His dirty body indicates that he can't groom himself anymore because of disease. Though some people say it is just a characteristic of mischief. His V-shaped ear means that he's had a neutering operation by an NPO. Though some people say it is a scar of fighting with another cat.
Some of NPOs engaging in stray cats say that stray cats should be trapped and neutered and returned where they have been. The activity is called TNR. They also say these cats would be taken care of by people who live in the neighborhood.
However, what do you think if people who feed stray cats don't do anything but feeding? Or if they don't bring them some water, and don't clean the cats' excrement up, don't take them to a veterinarian even they are dying? Actually, there are some people who forbid stray cats to come in their house nevertheless the cats are being fed from them.
TNR has a meaning of birth control. But it isn't a magic to make stray cats happy. The cats might lose an opportunity to be picked up because of their ear has the mark. They might be left when they become sick because people would think that the cat has a person who take care of them.
I have seen a lot of suffering cats whom ear has been notched in the outdoors. It seems that the people who feed stray cats don't see cats' disease and injury. They rather say they doesn't hesitate to feed the cats anymore because of the mark. They feed as if feeding is their duty and think they have not responsibility anything else. Sometimes they seem just enjoying the relationship of master and servant in my eyes. It doesn't seem the relationship of parent and child, as a keeper and a house cat.
The neutered, re-abandoned cat in the outdoors begin to be called a community cat. It sounds calm, but their severe situation continues.
This photo was taken on 5 March 2013, Tokyo, Japan. ©Naoto Shinkai