(I should mention here that I live in a part of town heavily populated by what my marvelous pal E. calls "stupidents." Everybody moved out about a month ago. Some of them apparently left a cat behind. It happens every year; some folks think animals are disposable.)
Poor little cat was skin. And. Fucking. BONES. Her spine and tail were sharp through her skin, she was covered with scabs, and there were big patches of fur gone from her back legs and belly. At one point, she was a floofy, long-haired cat: now she's a bristly, skinny, patchy-haired cat with her ribs showing.
What could I do? I fed her. When I went outside later, she was as ravenous for affection as she had been for food. We sat for a bit and I petted her--carefully, since I'm nervous around strange cats--and then she ate some more. She did the head-bump, pet-beg, eat, head-bump thing for about a half hour, by which time I was fairly sure that she wasn't pregnant and wasn't sick. I got my hands around her and picked her up briefly; she might weigh four pounds. The boys watched it all from the window, interested but not pissed off.
If she sticks around, I'll feed her up and then take her to the vet to get her spayed (or, on the off-chance it's a him, neutered), because I'm sure whatever moron left her behind didn't bother to get her altered; get her shots and so on, and then I'll probably have another cat.
I've seen dogs with their ribs showing. I've never seen a cat with its ribs showing. I've also never seen a cat so thin that you could see each individual joint of its tail through its fur.
Poor baby. There is a special place in Hell for the people who abandoned her.