I hate that there are cats out in the cold and snow, but I don't hate seeing the prints because it tells me that my colony cats are moving around and not trapped under a dumpster by the snow, freezing or starving to death.
I can also follow the prints to figure out where the cats are staying sometimes, which makes it easier to feed and keep an eye on them, not to mention trap them and get them fixed.
I have a colony cat, an orange & white tom, that has been at my colony for as long as I've known there was a colony here. I've finally managed to establish a feeding routine with him within the last month, and, low and behold, he's actually completely
tame! I thought he might be semi-feral--he used to run whenever anyone approached, but within a month of establishing a feeding routine with him, I can pet him, scratch his cheeks, and pick him up! I didn't have a carrier with me on Friday, so I didn't grab him then, and I really regret it now because we got 20cm of snow on Saturday, and the temperatures have been in the minus teens.
I drove to the office on both Saturday and Sunday in the hopes of scooping him up, but he wasn't there either day. I'm pretty worried about him. Footprints would at least tell me that he's okay.