We have feral cats that hang out behind where I work. I don’t see them very often and when I do it is from a distance. There is a large fenced in area that has been abandoned for about a year now, although the cats have been there much longer. Because seeing the cats is rare, I thought there was no colony of cats, just a few loners who’s territories intersect near my work. If there was a colony, I thought, my work is at the outside of their territory.
About a month ago I saw a cat walking the perimeter of the fence behind my work and I thought maybe the cat has a routine. As an experiment, I brought some food to work and put a handful near the fence, on a plastic Verizon cover. By the end of the day the food was gone so I decided to continue to put food out.
I don’t want to feel responsible for these cats because I only work four days a week, but I thought a handful of food three times a week would be more like a treat for them. I have been doing that for a month now, never seeing the cat, or cats, that have been eating it.
Yesterday morning, to my surprise, I went out with the food and surprised a beautiful feral cat that was walking across our parking lot. I don’t remember if it was the same cat I saw last month, but it could be. It immediately ran to the tall grass to take cover. I said some friendly words to it and then set down the food and went back inside, but I peeked out the door and watched the cat walk toward the food. I then quietly walked back outside and saw the cat eating the food I put out.
Later I went out again to empty the trash and saw the cat not far from the dumpster, watching me. He made no attempt to run away as a dumped the trash inside. I went back inside and about ten minutes later I decided to bring out another handful of food. My hope was that the cat would see me as a friend, but when I got outside, a man on a riding lawn mower was outside and, of course, the cat was gone.
As I edited these pictures, I noticed the cat had its ear tipped, which means he is probably part of a TNR program. If that is the case, perhaps there is a colony nearby and perhaps someone is looking after them. I hope so.