I feed and take care of the neighborhood feral cats as best I can, and they give back by keeping my home and the immediate neighbors' homes free of rats and mice. A couple years ago, Tux gave birth to the ugliest kitten I'd ever seen, and I fell in love with him. I just couldn't help it. I told my husband, "Now, that's the ugliest kitten I've ever seen. I didn't know kittens could be ugly! What a little ragamuffin." I immediately felt guilty. I went on, "I'll call him Muffin, so he'll never know he's ugly. Muffin is a sweet name." He ended up being the first feral that would let me pet him -- for a few seconds -- then he would run from me. But he got special treatment. His mother did not keep his long, shaggy fur very clean, but after she weaned him, he kept himself immaculate. I had no way to know if he really was male; I just thought he was -- until I got up in the night and found a cat finishing copulating with him on the patio. I was shocked, and so was -- she? -- and she came running to the window where I stood. The poor little thing. She seemed to be saying, "What happened? Why didn't you save me from that?" My heart broke for her. The encroaching cat -- he would just run up behind her and attack, raping her. And I began the watch for kittens. But rather than getting a rounded belly, she got thinner. The time came and went for kittens, but there were none. She no longer let me touch her, even come near her. She came, ate, and left. And she quit taking care of herself, getting shaggier and dirtier by the day. Then she quit coming. I found her in a for-sale-home's back yard, dead. I thought about what had happened. The "rape." No kittens. Her attitude change. Not taking care of herself. My thought that "she" was a "he." I went online and started looking. Sure enough, male cats will rape other male cats to show dominance. Well, I'd had no idea. I mentioned this to a friend who'd had a farm. She told me that they'd had a boar that raped a male pony, and the pony died. Breaks my heart. Perhaps I ruined Muffin by getting too close to this precious little feral cat. I continue to feed and water the cats, but I will not attempt to get close. It's hard. Bear gave birth to three of the cutest kittens, and the time is coming near when she will wean Lil' Bear, Charcoal, and Bandit.