I work as a long term care case manager. As such, I have a lot of elderly individuals on my caseload. One of these individuals passed away last Sunday. He left behind 13 kittens (6-8) weeks as well as at least 4-6 adult cats. All of these cats are outdoors, but he has been feeding them for several years.
I called the no-kill animal shelter I volunteer with and was able to get them to take all of the kittens. I also was able to get the vet my dogs/cats see to commit to spaying and neutering all of the adult cats for free. Everything sounds great, except for several things....
- Two of the cats (one of which he claimed as his own) are very elderly and very skinny. They have lived on this property their whole life. He lived about 2 miles out of town in a pretty quiet area.
- I am not sure the cats will make it through being spayed because of their health. If they do get spayed, they have no place to go back to because the house is being taken over by the state and sold to cover the cost of his and his wife's long term care.
- His neighbors aren't an option to feed the cats because they don't really feed their cats either.
- His only family is his daughter who lives an hour and a half away and can't have any cats.
So....I don't know what to do. I'm not the kind of person who has ever been able to walk away. This man was very nice and he cared about his cats. I feel like the one final thing I can do for him is make sure these cats are ok. Given all of the above information, I am starting to wonder if putting the cats down is the most humane thing to do? I just don't think giving the cats to a shelter where they will have to be in a cage after being free all of their life is humane. I also don't think they will have a good chance of adoption because of their age, lack of socialization and health.
Seriously, any thoughts and ideas are appreciated. I have lost a lot of sleep over this from worrying. :(