Am I enabling a feline freeloader?

Last night, I came home after a big trivia win at Rivers Casino – I was the only one who knew the answer to the final question regarding the year the last episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show aired – 2011 – and my Rivers gift card collection is now $100 fatter.

It’s pouring rain outside, but I can still drive safely home.  And as I pull up to my home in the Town and Village, and park in my usual on-street parking place…

My headlights picked up something under the truck parked in front of me.

There he is.  The soggy, drenched cat that I took pity upon last Saturday, now hiding under a parked truck and trying to stay dry.

I know what this means.

The cat cried and mewed, looking scared and hungry.

I know what this means.

I went into the house, opened up another can of tunafish, and placed it on my porch.

So this is actually the third can of tunafish that I’ve provided to this little cat.

And it brings up a very interesting quandary.

After I told a few people about my act of charity Saturday morning, feeding the cat when he showed up soggy and meowing on my front porch, most of my friends said, “Well, did he show up on Sunday?”

“”Yeah, he did.”

“Yep, that cat’s going to work you like a softie, he’s going to play up the sympathy card and you’re going to feed him, and he’ll probably bring five of his friends to your porch because you’re feeding him.”

Well …

The thing is, this cat doesn’t have any collar or tags.  There’s no one claiming this cat.  For all I know, this is a local feral cat that has no home.

And for that matter … what’s so bad about feeding a stray cat?

Besides, this is the closest I can get right now to having my own pet … without having to purchase cat litter or innoculations or the like.  If it means a can of tunafish every now and again to make a cat happy, then so be it.

Now someone’s going to say to me, “Hold on, Miller, I’ve seen you write blog posts about being pestered by panhandlers, and you won’t give to panhandlers.  You are aware that this cat is doing the same thing, right?”

No it’s not.  Because I’m not giving the cat my spare change.  I’m giving him food.

And unless he’s pocketing this tuna in his jowls and scampering over to his local dealer to swap the tunafish for catnip…

Anyways, I just want to hear from you on this.  Am I doing the right thing by feeding this stray cat?  Or should I just chase him away from my porch and let him go back to his owner, wherever it may be?  Am I causing problems by feeding him, or am I doing a kindness?

Let me know in the comments below.