I was all ready to compose a triumphant post about persistence paying off, being the mistress of the hunt, yada, yada. Yesterday morning I caught Big Daddy, the older tomcat who probably sired the rest of our feral pack. I've wanted to get him fixed because I do think he's responsible for lots of our neighborhood's strays. He's been around off and on for several years, and he usually gives me that cat steady stare and blink. And I blink back at him, because we know each other. This year I've been telling him that he doesn't look so good, he should come in from the cold, settle down and become semi-civilized. Lately he's sort of been doing that--showing up for breakfast, hanging out with the other three, and sleeping in the sun. So I was able to trap him.
This morning we headed off to my usual vet clinic, which fixed the mom and two kittens last summer. The new vet suggested that this one be tested for FLV/FIV but said the choice to test or not was up to me. Of course I said yes, because I always want to do the proper thing.
And he came back positive for FIV. The vet and I agreed that the proper thing to do was put him down, so he won't infect other cats, and he won't eventually die of pneumonia on the street. But it feels bad.