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Did I do the right thing?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi all. Just a question. Maj. Grey's spent a couple of nights in. Last
night he came in on his own, and I closed the door. Shortly thereafter
he showed signs of wanting out, but then settled down. Since it was
11 degrees night before last, and 15 with wind chill last night, I kept
him in last night.

We are expecting icy storm today, and of course,
what did I do this am at 5:30 am? I let him out. He was already up
and around and I sensed he was feeling very trapped and uncomfortable.

I also was concerned he had not gone to the litter boxes - and 12 hours
is long time for a cat to hold it in...(from 6 to 5)

My thought was he'd come back to me later in the day, as when he
spends nights outside and arrives in the am, he always hangs around
a long time...

However, this am at usual feed time, 8:00 to 9:00 and he's not there.
I know he ate plenty last night, and stocked up on his way out so
to speak.. but...

I feel horrible for having let him out with bad weather coming,
but on the other hand, I know he's managed to survive at least
4 years out there without me...so maybe he has some place
to travel to and he'll come back before the icy stuff sets in this
afternoon/evening and he'll WANT to come in then!!

My question is did I do the right thing? Should I have kept him in?
I was/am afraid that if I keep him in, and he clearly is wanting out,
he won't come back inside when its REALLY bad (blizzard etc.)
the winter...And I would break trust.

OTH last night i was able to sit on the basement stairs (hidden)
and he was on the otherside of the wall at the bottom, (I could
see his shadow) listening to me talk to him, and then he went
and laid down where I could see him and put his wee head
down and sighed and relaxed into a sleep for me!!

And we had a conversation,
where he meowed at me (fairly good lungs that boy has!) and listened
to me meowing back...seemed to sooth him.

I just can't believe he is a complete feral, given that. And he
came in and ate even with the noise of the washer going on in
the laundry room!!

I have to work from 1-9 tonight (stupid to have public services
open when you are expecting an ice storm ... dunnnth but
that's our county for you, LOL!). I am planning on leaving
the door to the back open, at 1 pm in case he shows up and
wants in...It is only bout 30 degrees out there right now,
and not expected to be much below that all day and night...

I moved the dog house down to under the deck area, put out
some kitty beds up on wood and blocks near the house (sheltered
from wind and ice/snow), and generally, he knows he can come
and rest up if need be.

Everyone cross your fingers that he'll come back and stay inside
again. I can't help but think that by the time I do TNR
we may have him being an indoor/outdoor guy on demand
(and yes, I'm thinking of the patio door cat flap idea now...
Lexi would demo it just grand for him!!

But I've been told it could take up to 2 years of work
as an indoor cat to get him to the point where he
isn't scared of people, if we ever reach even that point...

Anyway, prayers and vibes for the ole guy out there in
bad weather. Sigh. I feel so bad for letting him out!!
post #2 of 5
Originally Posted by opilot
But I've been told it could take up to 2 years of work
as an indoor cat to get him to the point where he
isn't scared of people, if we ever reach even that point...

Our older russian blue is a shy fellow. Seldom shows himself for visitors, usually races away and hides when somebody comes.
His son is social and comes and says hello to all visitors.
We love them both as they love us and they both have a good live here.

Good luck with our work, and Bless you.
My vibes are going out to you.
post #3 of 5
I am an emergency dispatcher and I also work 1-9 shifts and even 11p-7a shifts. If there is a big storm, that is when people need us the most. Believe me, cats can and do adjust to my schedule in order to get fed.

I don't think you did the wrong thing. Major Grey has got to know he is not trapped in the house, but can come in when he wants to. As far as having to stay in all night once he comes in, I think he can adjust to your schedule. Humans have to work and sleep, therefore cats get fed and let through the door when humans are available.

I truly believe he will show back up. He is just letting you know cats gotta do what cats gotta do.

I think if you consistantly let him know you provide food and company and open the doors at certain times, he will adapt to you.

I'll keep checking your threads to see how he is doing.
post #4 of 5
I would say you did the right thing. He knows you will let him leave when he is ready. And you're right - he's survived this long, he knows places to go where he can get out of the weather. Trust him to come back when he's ready.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the advice. I know he'll be back sometime.
Maybe not tonight tho (sadly). Interesting that there
are 2 Russian Blues with 2 completely different purrrsonalities!

My experience is grey fur babies are pretty mellow and
laid back. Certainly Grey is doing beautifully for a
feral. I wonder if he was owned before. Especially
given what I found this morning ....

When I checked down stairs, I found
2 tufts of GREY fur on the bed in the spare room!! Yahhhooo.

Grey slept last night on the bed, yes sir he did!! (My other two are
black furred...and this was clearly not *their* fur!!)

I'll keep ya'll posted as to if I see him again soon. Perhaps
he'll come in tonight (get smart and realize it ain't so
bad to be in at night!!)

PS. No disrespect intended to public service, but I work in
a library which is non essential,
and we emphatically should NOT be in the business
of encouraging people (including staff who have a looong
way to come to work) who are otherwise safe at home to
come out and visit us, just because they can because hey,
they are off work, by being open!!

And I especially think it unwise
when we have an ice warning (in NOVA we don't handle
ice too well!!)

Happily the county saw the light of day and is closing parks
and recs and libraries before 5 pm... (freezing rain is nothing
to mess with!!).
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