Okay guys, time to send some good feline thoughts this way. Ivy is a small, young, stray that wandered into our yard this evening, wearing a cheap collar with no tag, and obviously underfed. If he?she? is still around tomorrow, we're going to take her to the vet and get her some care, 'cause I'm not sure he?she? is in good health. His/her fur is filthy, and she/he is breathing a bit harder thatn I think is normal. Right now, Ivy is bedded down in our ivy patch, with a bowl of water and enough food for the night. We'd bring her in, but Maddie would tear the place up, and we're afraid that there might be something contagious going on. Send Ivy some luck and some good Kitty Karma. Thanks!
UPDATE: Thursday evening, and Ivy (yes, she's an Ivy, not an Ivan) is still in the land of the living. She was still outside in the ivy patch when we looked this morning just after dawn. Hadn't moved all night, and she'd eaten most of the food we'd left out. Took her to our vet on the way to work. This cat weighed nothing when I picked her up, and she didn't put up any struggle at all until we put her in the box. Thank God for good vets. The doc who arrived looked Ivy over and surprised me by saying that Ivy was not a young cat at all, but "geriatric". When we asked about her size, the vet asked if we'd ever been in a nursing home. "When people get old, they shrink." she said. Could have knocked me over, I'll tell you. Anyway, we've got Ivy boarded at the vet's. The doc mentioned that there was the possibility of old cat's diseases, like renal failure or diabetes, or thyroid problems, so we're trying to keep her near care. We're posting her description on a local lost/found pets site, and have gone around the neighborhood with fliers and posters. We'll keep you informed. Thanks for all the good thoughts!