Today is National Feral Cat Day - a day for awareness and education about these special cats.
Feral cats live in communities all across the world. They typically live together with other ferals, and to the non-cat person, they may appear to be stray cats.
They are different from strays because they have been without love and touch for so long that they don't trust humans. Therefore, they have a difficult time being part of a family like a regular house cat. As hard as it is for me to accept, feral cats enjoy living outside. This is all they have known and they have adapted to their environment. They know where to hide and where to go to be safe.
That doesn't mean they don't need compassion and someone to feed them. There are wonderful volunteers that spend much of their own money and time taking care of feral cat colonies. These cats need to be humanely trapped, spayed and neutered, and returned to their colony. If feral cats are taken to a shelter, it is more likely they will be euthanized because of their inability to be adopted.
This is my Kentucky front porch visitor. I believe he might be a sibling to my Inky because they look so much alike. Inky, however, was very friendly and trusting. Domino, as I like to call him, has become too feral and only visits at feeding time. Before I moved to Arizona, he would eventually let me sit on the porch while he ate, but I could never get very close to him, and touching him was out of the question - he would swat at me.
It breaks my heart that feral cats don't know the love and touch that they deserve. Please visit Alley Cat Allies for lots of great information on feral cats.
And you can visit Alley Cat Allies' Feral Cat Day site to find out how people are showing compassion for ferals.
Feed a feral if you have one living in your neighborhood. It will do your heart good!