(Union City, CA)
Skeeter and Pinto
One day there was a family of six feral cats. I wanted to help them but realized quickly how this could multiply. We became cat wranglers and had them all fixed, but it took some time to do this.
My boys wanted to keep one. I told them our cat would not tolerate another cat. Well, I decided to give it a try and we kept a Calico. She was very afraid of humans, but eventually allowed us to hold and pet her, and then she would purr and drool. To my surprise, she became great buddies with our Bombay boy. They play and sleep together. Sometimes the Calico licks our cat until he gets upset.
So I am glad we kept her, for ourselves and our cat. I now think every cat should have another cat to play with and keep company.
A part of me felt bad that I "took" this cat from her family, but as our cat wrangler supervisor said, she is one of the lucky ones. She has the freedom to go outside, but it is clear she enjoys living in the house.
Update: 13th Jan 2010:
Thanks for the comments and what you are doing. Cats need our love and attention, but also our protection. Below is a "before" picture of Pinto with her brother Lion and sister Leiger having either their usual breakfast or dinner in our backyard. (Sorry, the picture quality is not that good.) Before, that is, we adopted Pinto. We continue to feed Lion, Tiger, Leiger and the dad, Smokey, breakfast and dinner each day, and they will come into our house to eat canned food. Pinto watches them eat, but we have to keep Skeeter in another room or busy eating. Pinto is free to visit with her family whenever she wants, and she occasionally plays with Lion, but when she goes outside, she usually goes just to wander around. We have given her family a chair to sleep in, a cover over the area and a cat house, like the one indoors.
Pinto, Lion and Leiger eating - photo Doug
This arrangement has drawn the attention of One Ear, so named because one of his ears is deformed and not readily visible. He is a huge, orange Tabby, that we don't think is feral, but is so dirty and uncared for that he certainly isn't an indoor cat. He has a wound near his good ear, undoubtedly from fighting, that just as it starts to scab over and heal, he scratches and draws a little blood, so it won't heal. He intimates the other cats, but he needs care and a home too, so I just work at keeping them, their foods and their beds (chairs) separated. It doesn't always work to well, but we just do the best we can.