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HELP! Need Advice Urgent (not bad but good news!)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Help!! I don't know what to do. News is great,
but I'm confused!!

Today I left the basement door open from 3-6 pm
and went back to work. Maj. Grey was in the
yard - I had called him out from the sewer area
up to the house/yard.

so, I go to work. I come home, expecting that
as usual Maj. Grey will dash out the door when
he sees me coming down the basement stairs.

And yes, that's what happened. Then, Lexi came
to eat... so I put down Maj. Grey's food at the door
entrance. He got scared and ran out side, so I rolled over
on my back on the floor and meowed a bit.... sort like
showing my belly, LOL!!

Then I slowly got up and moved
away up the stairs. I waited 10 minutes, and Maj. Grey
ate the food and came back in. He moved to a new position -
away from the very cold area near the door.

Major achievement!!! Then, in a suprise move, he looked
directly at me, and calmly got up and went
into the closet by the sliders... that's his place to sleep.
Then I slowly came down the stairs talking all the time,
walked over to the sliders - and -ta da NO PANIC from
Grey, not a peep!! He stayed in closet!!!

To sleep in warmth and quiet
I presume. Poor guy this must be the first time he's ever known
he could go deeply asleep and be safe!!!

but now my question - so, its gonna snow storm tonight
3-6 inches possible. Cold but VERY cold in the am.
Although I have put out 2 shelters and now a dog house
with padding and cat bed in it (to the tune of 140 bucks -
I am CRAZY!!)... he refuses to use them.

Should I keep him in?? There's a box down there that Lexi
uses, and he sure knows by smell what that's for! But if he
went, well floor is ceramic tile, carpets are disposable and
only 60 dollars each...

There's food down - no water so I need to put down...

He's eatn and is now peacefully and deeply asleep - I don't
want to wake him up at all or disturb by going
down there... I want him to stay the night.

Is this wise? Should I let him out despite the very cold
weather to come and snow to come
(tomorrow after snow, the night time
will go down to 10s!! with wind chills...)?? Trusting he
will come back to me and inside again??

Will it break his trust to spend the night in? If I let him out
in the am?? I am so unsure what to do, just that I am so
relieved to get him inside and safe to begin with!!!

What is the advice from others with taming of ferals experience?
Has anyone had a cat take a HUGE leap like this?? What
signs do I look for to see if he is okay with it??

Thanks all, and I am SO GLAD to be able to share
such GOOD NEWS!!
post #2 of 4
JMHO, you should just leave him alone down there all night, unless he meows or sets up a ruckus wanting out. Then he should be let outside. He will be fine overnight without water. You can offer him a drink in the morning.

Rather than freezing your house by leaving the door open, maybe you could get one of those pet doors that go in sliding glass doors so he can come and go as he pleases? I don't know if you can lock the door with those in...or if Major Gray will come and go by a pet door.
post #3 of 4
I agree 100% with Beckiboo. Let him stay! He's happy and warm and safe. Like she said, if he starts being anxious to go out, then you can let him. A pet door also sounds like a great idea, if it is workable in your situation (It wouldn't be, for me).

He's making great leaps and bounds and he's decided you are a good safe cat person.

Oh, by the way, no I've never gotten a feral cat to stay the night like that. That is really special.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. Lexi was down there in/out up/down stairs to her
play post, we played down there - he was hiding the whole time
not more than 5/6 feet away!! Diablo went down and sniffed -
he sort of thought he knew someone was there, but again, no visual
on Grey, and no peep out of him, so Diablo basically doesn't know he
is there. Yaayy. Long may it stay that way. That = peace and no
spraying problems from Diablo.

Got Lexi upstairs, closed the basement door and left him for the night.
Am now pretty sure he was deliberately doing this (staying in), as he's had chances to go to the door, and I think he deliberately choose to allow me
to close the door.

He is either too tired and maybe sick, or he is
simply trusting that Lexi is okay, Diablo is okay, and so he's probably
gonna be okay here too! If only he knew how spoilt my babies are!!

I am thinking of the patio pet door, but I do not think he will use,
unless my Lexi shows him how. (He and Lexi know eachother - and
I think it was he who showed her how to survive when she was
but a young cat herself dumped outside - before I found her,
or he led her to me, LOL. She will either play
w/ or generally just ignore... I've seen them touch noses, but
I don't think they mutually groom or anything.

Yeah, I think its REALLY special he's decided to trust me this far.
Of course the bad weather helps - he is probably cold and tired,
and knows that more bad weather is on the way, and just wants
a quiet place to rest up.

I saw Sam cat out, Sam cat is his nemisis -
and I returned to owner at 10:30 pm tonight (imagine letting
your cat out on a night a snow storm is to hit, and not calling
it in??? - grrr. Some people don't deserve the wonderful cats
they have.)

I was walking Diablo (so Didi could do his poop - he insists on doing
that outside if he can! For an old guy he is set in his ways, LOL).

Sam cat had scars under his fur - so he'd dusted it up with someone -
sometimes that someone is Maj. Grey. If Sam has scratches, so does
Maj. Grey. so, he may also be recuperating. I thought I heard him sneeze
once, and I immediately thought of upper respiratory problems. Fingers
crossed it was just a single sneeze and not something else.

So now, off to bed. When daylight dawns we will see. Wish me a peaceful
night with no "midnight wake ups and/or howlings!!! If he stays in till 8
am, the storm will almost be over.

I will open the door and leave open for
the 2 hours before work, and then if he is still out he can shelter
under the patio in one of the various shelters I have...
or take off to the wild blue yonder till I call him in at noon.

If I am REALLY lucky, work will be cancelled tomorrow.
YES!! PLEASE!! Then i can stay and care for

And coax him back inside again later when the windchills
start up and temps drop in the evening...

Which I sincerely HOPE
he decides to do again, tomorrow night!! Let's make it 2 out of 2 on the really bad nights!!

And maybe, just maybe this guy was a previously owned reverted to feral, or
former barn cat who just needs alot of work to socialize. (He still bolts when i look directly at him, and stuff like that... I'm working on giving lots of blinkies
and trying HARD not to stare at him!!

Let's hope I can get this big guy through winter and to fixing time in Feb/March - and then maybe work on getting him more indoor/outdoor...

I am going away for Xmas and hope that this doesn't cause any regression -
my neighbor who used to feed him before I came on the scene is going to
take over making sure he has food left out for him, while I'm gone. Thats
one of the reasons i want to make sure he is using shelters... so I
can have no guilt at being gone...

Thanks again all. I will keep you updated on what he does tomorrow... I think
that is the critical decision point for him... to stay or go?
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