bad in that she's feral and how do you treat something ongoing in a feral? So I'm not looking forward to any of that... I'll worry about it a bit later. Neighbor E. agrees that Miley doesn't look well, and is all for my taking her to the vet, etc. It even turns out that she's been feeding Miley kitten food (different than the other cats), which is good, since it's high calorie.
Frankly, there's a more pressing worry. Neighbor E. came over this evening to ask if I still had Miley (no), and if I'd fed her (not since this morning), or if I'd seen her (ditto.) Apparently Tuxie, Pigpen(Hannah, the Arch-Nemesis), Tig(g)er and even Whiskey (!! Hey, silly cat, you have a home!) all showed up right on time for dinner tonight, but not Miley. As if knowing something was up, Pigpen(Hannah) even let E. pet her (!!) and walked along with E. as she walked around calling for Miley. But no Miley tonight.
Obviously we're both worried, and this is hitting E. very hard. We sat and talked for a while, and we're hoping she's just lying low tonight, huddled in a cozy tunnel, sleeping and healing. If she's not out and about tomorrow, though, I'm going to be really worried and it'll be time to start searching the spots I know of, and looking for spots I don't know of...
Oh, and Neighbor E. is concerned that Pigpen/Hannah might be pregnant. It's certainly possible... And while equally certainly don't need more kittens, it would, if we find the kittens, mean we could probably catch Pigpen and put an end to this pregnancy/kitten madness.
Anyway, more updates as they come. Also, I took some pictures today of the cats more alert and awake in their traps, and I'll post those later, too.