Backstory: A friend ("Trysh") and I have been re-socializing "Buckley", a male cat who was dumped around October 2010. We re-trapped him in January 2011 along with, eventually, three other cats with the goal of placing them into Forever Homes. The cats live in Trysh's top floor, part of which she converted to a cattery.
Buckley did well, gets alont with all the other cats; got a little moody, standoffish in March 2011 because, we think in retrospect, we were trying to pick him up too much too soon. In May/June 2011 we discovered he loves Fish Flakes, and would do anything to eat them, including letting us pet him and brush him. By October he was ready to be adopted into a Forever Home.
On October 15th, adopters came to see him, liked him, wanted to adopt him, Trysh tried putting him into a cat carrier, Buckley FREAKED OUT. He has not been seen or heard from since. He has gone (we presume) behind the crawl spaces and eves in Trysh's house. There are no signs that he has eaten any of the food. Trysh does not believe the house has mice that he could have eaten; it is unknown whether he could have gotten out of the house.
So, some questions:
Why did he freak out so much; why did he lose trust in us so abruptly and, we're afraid, permanently. And suggestions how to get him to come out from hiding? And, how long can a cat go without food and water before he dies. All in all, he has always been a really docile, sweet, albeit moody, cat.