It is not unusual for us to get a cat every year in spring. Maybe an owner left them behind, maybe the cat escaped in a move & moving, no one could mount a cat-recovery mission. Remember Hobo Cat?
In May, when I returned from NYC, there was the prettiest cat who appeared on our porch. Friendly, too. He hung out for a while, we saw him now & then, but he was kind of a mystery. (Cats are.)
By July, however, he was a permanent fixture on our street. No one is letting cats in, every one is full of cats & the weather is still clement, so all doors remained closed.
We fed & watered him when we remembered (not our pet), our neighbors put out kibble, another neighbor cleaned his grotty ears. No one let him into their home, although he never stopped trying. By Labor Day, I had borrowed a carrier from a yet-unmentioned household of good Catmaritans so I could take him to see if he had a microchip.
At the end of last week, Mari still away, things aligned so I was able to hie him over to the cat clinic. Eventually, I talked to the owners -- he was gone, yes, on a "walkabout" in May and then around Fourth of July, he vanished. This cat's actual home is 75 yards from our house -- so obviously he must be intellectually disabled bc I can not believe the living in the elements week after week is so good over here.
At the same time, my Beautiful Neighbors have a cat -- a gorgeous Russian Blue -- and I should say had because he stole right out of their home one day to never return, although he still lives in everyone's backyard & garden. He has not gone anywhere, but he will not go back to their house. He sits on everyone's porch but theirs. But he is not going up to the people, demanding to be petted or maybe desultorily groomed with a plastic fork. (Shh.)
Anyway, he is home (for now, who knows?). Catmaritans, ahahaha!