Conversation has started and some who were not favorable towards the cat ...which is fine, not everyone is a cat lover .... have seen how very small, in fact, such an act of mean-ness it is to kick or otherwise hurt a small animal. So, success - even if a bit limited.
12/16/11 -- a quick edit update: Kitty showed up last night. Seems no worse for the reported wear, and even allowed me to pick it up and put it back outside. I did put up a box bed for it.... :)