I'm a volunteer with Annex Cat Rescue. One of our big projects right now is a TNR program. TNR stands for Trap Neuter/Spay Release. Cats in the colonies we care for are trapped, spayed/neutered and given any needed medical attention. They then go to a recovery home until they are well enough to return to the colony from which they came. Feral cats who have lived outside their entire lives are wild animals and don't want a lot to do with humans.
And we don't desert them when they go back to their colonies. We feed them regularly (daily or every other day) and keep a close eye on them in case they might need medical attention. They are quite happy when we feed them and provide them fresh water but for the most part that's all they want to have to do with us. They are never too thrilled about being caught nor about the medical treatment we get for them. However the average lifespan of a feral cat is 4 years. I'm happy to say the feral cats in our colonies are healthy and often live to double the average lifespan of a feral cat - if not even a bit longer.
Of course any strays or tame cats we catch during this process do not go back into the cat colonies but get put into our foster program and we look for forever homes for them. We also put any young kittens we catch in our foster program and find them forever homes - thus saving them from a hard life on the streets.
I have been on a mission to cull down my fabric stash and clean out my linen closet. I have some still very warm but "too warn out for the bed" polar fleece sheets - the ones that make you feel like you are sleeping in a soft fuzzy warm cocoon. I've taken a double layer of these and some quilt fabric I'm not likely to use for anything else (quilt fabric with grapes is not my style but i got it for a song at the Salvation army), and made a purr pad. I'm hoping to make enough of these for our recovery homes who want them. So their cats have a nice pad to snuggle up on that can easily be washed and that will fit nicely in their recovery crate.
Here is the first one I've made. I'm hoping to make the next one a wee bit more square but I'm sure the cat won't mind. The wonkiness however just makes me want to cringe. Still its the right size and I'm not going to let that deter me. I can make non wonky quilts surly i can make a non wonky purr pads. Too late to make one tonight to prove it though.