One of those being-an-adult milestones you wish you didn't have to pass...
So, I've been around when the decision to put a pet to sleep has been made, which has been fairly rough. This is the first time I've had to make the call, though.
Yesterday myself and Ursula (our local cat lady and TNR consultant, who I cannot speak highly enough of) cat-napped the last two resident strays from our area. There are six local cats and these were the only two that hadn't yet been neutered. Both are quite young - a tabby (who turns out to be male - we had thought he was a girl) and a little black female, who may or may not be the daughter of the Momma Cat (the friendliest of the six, and a favourite of mine - I will be spiriting her into the house and onto the couch the minute we have a place with a lease that allows it).
Was worried about the black kitty - she seemed to have a few problems, including a very scruffy coat and ears, and she had her tongue sticking out most of the time (which can be a sign of various problems, including dental issues and mouth ulcers). Anyway, the two went in for their operations, and the vet has advised us that little black kitty has various health issues, some of which are likely untreatable (possible feline AIDs among other things), that would be likely to cause her a lot of suffering and would make it difficult for her to survive the winter. So I said yes, go ahead - we knew this was a possibility when we captured her, and I don't think animals should be left to suffer. Poor pet, though. Am sorry we couldn't do anything for her.
Happily tabby boy (who need a name!) has no problems worse than a very treatable flea infestation, and will be returned to the Weir tomorrow when he recovers from his little operation! Suggestions welcome.