We kept Mustard in our home for a few days--and for the most part, he was friendly and happy. He got along with Lucy, and although Feast was not happy, I think that he, too, started getting used to him. We put out posters with details about a found cat, but had no response to them.
After the few days in our home, Mustard began to get restless--I suppose that he had gotten used to being outside, roaming freely; he was also probably tired of being cornered by our cat... For whatever reason, he bit Lucy.
Because we had not taken Mustard to the vet yet, we didn't think that it was quite safe to keep him indoors, in the case that he had a communicable disease; so, we put him outside and continued to give him food and water. He came back a few days in a row, and I was starting to get used to him as an outside cat, when he went missing.
He came back on Saturday, and when I first saw him, I thought that he was missing an eye. Upon closer examination, I realized that he still had his eye, but had gotten his eyelid torn up pretty badly in a fight (with another cat? a raccoon?). He had a rather sizable abscess on his eyelid, and it was oozing pus, which would sometimes cover his eye. He came back late on Saturday, when, unfortunately, the animal hospitals in town were all closed (and we do not have the means to take him to an emergency clinic). We made space for him in our backyard shed; gave him food and water; and I did my best to clean his wound with a wet washcloth and a peroxide solution. We took him to the vet first thing this morning (at 7 a.m.); we now have eye drops for his eye and antibiotics. Mustard was also neutered today.
We will keep him isolated from the the other animals until he recovers, and will then try to integrate him into our family.
At first, I was so angry with myself for letting him go back outside, where he was hurt; I felt bad for sacrificing Mustard's well-being in the act of protecting the family we already have. However, I think that it was only a matter of time until Mustard got hurt--he'd been coming around for about three weeks, and in all that time managed to avoid the several dangers in our neighborhood (busy street, cats, raccoons). In fact, I think that all in all, we have done the best that we are possibly able for Mustard.
What does make me angry and upset is the fact that Mustard Tiger was abandoned in the first place. He was clearly a cat used to human attention and affection: when we first saw him, he was clean and looked very healthy and tame. Even if he had somehow gotten lost on his own, it was irresponsible of his previous caretakers to not have had him neutered. I agree with Gary Francione's commentary on "pets," in that it is reprehensible to treat animals as (play-)things. I cannot imagine abandoning an animal, especially one who was clearly not accustomed to fending for himself. I could write more on this, but am afraid that I'll merely repeat myself.
Here's couple pictures of him resting--I just hate how sad he looks: they had to shave part of his face, and he can't quite close or open the hurt eye.