I know exactly what you mean, Bill. There's never enough time to devote the kind of attention that, for some cats, it's probably necessary for them to receive in order to be good candidates for the average person looking to adopt.
I encounter this problem all the time in deciding which cats to TNR back to their colonies and which to hold on to and socialize or find fosters for. It's why I ended up with Choco-cat: She was brought in by another trapper for a clinic weekend when we had over 50 other cats, mostly kittens, at the centre. All of the adult/older kitten semi-ferals were being put back out--even those that were obviously socializable because the rescues just didn't have the resources to deal with the influx and could only afford to take on the very quickly socializable kittens. I just couldn't stand the thought of Choco-cat going back outside when she was so obviously not feral. In choosing to take Choco-cat in though, I also had to say no to all of the other cats who were of a similar level of sociability. I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me a bit, especially after the brutal Winter we had, but one person can only do so much.
...which begs the question: are there other volunteers who could share the workload with you? Snuggling kitties? I'm sure the shelter could find people willing to volunteer a couple hours a week to do that
. I'm aware that there's a lot more to it than that and that training would, of course, be necessary, but for tame cats that just need some attention? You don't need to be super experienced or receive a ton of training to simply spend time
with a friendly, affection-starved kitty.