Call it what it is: The yearlong debate at Fort Worth City Hall about dealing with feral cats was a fight between people who wanted to protect their homes, property and neighborhoods and people who wanted to protect stray cats.The cats won, even though the City Council wouldn't address the issue head-on.Residents can decide for themselves whether the outcome was good or bad, but they should expect more from the council.Instead of finally voting on a feral cat ordinance put before them three months ago, council members jumped for a staff recommendation that sought middle ground. But there's no middle ground between people who want to get rid of feral cats on their property and people who want to care for the cats and have them spayed or neutered and vaccinated but still roam free.City policy has been an absolute ban on free-roaming animals. Trap them, turn them over to the city and they're euthanized.To give up that policy, some property owners wanted an ordinance with teeth. They wanted groups that say they'll care for the animals to give the city information about cat colonies, the number of cats in each colony, and spay/neuter and vaccination records. They wanted fines for people who say they'll do these things but don't.Trap-neuter-release advocates said they don't want to give the city information about cat colonies for fear that it would fall into the hands of people who would harm the cats. They say potential fines might drive away some volunteer caregivers.The council's solution: no vote on the proposed ordinance, but a vote telling the city staff to adopt by changeable administrative policy a TNR program somewhere close to what the ordinance called for but without the required records or fines.TNR may be a better way to control feral cats. But there should be more. The council should publicly review the policy before next May's election to see how well the program is working and whether there have been complaints.If it's something the council can live with by then, why not adopt an ordinance?