tl;dr: update! the vet said it was an attack, not a lighter burn. So that was good news. But it was badly infected. I'm glad we got him in.
I live in an apartment complex. A family moved out and abandoned their outdoor cat. The day they left, they randomly asked someone - who had never been a cat owner - if he'd look after the cat. But left no vaccination papers, no money to pay for food, etc.
This kitty just wants all the loving. He wants nothing more but to sit in your lap and purr and get the belly rubs. He puts his little paw on your shoulder and nestles in. He lets all the kids play with him and never scratches them.
But I cannot take him inside because he fights other cats and - DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE'S NEUTERED! - he still sprays.
It gets very cold in Kansas so I made him a little cardboard shelter out of an Amazon box. It has a warm pillow and a little microwaveable pad. It's covered with a rubber mat and a crap thin cotton blanket. I feed him and give him water every day.
I noticed during the 14-inch snowstorm that he didn't come out of the box much, but I thought it was because of the cold and the snow. I reheated his microwave pad a few times and brought him food and kept refilling his water dish (which kept freezing) But he normally comes out and wants to be petted and he wouldn't come out.
Tonight he finally came and sat on my lap and when I went to pet him I saw it. There was large patch with no hair and a big bloody lump. He wouldn't let me look at it, but the fact that there was no hair and it was a perfect circle bothered me.
Anyway, he ate some food and drank some water and went back into his little cardboard box. I'm going to get him in a carrier tomorrow and take him to the vet. I don't even want to think about how much it'll cost.
But mostly,I fucking hate the people who abandoned him. I can't bring him to a shelter because who is going to adopt an older male cat who sprays and hates other cats?
My cats are now hiding from me because there has been a lot of forced snuggling tonight.
I am sad. That is all.