In the meantime, I tried calling the TNR people again today and got their answering machine again. I believe this may have something to do with the fact that we called at lunchtime. We will try again tomorrow at a different time slot.
Meanwhile, we did catch some cats still hanging around our patio--almost all of the regulars, in fact--despite the fact that the food bowl was completely empty. We still can't bear the thought of starving them (they won't starve, they'll go find food somewhere else, most likely the nearby dumpster, which goes back to our argument that if you think stray cats are gross because they eat out of the dumpster, you should just feed them so they don't have to go dumpster diving), so we gave them some food. It's just a little tough because I did say we would stop feeding them, on the one hand, but on the other, I believe that was conditional on their bringing the Humane Society over to take the cats away. Only the kittens have been taken away, so I don't think they held up their end of the bargain. They didn't even take the mother, so now she's going to stay here and have more kittens...unless we stop feeding her and she finds food somewhere else...but that doesn't change the fact that there will be more kittens somewhere, so the stray cat population is by no means under any control.
The point is. I'm just a little conflicted, and I think that compassion is the best route, but I also understand that enabling is bad. So all we can do now is keep trying to get a hold of the TNR people. We also checked out the websites of the other organizations they listed; most of them seemed to be shelters of some kind, which would be fine as long as they can come pick the cats up. There's also someone in our complex who sometimes comes by to peek into our patio and say hi to the cats. If we see her again before we get any more help, we're going to try to enlist her.
And in a complete change of subject, I may have mentioned that we agreed to take over another manga series, ha, ha, ha. It's really exciting, actually, because they're already eighteen volumes in! Ha, ha, ha. We've done it before (with Negima!), so we're not too worried, but we do have a bunch of manga to read! Which is great, because we like reading manga! But less great because we have no time. But it will be nice to work on a different sort of obligation, anyway. And odds are good that this series is less wordy than Negima.
Today I'm thankful for progress picking up on Waiting for Spring, the cats not abandoning us as traitors, having new manga to read, Page under the covers, and Kingdom Hearts magic.