A while back this big orange cat came to visit my back porch. There are feral or semi-feral cats that visit me. I put food out for them but, except for two kittens that I spent all one summer taming and brought inside, they have never been friendly. Most have never let me get less than a few feet from them although they do show up on time for breakfast every day. But Morris, as I came to call him because what else can you call a big orange tom cat, was friendly. He saw me and came running to be petted before he even ate. I came to love Morris and look forward to our time in the morning.
By this time it had become winter. I already had a dog house set up for the cats in winter but Morris was the only one who ever used it. Every morning he would stretch and come out of his house and be petted and then eat. Morris needed to be neutered because he was constantly getting into fights. Apparently he loved people but other cats, not so much. I waited until it was warmer because he couldn’t come into the house. We have 5 other cats and nowhere to sequester him and he was a fighter. So I arranged with the vet for Morris to stay a couple extra days to recuperate and took him for his appointment.
I don’t know where Morris came from but he was definitely lost not feral. In my time caring for the cats on the back porch I learned that the main difference between a stray or lost cat and a feral cat is that feral cats are clean. And Morris was not. Feral cats are also not friendly unless they have known you for a long time. On the way to the vet I had this daydream that he had a microchip and his owners had lost him somehow and they could be reunited. It was not to be. I now suspect that he was dumped by owners who couldn’t do the hard thing. I learned at the vets that Morris was blind in one eye and because of an injury to the other eye he would soon be blind in the other. He also had an infection in his lungs and was FIV positive. He was too sick to nueter, he couldn't come inside because of our other cats, and I couldn't in good conscience let him back outside because of neighborhood cats and his FIV. He was a very sick boy and not likely to recover, not matter how much money I spent that we didn’t have. I held him while the vet put him to sleep.