Well, I've had an interesting, if somewhat frustrating time of it, but a couple of new patterns have emerged. Perhaps I should have let the little buggers go earlier.
First of all, I spotted Felix up a tree. He proved a bit too agile for me while he was over my head, but since it was a skinny tree, I was able to shake him out of it. Unfortunately, he missed my net, and immediately found refuge in the woodpile. It was there that I captured him using the highly classified method. Using Felix as bait, (I had him tethered on 20lb. test mono filament) I was able to lure in Chick and Ellie. Basil followed eventually.
The few days of freedom they had enjoyed was enough to make them unhappy while in captivity. One of the most lethal of Woolfin ailments, unhappiness, should be avoided at all costs. I have lost several to this condition and it is always better to release them than to have them die. I'm not an ogre, after all. I have become rather attached to them lately.
The decision was made to let them go. I wasn't very happy about it, but have come to realize that I can still study them as they no longer have any fear of me. And studying needs to be done, because the second phenomenon I've noticed in all of the turmoil of late, is that they seem to love the new doghouse my husband built for Daisy, our spoiled dog. Since she's always with one of us, Daisy is rarely in her house. The Woolfins love the place. Even when she is at home, she's been taught to leave the Woolfins alone, so she doesn't seem to mind sharing. After all, there's lots of room.