Thanks for support and advice. Took her to the vet this morning. Turns out it's a him. Although BooBoo works for a boy, too, we decided to change his name to Lazlo. He was very clean - no ticks, lice or fleas. No ear mites. No Leukemia. Probably worms. Doc thinks he's 8 - 9 weeks old. We gave him all his shots, and the Doc clipped his nails (which have been gouging my husband's back and shoulders).
He has an incredibly sweet personality. My husband got his purr motor going last night - and Laz finally figured out how to use the box of dirt. He still seems unhappy crying at times, but not wailing any more. A couple of whimpers now and then. But he now walks around, curious, with his tail up instead of running for corners with his tail between his legs. He is also quite playful at times now.
My husband, who doesn't really like cats (used to be a cat hater, but tolerates them now because of Rocki, the stray) has a real affinity for this little guy, who loves him so much. (It helps that every time he pets Laz, Laz starts purring up a storm, pushes his head into my husband's cheek, and tries to make a nest in his arm!)
We decided to socialize him, litter box train him, and give him away. I've been secretly hoping we could keep him - and when Doc was amazed at how much this cat already loves and trusts my husband (Gary), Gary was the first one to say out loud maybe we should consider keeping him.
Now it looks like he's going to be litter box trained immediately. We took him straight to a pet store after the Doc, bought toys, grooming items, litter box, a bed he can bury his way into, a scratching post, stain & oder cleaner (just in case), etc. As soon as we got home, he used the litter box, ate some food, buried himself in his new bed and passed out. It's been an exhausting couple of days for all of us.
We've been watching for his family out back every couple of hours (even all last night. No one got much sleep around here). They just turned up about half an hour ago. Now we have a terrible dilemna - what do we do? Mom & family have been gone since last Tuesday night or Wednesday some time. For some reason this little guy wasn't with them. He was scared and alone for several days before we finally trapped him and brought him in. He seems to be adjusting pretty rapidly. Do we release him back to his family? We think he's at least six weeks old - Doc says he thinks he's nine weeks old. Will the family/mom take him back? And his claws were just clipped - that really worries us. And in the long run, he's got to be healthier, if not happier, with us (or another family) as opposed to on his own. Or am I just justifying my desire to keep him? What's best for him? We don't know what to do. I'd love to know what you think,
and would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks in advance,