I was riding high on the wave of trapping four cats Thursday night until I picked them up on Friday afternoon and was told that one of them was lactating.
I hate inadvertently trapping nursing moms. You are left with a bad situation and a bit of a Sophie's choice. The vet did what's called a flank spay so she could still nurse and protocol is to release her as soon as you can, as long as she has had enough time to recover. You hope the kittens have survived her absence but there is no way of knowing whether the kittens are even alive, or a day old, or two weeks or six weeks.
Marisa, who has been a godsend, went out twice last night to look for kittens to no avail. I released the nursing female cat first thing this morning, but felt terrible about the whole thing. It was such a cold day and I worry about her going back so soon and having her incision opening up.
Anyway, lots of hand wringing, but I did the best I could and have to hope for the best for her and for her kittens.