I try to help the strays as much as I can by feeding them two squares (more or less) on a regular basis, especially during the winter when the hunting is bad. We have established a couple cat feeding stations in the nearby woods next to the apartment complex where I live so that we can place food and water for our community strays.
To make a long story short, one of the cats, whom we named Smokey, decided to be "my" cat and he practically lives outside on my porch. Now mind you, I can get in trouble for that because we are not supposed to a) allow our own pets to roam outside and off the leash and b) are not allowed to feed the strays on our porches....so, him thinking he's mine, makes me feel sort of responsible for him since I don't have the heart to shoo him away like most people do with the strays.
NOTE: Smokey was not abandoned. He was born in the wild by strays. He had a sister that looked just like him, but she got killed by some neighboring hunting dogs that roam around free and periodically kill a bunch of our cats. That's how I lost my Middi, but that's another story!
Smokey has taken a liking to me and is tame with me (only) but very skittish and shy towards anything else that moves. I allow him to come inside to eat and on extremely cold nights, I let him sleep on the big pile of comforters in my bedroom (aka my hobby room) since I sleep on the recliner in the living room...he does not always want to come in, but on the nights he does, I let him sleep in here.
He's very afraid of Gizzy because Gizzy, being a silly dog, does not like cats and he barks at them and would chase them if I let him. Smokey is skittish and has jumped right through my open window before, knocking the screen window out in the process... (sorry, but I thought that was kind of funny!)
Here are a few snapshots I took of him as he proceeded to cautiously come indoors, always looking for the boy (whom I "put up" somewhere when Smokey is around.)
I fixed him some inconspicuous shelter by my front door for the cold months
I prop the door open so he can come in at his leisure to eat or sleep
Come and get it, Smokey!
Carefully approaching, always being on the look-out for the enemy (that would be Gizzy)
When Gizzy sleeps, he dares to venture deeper inside for a little loving
He's got the softest fur. He must be part Persian. He is so loveable...I wish I knew someone who could take him, because he'd make a good indoor/outdoor pet. I don't believe that he would be happy not being able to go outside after being born in the wild and having his freedom for so long.
He loves belly rubs - look at his face!
Snoozing on a big pile of blankets in my bedroom - all for himself - nice and quiet - until I flashed the camera!
Isn't he a handsome boy? He's one of the cats that got neutered during our TNR (Trap, Neuter & Release) fundraiser programs and has the clipped ear to prove it!
I don't think they are aware of each other
That concludes my story for today. Hope you can help some strays and give them a little food and shelter to help them out during these cold winter months. God gave us the animals for our enjoyment, not to torment and torture them or abandon them, but since apparently it has already happened, it would be nice to help them out when they need it most. To me there is no bigger cruelty than to domesticate an animal, just to abandon them later on and throw them back to the wolves, so to speak! That is just mean and inhumane!
If anyone has a good fundraiser idea for whatever purpose: children, education, seniors, homeless, the animals, whatever, check this out: Pepsi is offering Grants for your cause!