We've had a beautiful (handsome? It's a male cat after all) orange and white cat around our house the last few nights. He was very friendly and had an altercation with a feral cat that runs the neighborhood.
It looked like he was domesticated at some point and very companionable, so we decided to feed him and see how he behaved.
Jump over the fleur-de-Daily Kos for more and pics.
As soon as we put out water and food, he ran and started scarfing like it was the end of the world and there was no way he could eat enough before that happened. It looked like he hadn't had a good meal in at least a few days and might be sickly.
My wife decided to sit down on the porch and talk to him for a bit. He crawled into her lap (after the massive food scarfage) and promptly fell asleep. My wife said that she thinks he hadn't slept for a very long time and that he slept on her a lot. He thought of her as a safe harbour.
He came back again and again so we decided to put him in the basement with some food, a litter box, and water. My wife didn't like that idea since the basement seemed so remote for the little guy, so we put both of our cats (Montezuma and Trudy) on the top floor and closed off the ground floor. We moved Squash (his new name, as christened by my wife) into the main floor, along with the same food dish, water dish, and litter box.
So, we decided a couple things. And by we, I mean my wife. The name I mentioned earlier (Squash) is one thing but we also decided to keep him. We're bringing him to the vet today since it looks like he might have an eye/sinus infection and it doesn't look like he's had his...err...snip snip procedure yet. My wife's theory is that the people who owned him thought it was too expensive and just put him outside, which is how he ended up over here by us. If they are looking for him, tough. They obviously don't care enough about him to treat him well or care for him properly.