Oh Diann - sorry! I forgot about your feral question. Jeanie answered it already, but as to "ours:"
These kittens were born of a feral mom. In this area, there are a lot of small farms, and the farmers keep "barn cats." Unfortunately, a lot of them are not responsible about it, and un-sterilized cats start reproducing uncontrolled. There is a very large population of cats that were once tame but now must live on their own around here - many of them many generations into being "wild." I believe that those that come to us for food while we are present outside putting it out are cats who are only 2 - 3 generations wild and are just desperately hungery.
While they are wild animals, they come from "house cat" genes, I guess.
The kittens that got us involved with them just turned up in our yard one day. There were several adults that raided the garbage cans last Winter - that's what first brought our attention to the problem.
The kittens were only 4 - 6 weeks old when they first started playing around the R.V. and in the yard. I came to the cat site and lo and behold - now we care for the whole gang! (And spend a lot of time trapping and getting the animals sterilized). The "family" disappeared one day - leaving Lazlo behind. He cried for two days, and we brought him inside. He was 8 - 10 weeks old at the time. The family showed up two days later, but he was already part of the family! He snuggled into Gary's shirt and that was it.
We decided he'd be lonely, so we picked up the runt of the litter, Sheldon. Shelly took about two hours to calm down, and then it was smooth sailing. Lazlo and Sheldon have TOTALLY different personalities but are great buddies.
We continued to feed the rest of the kittens, and trapped the mom and the dads that we could. We waited until the kids were all 12 weeks old to get them spayed/neutered. Of course, once we started feeding them, it didn't take long for lots of cats to show up at meal time.
There was a pregnant mom - and her kittens are just showing up now, although we haven't seen her. I think she abandoned them, or something happened to her. When we first brought Munchkin in, the Vet told us she had all of her adult teeth. When we just took her in this past weekend, one of the other Vets said that was just wrong. It makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE that she is part of the new litter of kittens - but she's still the runt of the litter, and is about half the size of the other two that have turned up. Although Gary says he saw a new one last night.
So if she's part of the new batch of kittens, we've had two of the four new ones spayed/neutered, and all five of the first litter. We've had a lot of adults done, too, though we still haven't trapped Sheldon's dad. Their mom disappeared the day after we had her spayed, and we haven't seen her since. I'm so glad we waited until the kittens were old enough to be on their own.
The adult cats do not let us handle them and do not get too near. Some only come when we leave, but we see them scooting off into the woods when we come back out. The kittens have all been around us from a young age, and though I doubt they trust other people, they are very friendly to us. It took until about 2 - 3 weeks ago for Lazlo's and Shelly's siblings (outside) to allow us to touch them for pets (and Lazlo and Shelly have been happily adjusted inside pets since early July). But ALL of their purr motors are going now, and they come RUNNING for pets!
So while they are all feral, because they're kittens and got used to us from a young age, I think that's why they're more open to human contact.
And Jeanie - it isn't just cats. It is ALL animals, wild or no. We pull over to watch Deer - Gary opens the window, makes some noises, and they stop and watch us. Once he got one to walk over to the car, curious - and Gary was able to pet it! Same with a fawn that we saw while out for a walk (although we didn't pet it because we didn't want our smell on it). He's had flocks of geese and ducks follow him. He can get small animals (squirrels and such) to eat out of his hand. Dogs go nuts for him and totally listen to him. And apparently wild cats accept him and just somehow feel OK that he's going to help them. He was a farmer in Israel when he left the full-time army thing (he continued to live in Israel for several years after serving full time for seven) and raised sheep and goats.