Cocoa came immediately when she saw that Hershey needed reinforcements:
Tootsie arrived from the front yard to make a suggestion: Summer says never to speak to strangers. Maybe we should pretend we don't see him?
But . . . we must find out who he is!
Hershey is SO brave:
Not a bad guy, really. In fact, quite a nice guy:
At ease, everybody: The stranger is now a friend!
(But . . . what will Summer say about this?)
A SAD UPDATE:
"Stranger" first appeared in our neighborhood in the spring of 2006, even before Farah, Summer, and the Jets came to live with us. He was friendly and clean and apparently well-fed, so we assumed he was one of the several "owned" cats in our area. He certainly made friends with all the local cats. He was still looking healthy and cheerful when these pictures were taken in February 2007.
By June 2007, however, we were concerned: he was still friendly, but he had become dirty and bedraggled, and he didn't seem to be feeling well. We investigated and found that in fact he was a stray, who stayed in our neighborhood as long as he did because someone was feeding him.
We took "Stranger" to a veterinarian and learned to our great distress that he was very ill, testing positive for both FLV and FIV. He was euthanized that day.
If we had known in the spring of 2006 that "Stranger" needed a home, we would have taken him in then. It's entirely possible that he was still healthy when he first appeared.
We grieve for him. And we've learned a lesson: please do not feed stray cats, unless you are willing to take responsibility for their medical needs.
Dear "Stranger," we are sorry we didn't know until too late that you needed our love and care. Dear "Stranger," rest in peace.