I’ve been feeding several feral and abandoned cats the past 5 years of so. Black cats mostly. 5 of the cats are regulars and occasionally a new cat or two will show up for a free meal. There are now 4 black regulars and one small gray female cat.
They are fed well and the winters are moderate. One of the black cats is an old male. Obviously abandoned, alone and hungry when he wondered in one day. I’ve been feeding him for about a year. He is an alley cat and frequently has the scars to show for his indiscretions. The other black cats and the small gray cat I trapped and had neutered by a local animal center. There is a program referred to as TNR (Trap, Neuter and Release). One of the black cats is very tame now and gets along with my dog very well. He doesn’t like being in the house. The other cats are semi tame and I can pet but their wildness is always just below the surface, and I have paid the price with a swift scratch or a bite on my fingers.
I have seen cats come and go. Not many, but some don’t make it. I live on a street with a fair amount of traffic that over the past 5 years has increased in volume as well as the speed of the vehicles.
A few years ago a young cat showed up and joined the others on my porch. Not more than 8 or 10 weeks old. Scared, alone and hungry; he wouldn’t let me pick him up at the time, but he did stick around for several days and eventually allowed me to pick him up.
I brought him into the house and he has been a resident since. Almost two years now.