Please help, there's this cat I found

I hope Michelle is still around, please indulge me. This week there has been this cat hanging around my neighborhood. It is not an ordinary stray, clearly had recent previous owners due to its willingness to come when called. People seem to be putting out milk for him, which I thought was not a good idea. I took it in last night, got some food from a friend, who had no litter to spare so I made a box with shredded newspaper instead. I tried to introduce the cat to the box, but either didn’t get it or was uninterested. He hung around for a few hours and made himself comfortable while a couple friends and I watched a movie, sitting on chairs, laps, hanging out on windowsills. A little while after friends left, he began crying and scratching at the door. Feeling he needed to use the facilities, I again introduced him to the box I made, but he was unaffected. After calling one of the friends, decided it was best to let him out to do his business, thinking he may come back where it was warm. He did indeed do business and then decided after my calling repeatedly that he was through with my hospitality. I am wondering if I should post some notices for this cat, as I don’t see him moving from a neighborhood where he is being fed. I got enough food for about six servings and gave him half of one serving because I didn’t want him to get sick if all he was eating was cow’s milk. He ate about 75% of the food, drank quite a bit of water and then left. I feel bad for letting him go, but I suspect I may be a victim of a kitty con-artist (everyone knows cats are liars - they all give the impression of being underfed and being unloved - this is a cat-lover’s joke). Question is, what should I do about this? He seems like a really cool cat, and I can’t imagine that someone would leave him out on purpose with winter approaching. I would like to keep him if I could get him inside again, but also don’t want to take someone’s cat from them. Should I make up posters? The Reader had an article around Labor Day about a family’s cat that had been captured and released in a different neighborhood and I have already contacted the Reader for an exact description of the cat, in case this is the one.
Should I attempt to take the cat in, this time with a real supply of litter and such? Or am I being a fool? Please help.

It sounds like he’s already somebody’s cat, just that he’s not been litter box trained and they let him out to do his business.

He probably figured out that if he looked cute he’d get freebies from the neighbors.

You’re right that cow milk isn’t good for cats. A little won’t hurt him, but since everyone (but you) is doing it, it’s best to stick to giving him food if you’d like.

Maybe you can keep taking him in for evenings when he will go in. Then someday he’ll decide he likes you better than his current owners.

You can try taking this cat to the vet so he can be scanned for a microchip. If that doesn’t work, try the lost and found ads, and see if anyone is missing a cat. If you don’t see an ad for this cat, you can try placing one. Chances are though, the cat probably does “belong” to someone, and they just keep him as an outside cat. Not very responsible pet ownership, if you ask me, but that is another topic completely. If the cat has gotten used to this lifestyle you might not be able to turn him into an indoor cat at this point. You might want to see if he has been declawed or neutered. If he has, this is at least some indication that he was owned by someone at some point. If he isn’t neutered, he is probably just a local stray that enjoys human’s hospitality. You can decide how much you want to do for the cat from there. As I mentioned, you might not be able to turn a stray into a housepet, but you could take him to the vet to be fixed and to have his shots. At least then you will know that he is not making unwanted kittens or spreading diseases like feline AIDS and leukemia.

“Love given when it is inconvenient is the greatest love of all. Kindnesses that are shared at a high cost to oneself are the most dear.”

Don’t know who said it, but I like it.