The feuding, feral cats of HMC Dockyard - and the ex-sailor who nurtures them

Cats can often be seen trotting around Halifax's naval base, and thanks to a former sailor, the feral felines are well-fed.

Pierre Filiatreault started feeding and caring for the stray cats at H-M-C Dockyard 12 years ago after finding two malnourished kittens without a mother.

He retired in 2009 after serving 31 years in the navy, but still visits the base near downtown Halifax every day to feed the cats that call it home.

Filiatreault has special permission from the Defence Department to maintain several cat shelters at the yard, home of Canada's Atlantic navy fleet.

Each has a name, like Binoo and Black Chin, and will come to Filiatreault when called.

He says there were once upwards of 100 feral cats roaming the dockyard alongside uniformed officers, but that number has since dropped to around 20 thanks to his trap, neuter and return program.

Filiatreault, also known as the "Catman", says the oldest dockyard cat is around 14 years old, and feral cats usually only live two or three years.