In what follows, I'd like to tell about the cat situation of my neighborhood in order to decide whether to get my own or not.
I live on a ground floor apartment in a fairly big city. My living room has a door leading to a porch with access to a garden that belongs to the whole building and, after a small fence, you are in a pedestrian street. Other buildings around mine have similar gardens. I receive regular visits from at least three neighborhood cats, for which I leave a kibble snack in the porch. One of them -- let me call it Cat C (for cool :-) -- is more social, lets me pet it and rubs on me and, if my living room balcony door is open, on some of my living room furniture. After six months, it started also to purr a bit and once it lied down belly up by the window but on the inside; which I understand as an act of faith.
The other one, Cat A, is more of an a...hole (hence the letter :-P), doesn't get anywhere close to me but still meows when it's hungry and tries to get inside. When I tried to pet it, it sometimes tried to scratch or hiss at me.
When I'm not home, I just leave the food outside and I can't tell who eats it. A few times I've seen another one, Cat B, going around especially at night, that lives with cat C, but it's too spooked to get anywhere close.
I know about cats B and C for sure because I've seen then behind the window of a neighbor of mine. Down the street, there's at least another one, but it never got close to my door.
Cats A and C do not go along well with each other, some months ago one of them pooped in the food bowl; but this can also be a message directly to me since, especially in winter, I would sometimes forget to leave a snack. Or a stronger attempt to mark the territory, as sometimes they also peed on my window's glass. Once I saw cat C munching its snack peacefully on my porch and suddenly fleeing at the sight of cat A and a few minutes later I could hear them "arguing".
After this long premise, here's my question. I'd like to have my own cat, but I'm more of a living-room-cat kind of person. Since there is a garden I think it makes no sense not to let it out -- either "by hand" or a cat door -- but I'm afraid it's gonna be beaten or killed by the others and, moreover, if I need to see it as often as the others, what would be the point of having my own?
I know that there's probably no way to predict the situation and the only one is to try it out, but I would need to get through a lot of hassle and expenses (for instance protect some expensive furniture -- for now cat C enters only under my supervision and obtain the consent of my landlord all the tenants in my building as the house regulation say), so I'd like to have an idea before starting everything.