My neighbor has an outdoor cat, “Sparkle.” Our front yard is one of Sparkle’s favorite hangouts. Sparkle has no collar, her claws are torn and overgrown, she isn’t well-groomed, and I don’t know if she is vaccinated or fixed. But she’s been very friendly with me and my family since she first saw us. She likes to lounge at our place often, and I’ve seen her with scratches on occasion (I assume from run-ins with other neighborhood cats). The neighbor who I suspect owns her lives a few doors away, but we have never spoken—I don’t even know her real name. But I worry about Sparkle sometimes. Can I approach my neighbor about Sparkle, or should I just butt out? If I can, how should I ask about Sparkle without being intrusive or rude?
—Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Cat