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HUGE step for Maj. Grey!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey all - yesterday Maj. Grey took a HUGE step
of trust! He came in the open sliding doors downstairs!!
Yayyyy!! He was IN the house!!

Then he sat just inside the doors - I think he
was cold and wanted to be "in" as he had just seen
Lexi come in. (He sat at the sliding doors looking in - so
I opened them and snuck down the basement stairs to
watch what he would do... Of course, he came in to
investigate!! LOL!!) He was looking in before that watching
Lexi and I play with a string. ... Big ole boy wanted
to get in on the action!

I am soo happy. He had been gone for a whole day yesterday -
and crazy me, I even went out looking for him with a cat food
can and spoon. I was that worried. He has been here for nearly
4 weeks - not leaving the yard for more than an hour
or so at a time.

So when he was not there yesterday am, and
did not come back during the day....I worried!!

Where ever he was - he showed up promptly at dark for

He also spent the night in his shelter - I think. It snowed a bit,
and he was bone dry this am - so I figure he must have not
left the shelter till things dried out...His chow bowl was completely
empty this am, and it was completely full last night,
so he might have taken rest breaks during the night and fed
till he could not eat another bite, LOL!!

Now... if he'd just let me pet him...

I think if we do TNR and I keep him in, he would come
around and be a lap cat in time.

I say this because of his interactions
with me (meows at me dinner time, coming
when I call for food, rolling on his belly
for me a few times, coming closer to me...)
and his reaction to watching Lexi and me together.

He understands quite clearly that Lexi is enjoying being
played with and that she is going in/out,
and that there is a bond
between us. Sometimes I think he is just
trying to over come his fear... if we can get him
over the fear of humans... he will be a love ball.

Grey cats in my experience have always been very
loving and mellow... and good with other cats... not
your agressive types...

I think Maj. Grey also knows that Diablo is senior
(albiet old) male in the house, and is cautious not to
step on his toes by doing poop in yard, spraying or
drawing undue attention.

Fingers crossed that Maj. Grey will come inside and I can get
the door closed to keep him inside during the really cold
spell we are due for this week. He may, just may,
decide to come in and explore again... each time,
is a step closer to him "taming" down...and learning
the joys of being and indoor/outdoor cat.

The key I think is not to force things but go at his
pace. Its taken since June to get THIS far, so
I don't want to spook him... maybe by next
June he'll be indoor/outdoor and kicking
himself for hestitating!! LOL!!!
post #2 of 5
Wow, you are very brave! I am too chicken to let strays in the house til they have been vet checked. We had two kittens show up last winter, to sit on our kitty heating pad with Josie, and I sent both to the foster agency for shots, etc, and to be adopted out. Finally I kept Will, my avatar boy, who also showed up on the heating pad. But I never let him inside for fear he would give something to my kids, or get something from them.

(I do know I am kind of paranoid, but it only takes one kitten lost to distemper to do that to a person!) I guess since he and Lexi have already had contact, you can be pretty sure he is safe, right? I even keep fosters apart for a while, and they have all been vet checked!

I am glad that he is coming along nicely. I would guess his day away was just catting about. Even Will, who is neutered, stays pretty busy all day. he is here waiting when he expects us to be here, but other wise he is out doing cat business!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your advice! And input re: leaving/coming back.

I know about letting them have "contact" but
since a) all mine have full complement of shots,
and I do mean FULL! b) Lexi goes out
and has "had" contact with all the area cats
including him and c) the vet has told me FIP is not
in high concentration (v. few cases last few years)
in our local area at this point (which is the one and
really the only thing I get really really scared about
no matter where my cat is going outside, safe countryside
or town/suburb) .

So knowing that, I'm not as worried as I would otherwise be.

Of course if mine had a) not had full set of shots and b) never been outside
I would NEVER let them mix!

I think he goes somewhere during the days...
He was a bit freaked by the basement - I accidentally
shut him in yesterday while he was exploring .... he instantly meowed
REALLY loud then crouched down and waited for the door to
open. I opened it, backed away slowly sat down
and went to play with Lexi (who ignored him).
He slowly sneaked out...

Today he was back in the am - on the deck no less,
sitting on the "cat cushion" the cats sleep on when
they go out there to sun... He was fully interested in
the French doors, looking thru at me and my 3.
He may even have observed Lexi going in and out the pet
flap in the kitchen window.

(yeah, mine have 24 hour access
to the big outdoors - only 2 cat presents coming
inside incidents so far in 2 years too. I'm lucky!
Course my old boy no longer wants out at night,
and Shebs was always a total indoor cat - she
has NEVER wanted outside in all 16 years I've had
her. As a stray, she knew a good thing when she
saw it! Lexi usually waits till dawn to go out -
and likes to be by 11 pm - if she isn't, I go out and
fetch her in...)

So to continue the story - when I came down from upstairs
and opened up the door on the deck,
he scooted down the deck stairs ...
but only half way, and then turned his "scoot" into a stretch,
stopped and looked over as if to say, "oh, its you".

LOL!!! guess he wasn't THAT scared!!!

Right now there is snow going on, 4 inches worth tonight,
and its cold and he's in the yard (I hope he's in the shelters!)

He was not in the yard during the daylight time, before it began
to snow from about 10 to 4 pm...

so I'm guessing like you said he was off doing cat rounds or something...

I am sooo pleased he comes and hopefully is staying in those
very nice warm kitty shelters I have Close to
food and shelter during a storm. Sensible cat!!

At least some of the time anyway...

This am after food, and before departing for the days
adventures, he followed me round at a distance,
as I walked/escorted my arthritic and constipated
(what a terrible disease to fight!) oldest Diablo, and he
observed Lexi and Diablo being petted
picked up and interacted with outside, and saw both
asking to go, and going inside via front door.

He's really VERY interested in this house, LOL!!
And in what the cats are doing ... and me!

I get the sense he's observing - wondering if
he has found a "home" base and if anyone is going
to drive him out. Just now, he was at the lower
level sliding doors, on a second cat cushion I put out -
sheltered by the deck, right next to the sliding doors...

So I opened up the sliding door, left and closed the
basement door - he can come in and explore for a bit,
then go back out if he feels the need. Who knows,
he may want to stay inside, LOL!!

He's definitely met Lexi. Ineed last year, when I was
feeding him out by the sewers, she would tag along
and eat after he was done. So, I think he was taking
"care" of her in a way - until I came along, and Lexi
overcame her fear one night and came right up to me...

At any rate, they get along
alright (she play charges him sometimes and they
chase each other up the tree in the yard
and the fence!)

He knows by smell I have
2 others, and he's seen Diablo -

Diablo being senior top male, may be an "issue" for him.

But I am encouraged. The more we interact the more
I feel this old boy may have been a throw away cat -
someone had as a kitten and dumped. OR he
may be the offspring of a barn cat at the barn
across the road from my house, or maybe had in
a town home near by and moved away and abandoned,
or he was one that was from a stray Mom...

Its just that for a complete feral, he seems a bit too tame
if it makes any sense. I just get this feeling...

But all my considerable cat experience has been with strays -
I've been bringing home stray cats since I
was 3, LOL. About 33 years now, and counting!!

Getting them fixed up, finding homes,
keeping a few along the way!!
I can't begin to count how many I've rescued
thus far or helped to rescue and place.

But I can tell you about a friendly or even a scared
stray, and what to do with one -
total ferals are a whole new ball game tho...

I can't wait to get him trapped and neutered -
it may be just the thing to make him even
more affectionate... Like I said, in my experience
grey cats a pretty mellow and friendly - to people
and other cats too...

I have a dream of getting him
to be an indoor/outdoor - if not completely indoor
cat one day. Maybe pie in sky, but hey, gotta have
dreams and goals!!
post #4 of 5
Yeah, I am coming from a totally different way. Mine are inside only, and since they started as fosters, were exposed to multiple illnesses via other foster kitties at cat shows, etc. So when I get a new foster, often a preggers Momma, I keep them apart so she doesn't give them worms or fleas, and they don't give the foster anything either! LOL!

And I did have several deaths starting out in fostering, to distemper, then FIP. So I am rather gun shy. In the past I never had inside only cats, and truly started because my babies were fosters, and I was following their rules. Now they have spent their entire lives inside, and I wouldn't dream of letting them spend time outside. But I do have outside cats, too.

I hope Grey slowly moves inside. Sounds like you are right that he was tame once. I have a 4 true ferals in my yard, and I only see one on a regular basis. And he is frightened by me looking at him through a window!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Okay - please help me understand this!

Maj. Grey spent ALL last night outside my patio
basement sliders - on a camping pad topped by
two patio cushions my cats use to rest on outside
when it is nice.

He was warm and dry (the snow up top
the deck kept the snow off the patio
area - but it was in the 20s last night!

He came in several times when I opened the sliders
between 5 and 9 pm last night.

If I opened them and went and sat myself out of the
way (and mostly sight) on the basement stairs.

alas i can't keep the basement door open all the time!! he
sits in such a way he can scoot if i try to sneak
in and close the basement doors! I gave him
an hours nap in the house last evening - all
I could afford heatwise!! He seemed very much
to enjoy.

The one time I got him in and did get the
doors closed (by accident) - he was a bit
freaked - so I quickly opened them up, backed away sat down
with my back turned and let him go back out.

This cat doesn't let me get within 5 feet without
running (and yet he stops running when I don't move)
- YET - he's okay coming in the basement?? And
he doesn't run when the slider is closed and only
glass between us?? Argh. Frustrating!!!

Plus, he has a nice shelter he's been using that last
night for some reason he wouldn't go in??

Was he maybe scared out of it at some point?

I moved the second shelter (which he's never
seemed to use) and put it near the house
right by where he was on his cushion - and put
the whole cushion set up on one side
next to it - using shelter as a wind
break for the cushions.

I hope today (he left in the early am after
food) he'll come back and explore it...At least while
I'm working tonight I'll have the comfort of knowing
there is a windbreak with shelter in the lee of the
house (I face NNW, so that's good - keeps most of
the winter winds blocked...)

Anyway - the behavior of not going in his other shelter
and insisting that he had to sit by the patio doors
(with the light left on all night) in 20 degree weather
out in the open air... it really had me wondering
if he'd been scared by another
animal while in his shelter...

OTH - he may have been wanting me to open that
darned door up, LOL!

So, how to over come the hurdle? Get him inside w/ door
closed, so he can rest in this next bitter spell of cold
we are due for ?? He seems not fazed by the basement
inside house and all.. so my feeling is he is / was a cat
that belonged to someone at some point who dumped
him as a kitten or something... How else to explain -
my TV was on upstairs the basement door open
and he wasn't freaked??

suggestions? Beckiboo? Anyone else?

Oh, and he is gonna get that TNR just as soon
as I get back from Christmas break and Jan
breaks. Even if I do it myself... things are
getting to the tipping point with him.. he's making
a decision to stay I think...

Thanks all.
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