We're feeling much better after yesterday. I think we just needed to get the gloom out of our systems. That, and we did a tiny amount of research on how to treat stray cats, and unshockingly, it was incredibly easy to find information that was actually supportive of felines and doesn't treat them like filthy vermin (hello? cats are supposed to eat the filthy vermin). So that helped.
The other development which has helped is that we have learned that, whether or not cats are being rounded up, not all of them have been. Of course, on the downside, that means they haven't been taken somewhere in the hopes of finding them greener pastures, so to speak (and not in the "in heaven" sort of way), but the internet also has us just a teensy bit worried about shelters and euthanasia again. But the point is, this afternoon, we were revisited by some of our regulars, who even stuck around for a while despite our not giving them more food.
We're currently considering figuring out how to get a trap/neuter/release thing going, so then we can defy the no-feeding request with clear-ish consciences. The main concern of the rude letter was population explosion. And of course, our nextdoor neighbors did make sure to get all the females spayed before they bequeathed them to us, so we're already part way there. In fact, if we keep the males at our place by luring them with food, they're less likely to go impregnate the females that haven't been spayed. But anyway, the online resources we looked at said that if you just neuter all the cats, the whole colony will be healthier, so the letter's complaint of dirty, mangy cats will then be a non-issue.
The only problem is we're still swamped and we still don't drive, so getting this ball rolling is going to be slow and tricky. But I think as long as we keep it in mind, we can make something happen. And in the meantime, I'm grateful to our neighbors for doing so much to deal with the issue already.
The other thing that helped us feel better about today is that we got our package from CD Japan! And now that we're done with work, we're gonna go open it!
Today I'm thankful for helpful and non-judgmental information about stray cats, finishing our work for today, getting our package from CD Japan, having a box of Famous Amos cookies to satisfy today's desperate need for chocolate, and Page continuing to be super adorable (and also not being too much of a nuisance while we worked, because we weren't using the laptop).