Well, last night Athena was going out to water the cats, but when she opened the door, a piece of paper fell to the ground. It was a notice asking us to please not feed the stray cats. If that was all it said, we would probably be worried about what the cats would do, but we'd be like, "Well, if it's what the management wants, and they're asking nicely, we should probably comply."
That was not the case. The rest of the paper was covered in a poorly written thesis on the evils of feeding stray cats, with logic that would not inspire any compassionate person to ever give up the practice, and not only that, but it had a bad attitude that was guaranteed to turn off most if not all cat lovers. Seeing as how their audience is renegade stray cat feeders, they really ought to have rethought their tone. As for the faulty reasoning, it said things with such gists as, "You shouldn't feed stray cats because they usually eat trash!" (to which the compassionate response is, "Then they're going to need something decent to eat!"), and "Stray cats only live two to three years!" (to which the compassionate response is, "Oh, no, I suppose it's from malnourishment, especially if they're having to rummage through trash. I better get them something decent to eat!")
And that by itself would have just been annoying. We figured if we just stopped refilling the outside cat dish, the cats would wander off and find a more hospitable environment, or at least we could buy a few days with which to figure out a better solution. In the meantime, we were pretty determined not to set foot outside and risk attracting their attention (because they would inevitably come begging for food, and we just couldn't deal with that today). So we were pretty relieved when we would go out to the living room for our breaks and not see any cats in the patio.
Then around dinnertime, I started to worry that maybe whoever it was that the management got to write that horrible flier (which, by the way, had a picture of a "no cats" sign; are they trying to alienate their cat-owning tenants?) to round up all the strays. That would probably be a good thing, actually, if they're taking them to a shelter. But the flier was clearly written either by a dog person (which would be okay, because it means that while they have an irrational hatred of cats, they at least respect that people love animals) or someone who hates all animals (which had me afraid that they're going straight to euthanasia).
On the other hand, it's possible that our prayers were answered and the cats really just all wandered off today. I don't know if we'll ever find the answer. For now, I think all we can do is miss them and hope for the best. And keep praying.
Today I'm thankful for the time we did get to spend with our crazy cat lady patio, the gladness all the kitties brought to our hearts, Page choosing to spend all day inside today (so we know she was safe from any potential cat hunters), finishing the translation we were working on, and making some progress on the next thing we have due.