Sorry for yr loss
I too have a colony now, and I'm in awe of what you have accomplished.
I hope I get all mine fixed as you did! And it was nice to see a new
one come to keep you company after the loss of bonita. Sometimes,
we can help, sometimes, we can't help with illnesses in out loving feral friends....
I have one feral, Laphrogie who chewed her way out of a kitten carrier while I had her in the basemen waiting on a spay/neuter visit. She became quite tame in the house in 7 days... and then escaped via my stupidity outside.
Where upon she has NOT run away, but has bonded with Grey goose (also from the colony - one I took in) and follows him round. She spent last night inside - I had trouble getting her to stay in so I shut the pet door once all my cats were IN the house, LOL. She got a night of much needed rest, even tho she wanted to roam, I know!!
We are working on taming her, and I've got monies 1/2 saved for her spay - my 20 other ferals come first - as they don't come to me like she has been or stick around... I have to spay them first so they don't breed. Laphrogie has a month or so before heat sets in...
She went out nicely in the am, following Mr. Goose.
Those 2 are beautiful cats - and you would never believe they began life as ferals living under sheds and gazebos...and in sewers
As far as shelters go... you could construct one using plastic tupperware
boxes... or you can build out of wood. I had my wonderful BF order some
bee hive boxes - it ran me 200 dollars for 8 bee box frames and 4 tops.
I do have to put bottoms of my own making on... but this isn't that hard...
The bee hive box frames are 18x20x20 ...I nail and glue the frames together, then I stack 2 frames together, put a top on, and then create the bottom. I cut holes in the sides for the cats, paint with donated bits of paint from Restore (Habitat for Humanity) and the best thing is, thesea re solid wood, they will last a good long while!
I stuff with straw bales... I get the straw bales from Ben Franklin's craft store, LOL. 8 frames and 4 tops = 4 boxes that shelter 4 - 6 cats each.
Anyway, I wish you best of luck with the management. I will send vibes for you...