(South Salem, NY.)
We live in rural upper Westchester county NY. It was late September when we first saw this little wisp of a cat. Our land backs up against a forest preserve and as the food sources got scarce he just started showing up at our door.
He was and remains terrified of people, but he is fascinated by our indoor cats, often coming to the window to watch them and to be watched. Our fixed female cat in particular is taken with him, alerting me when he shows up and purring as soon as he approaches.
Being softies, of course my family adopted him. We feed him twice a day and leave a heated bowl of water for him. Once we realized he had moved into an abandon rabbit nest under our shed we even bought a heated barn pad to slip under the shed to keep him toasty.
The day after Christmas our area was hit with 15 inches of snow, fierce winds, and unusually cold temperatures. Needless to say, Smokey disappeared.
We hoped he was under the shed, but as the days passed we were beginning to lose hope. We continued to put out food searching for some sign of him.
New Years day came, and with it there were animal tracks too big for a squirrel, too small for the deer. Also, the tracks followed a pattern under our deck I’d seen Smokey trace many times.
Hope renewed I put out another plate of fresh food. I watched from the window for a few minutes, but saw nothing. Reluctantly I went to the kitchen to make tea when I heard our female cat meow, her paws pressed against the window. There he was. He survived. After cleaning the plate he wriggled back under the shed, no doubt to curl up on the soft mat.
Our plan is to wait until spring, during which time we will find a vet willing to fix him, then we will trap him, fix him, and let him live outside in our yard as long as he likes.