There are always feral cats around here. There is a long-haired white and black tom who is often seen running across the farmyard - Tess always chases him off - and who, I suspect, eats the cat food we put down for our two farm cats, Blackie and Creamy, if they happen to be out somewhere when it is put down.
Our two farm cats came from another farm and were from feral stock. Blackie has got fairly tame but Creamy will not come near enough to be stroked.
Yesterday the white and black cat ran across the lane in front of my car as I drove home from town.
When I mentioned this to the farmer last evening he says he suspects that this cat has fathered a litter of lookalikes as there are now five or six half grown white and black kitten/cats roaming the fields, as well as a couple of ancient ginger ones.
I worry about what becomes of them in the very cold weather, but as the farmer says - they have never been pets, they have no concept of home life in front of the fire - they were born to live outside, scavenge for their food and find somewhere warm to sleep on cold nights. After all, there are plenty of barns full of straw or hay about round here and I am sure these cats are nothing if not opportunists.
Do you have feral cats? Are they present in towns as well as in the country? Does anyone feed them?