Back in October, when we moved into our new place, we got a neighbor's cat visiting. I remember the first night getting up at 4AM and carrying this cat outside under my arm because he'd gotten into the house through the window we'd left open for our own cats to get in and out of (we used to do that at our last place).
Since then, we've installed a cat door, and while I tried all kinds of things, chasing him away (once when I chased him away, he circled around me in the dark and went back to our door), locking the cat door (it takes about 5 minutes before my cats get annoyed at that), hiding the cat food (he jumps up on the counter top) and so on and so on.
In the end, after a few days of these things, we gave up and accepted that this little guy was going to be a regular visitor. He has a bell on his collar and we took to calling him Mr. Jingles (not related to the mouse of the same name from "The Green Mile).
Well, Mr. Jingles became a regular visitor at our place and was over almost every day. He eats our cat's food, but at the same time, he was not particularly intrusive, so it could have been worst. AND, he is adorable. A little gray, English short-hair with a lovely personality.
After a few days of Mr. Jingles visiting every day, Una found a pamphlet in the mail box, "MISSING CAT - we haven't seen him for a week". Of course, he was sleeping on our bed. AND, his name is Cyrus, which isn't as cute as Mr. Jingles, but everyone can't have the perfect name.
Una called them and chatted and said that we'd seen their cat. Someone came over to get him and take him away. Cool - it's always nice to reunite a missing cat with their owners, even if they weren't really missing.
So - weeks go by, and we haven't seen Mr. Jingles at all. We were expecting him to at least be around in the yard or something - no, not at all. It seems like his owners have decided to keep him inside and not let him out again.
For a cat that has always been indoors, this isn't an issue, but for one who has been an outside cat, it seems awfully cruel. It also wouldn't be as cruel if someone was always at home to keep him company, but we drive by that how every day, multiple times and there is almost never anyone home. It's a very odd thing to do, and is hardly the act of a loving owner.
We worry about Mr. Jingles regularly and hope that he's not going insane in his house now that he isn't allowed outside.
We noticed that our cats missed him too, since Fred has been meowing for no real reason. She really enjoyed Mr. Jingles, since he didn't beat her up like Gordon does (Fred is short for Winnefred).
So - what to do? I guess we can't really do anything, it feels like we should do something, but no idea what. Does anyone have any suggestions? They would be appreciated. :-)