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Maj. Grey Regressing?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I think I scared Maj. Grey. He was in/out last night
from the basement (it was very cold) and I kept checking
and disturbing trying to close doors without disturbing him.

I finally had to shut
door, without being able to trap in side. To boot - he wasn't
in any of the nice shelters (3) at last count! that I put out.
Of course he may have gone "adventuring" and come back intothe
shelters later that night and I didn't see him or evidence he had
done so. And likewise since I feed after sunup and I'm sure hes
up by 6 ish with traffic...he may get up and leave shelters at

There is SOME indication he used the dog house - at least
someone had "bedded" in the pine needles... could have
been my Lexi or a neighor cat, but I'm inclined to think
twas Grey.

He DID eat dinner IN the basement entrance... I was hoping
to get him used to eating there. I am going to start SLOWLY moving
the food towards inside the basement doors...I think I moved
them too fast on him.

Boohoo. It was terribly cold and damp last night and I'm sure that
is not good for him!! Then at 9 am today he showed up from
wherever he denned - ready for b fast - I am now bringing
in the food by 10 pm so other animals don't come in - for
all I know it is that which has scared Maj. Grey from the shelters.

He didn't sleep in the yard on the stairs as usual - because of snow.
Instead he spent the WHOLE day out in front of the hole in the fence!
I have a piece of wood lattice type structure about 1/4 inch off the
ground, dry and cleared of ice. He perched on that and lounged
on it most of the day. (It faces south in winter gets alot of sun...)

Then I had to go out at 4 pm and left my basement door open
(gawds my heating bills!!) till 9:00. I checked and he wasn't in
the yard on any of the cushions I put out by the patio doors.
Nor in any of the shelters... I'm so worried for him in this cold

And its due to get worse!!

I know he's survived this before - but my tender heart is
thinking of him now, out there and worrying, especially
as I've gone to all the trouble to make these NICE comfy
shelters (with emergency heat packs wrapped in fleece to
give heat and snuggle disks!!.

I am sure he will be fine - please everyone reassure me that this
stop start progress is normal?

I think he is still bonded in a way to me because he still follows
me and didi and Lexi outside if/when he hears my voice -
he appears and follows behind, LOL like a little furry
grey shadow...

Sometimes it seems he relaxes and lets me get really close and then
suddenly "remembers" I should not be so close, freaks and
dashes away, only to stop 5/ 10 feet away when I don't move to
chase him!!

Such fear in him, boo hoo. But I am cheered by the thought he
comes when I call or when he hears my voice...

Last night when he came in for supper, he pawed the rug over
the dinner leftovers - and meowed very loudly at me and
Diablo who had come down to "look" at him, and then
turned and gone back up stairs. Lexi was lounging around
on her perch too. We were ALL down there.

Very strange interaction, and maybe why he didn't come back inside today, even though I had the doors open. The meow was to communicate
something though! Perhaps a feline thank you??

Who knows!! Anyway prayers and advice welcome for Maj. Grey's
safety and continued progress in the "getting into habit of coming
inside to eat"
post #2 of 6
I don't know. He probably needs to make sure he is still independent. I am sure he will come back around if you don't pressure him. Do you have any pictures?
post #3 of 6
I am not a feral expert (though all my cats but Ellie were street rescues) but in general I would not expect there to be steady continual progress on a daily basis. And it is you who are defining 'progress', not Grey. He probably thinks he is very clever, finding this combination of food and shelter that is there when he needs it, while retaining his independence. There is a feral in my garden who ignores anything I do except feed him (I did TNR him), but has survived 12 years there now, according to the neighbours ( I have been here 3) and has several shelters he has found/made for himself (it goes down to -22C here sometimes and we have thick snow from November to March). So keep doing what you are doing and allow him to set the pace. It is great that he is learning to trust you and to rely on what you provide. He is obviously a survivor and a strong cat in every sense.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks all! I was hoping for more, but true he many never
want more than what he has. Its just that the following us
around outside bit and observing me and Lexi bit has me
wondering if he isn't wondering how to get in on the action!

And that he DOES come inside when the door is open
and the coast is clear. Clearly he knows the other
cats are there and safe, and so he should be too!

Last night he came up and looked in the upper deck doors - I
could not see him looking in, with lights inside on, but
the cats sure did notice!! And it is only a matter of time
before he sees Lexi do an in/out of the pet door
on the deck level. In time he may even be bold /
desperate / curious enough to try it at night when all
is quiet in the house.

I know he has shelter spots - but since MY shelters are
so nice and comfy, LOL, its hard to not see him using them,
LOL!! I can't wait to trap him and keep in a few days
for recovery... he will probably not appreciate, but it
will be for the best for him...

I think I've got a winner with the dog house shelter...
In really windy rain/snow and cold weather he may choose to go into
it. As I said, someone nested in it. I could see where the
little indentation was made up...The other ladywho cared for
him before I came, would put a dog house out for desperately
cold/windy nights - and Maj. Grey did use it... so perhaps
its shape etc. tells him "this is shelter"....

I know my expectations are high, but I truely think Maj. Grey
is able to make the breakthroughs, temperment wise. I think
he is a lovely cat under it all... just very skittish of being
chased away and or approached.

God knows how many times he might have tried
in kitten hood before becoming skittish!

(I still hold to the
idea he was *someone's* kitten / cat that moved away and
left him to fend for self without fixing or anything.

He was in terrible shape when he first arrived in
the hood 4 years ago per neighbor cat lady. She started
to sort of feed as regular as she could... he got
to looking better and not skin n/ bones. Then I started last fall
winter on feeding - and over the spring/summer he really filled out nice
and plump!! Now he is in good condition to make it through
cold winters...)

He loves to sit at the entrance hole in the fence to the
yard. That's HIS spot now, LOL! When threatened he
runs down to the gully or backs into the yard,
but always re-emerges when I call
to him that all is clear to come out, LOL!

And, he loves following us around when I do walkies with
the cats...

Anyway thanks all for your encouragement. It means alot
for me to be able to save this cat and prevent future misery
for kitten and mama cats!! If only I could find the irresponsible
person who let him be born (didn't fix mama cat). I wish I could
"fix" them, so they wouldn't pass on their irresponsible behaviors, LOL!!
post #5 of 6
It is hard to look at things from the cat's point of view. YOU may know that he is safer/warmer indoors but he doesn't see it like that. He has places to go, things to do, and spots where HE feels safe and comfy, that you may never know about. Be honoured that he feels Ok sharing even part of his life with you, and hope that one day he may decide to do more.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yeah, Jenny thanks! I need to remember he's really a wild
thing and not tame from birth. I guess I've had 2 really
really cool grey cats in my life, and this guy reminds me
of them, LOL. But he's not!

He's doing his thing tho, and all I can do is to give
him room to breath. He'll start and stop at his
own pace ... I just have to remember that no
matter how bad it is outside - he KNOWS
now he can come inside here...if he needs it.

I want to post photos BTW of him and my other
3 kitties, but I am not sure how to do? Anyone
have instructions?
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