Our first cat, Molly, was found in an unoccupied house we were thinking of buying. Now, this wasn't just an empty house, it was basically the shell of a partially burned out house that hadn't been lived in for probably 5 years or so. It was also in the middle of the city. We didn't buy it, but we did take her with us (with the blessing of the house's owner). She was skinny, a little matted, missing teeth and walking with a limp (probably was hit by a car).
We live in a college town, so there are a lot of pets dumped by kids when they leave school. We suspect that's how she got there. She has all the characteristics of a Maine Coon (she's a huge, long haired girl with ear tufts and fuzzy paws, classic MC head shape and a decent ruff for a girl) and she is still beautiful.
DH was living at home when we found her and we didn't have the heart to move her when we did get a house. She now lives very happily with my father-in-law and is probably 12-14 years old. We still consider her our kitty and make sure she has flea meds, vet time, etc and visit her whenever we can. My FIL got a heck of a deal now that I think of it