The hardest part of fostering cats isn't giving them up to their new families. I thought that WAS pretty hard at first (and I kept Ptera and Anya because of it), but it got easier as time went on.
No, the hard part is when you have to let them go, and it isn't to an adopter.
Pretty Lady, our beautiful calico girl, went in for her spay surgery today, and instead of having surgery, she was euthanized due to feline leukemia.
We are very sad, but we are trying to look at the positive side: She was living on the street, with a deadly illness, in the winter. She would not have survived long, and she would have suffered immensely. We gave her a few days where she was warm, sheltered, well-fed (she gained weight while with us!), and, most importantly, loved. She had none of those things before coming into our care. She also was very dirty, and I could tell that she felt so much better after her bath. She was so grateful and loving toward us. Her tail curled in a unique way, and she would arch her back and walk up to us purring when we came in to say hello. She was a sweet, patient, loving kitty who just wanted someone to love her back, and I am glad we were able to give her that, if only for a short time.
The vet who does our spay/neuter clinic was Aakhu's vet ten years ago before we changed practices (not because of her, but because the other vets there weren't very good), and she is a very compassionate, kindly person. I am sure that Lady's last moments were painless, and that Dr. J was respectful of her. Dr. J was also very compassionate and kind to me on the phone, and I appreciate that.
I am also glad that, fortunately, we kept her separated from the other fosters, and the boys all tested negative. They were neutered this morning, and we will be picking them up, plus an empty carrier, this afternoon.