...but I got the news from Matt's mom earlier today that Blue didn't make it through the night. He went into what sounded like some sort of respiratory crisis, which makes me suspect he probably had pneumonia or even heartworm.
He tested negative for FIV and FeLV but apparently something else -- something we couldn't see or diagnose in time -- was wrong. He may well have been sick even before he and Dominique and Michelle showed up in December. And it could be he got exposed to some random germ at the clinic during neutering which he couldn't fight off due to an already weakened immune system. And he could have been much older than all of us thought.
At this point there's no way to know for sure. I keep wanting to blame myself anyway -- as in, maybe I should have pushed to get the runny eyes checked out prior to taking him to the TNR clinic. But given I've seen many, many cats with runny eyes turn out just fine it just didn't occur to me that Blue's condition could be that serious. And the clinic people apparently didn't notice anything egregriously amiss either. So whatever it was, it only reached critical badness levels over the past two days. And none of the other cats seem to have similar symptoms right now so I doubt it's going to turn into some horrible epidemic.
In any case I guess I am at least glad Blue got to see "his kittens" to the colony, where they will both hopefully go on to lead much longer, healthier, and happier lives now that they've been spayed and (by the looks of it) accepted into the feline social network.
I wish Blue had gotten to enjoy a "new lease on life" for more than the few months he spent with the colony, but I imagine he was glad to spend the time there that he did.
Rest in peace, sweet Protector of Kittens. You will be missed.
[Oh and BTW just because I realized the date just after initially posting this...I would NEVER EVER write something like this as an "April Fool". That would just be horrendously evil.]