Last night I went trapping and quickly caught Semi-Socks, a tomcat who shows up occasionally on the fringes. Off he went for neutering. When I picked him up the vet remarked that Semi-Socks had a mess of a mouth, with broken teeth.This is when I wished I could pull out the manual of caring for feral cats, turn to page 38, what to do when one of your ferals requires major dental work including extractions that will probably cost $800 and 10 days of recovery.
How much is too much to spend on one feral cat? I'm sure a majority of our ferals all have terrible teeth but it's not feasible to take them all in, not unless I win a lottery.
After a night of tossing and turning, I pretty much had made up my mind and when I spoke to Joanne, who was recovering him, and discovered he hadn't eaten yet, probably due to being so stressed out in captivity, my mind was made up. I'm going to release Semi-Socks tomorrow. He is the most feral of the bunch and I worry he wouldn't respond well to being inside for so long and all that money and vet work would be for naught. He has been happily eating at the colony. He's a survivor and has managed this far, hopefully he will be OK. I can only do so much.