Cat Trauma-Rama

Have not mentioned the litter of stray feral kitties in awhile, but they did return. The mama kitty decided they were best suited to live in the rough and tumble chaos of the abandoned yard next to mine. I woke up one day to discover that they had taken up residence there and have spent the last two weeks feeling like I should rescue them, but hesitating too, since they were still too young to separate from the mom. So, I checked every day, often more than once a day, to be sure they hadn't been slaughtered or fallen down into the cracks in the backyard or been otherwise hurt. And the nine year old who lives next door to me (Avis) has been pestering me to save them. She kept volunteering to climb over and save them, but I wasn't sure what that meant--what we would do with them if we had them, but not the mommy. Today, I was out with Carrie and Padhraig and Carrie seemed determined to rescue them too, so we climbed over into the adjacent back yard and I caught them, one by one, and dumped them into a kitty carrier. It was traumatic because they didn't like being held. They fought and carried on. Both Carrie and I sustained scratches and will likely die tomorrow of cat scratch fever or rabies or scabies or some such disease. For some reason, after I shoved the last one into the carrier Padhraig was holding on the other side of the wall, I started to cry. I felt so bad about taking them away from the mama who was hovering nervously on the brick wall, listening to them scream as though being torn apart limb for limb. Carrie reminded me that you can't reason with a cat; you can't explain to her that what we're doing will help all of them, but it still bothered me to think that the mama kitty wouldn't know what happened to her babies. They were here and now they're gone. The mama kitty is still around and I gave her some tuna in compensation for stealing away her babies.

Carrie generously offered to take all four of them to live in her basement which is a huge relief to me because I have enough worries without taking on additional animals. But what if they won't eat the food? What if they all have feline leukemia? Then we will have to drown them in the river. Can't someone please lend me a feral cat cage to catch the mama? Plus the whatever amount of $ it will take to get her fixed so I don't have to go through this again in another two weeks? Please?