The goal of trap/neuter/return is to "get to zero." Sadly, this means that the spay/neutered cats in the colony have to pass on to achieve that. Poor Beemer never really seemed suited to outdoor life. He clearly had been someone's pet at some point, but when pushed, he would lash out with claws blazing, so he wasn't suitable for adoption. He had a long coat, which meant he was more likely to mat up. And he was male, which also meant he was more likely to fight. Beemer lived on the colony up on hill, with friends and neighbors who have to deal regularly with drop-off cats. He was here last year to get mats combed out and his ears cleaned. Luckily he didn't mind going into traps to be captured for care when needed and he had caretakers who watched out for him when he needed some assistance.
At the end of August, he was missing for a number of days, then showed up very, very thin. Was he ill? Had he been shut up in someone's garage for a week? His caretakers trapped him and brought him on down to me. I figured we'd see if he was eating, drinking, peeing and pooping, to rule out an obstruction or urinary blockage (since, being a free-roaming cat, there would be no previous history to provide the veterinarian), and then send him off to a vet. He enjoyed petting (to his usual point), was hydrated, was enthused by wet and dry food, and seemed to be doing OK. However on Saturday night he did not eat, and on Sunday he simply laid down quietly and began breathing from the gut. And then he was gone.
We have never tested any of the outdoor cats up on the hill for FeLV/FIV (except for those who were being brought in for adoption) so he easily could have been dealing with on of those diseases. At least he didn't hide and die off in the weeds and rain.
There is an earlier post about Beemer's colony here. He will be laid to rest in the Memory Garden here.
Now Grey Kitty is the last cat up on the hill.