Will my stray friend trust me again?

dizkneephreek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 24, 2023
Messages
28
Purraise
78
I could use some advice. Or maybe just some comfort or encouragement.
July 20 was the one year anniversary of me losing my 16 year old soul kitty, Dahlia. It was an extremely hard day and I stayed home from work. That afternoon I happened to notice an orange floof in my yard near the woods. I feel like I've seen him before but he'd always run off when he saw me. But I really needed some kitty snuggles that day so I thought I'd try my luck. He acted like he was going to run again at first, but then stopped and looked at me. I don't know if he could tell I had been crying or not. But to my surprise he started walking toward me. He still acted a little skittish at first, but quickly started purring and rubbing all over me when he realized I was ok. He even butted his face against mine for kisses. We hung out for a while outside...and then days, weeks later he started coming around more and more. I began feeding him, and he claimed the glider on my front porch as his own. It became a habit of him sleeping out there literally all day. Around 8pm-5am he'd go exploring, but then he'd come right back to snooze and hang out. He's absolutely the sweetest thing. I wasn't looking to adopt any time soon, but I couldn't help but fall in love with this guy and it seemed he had adopted me! It felt like he had been guided to me on the day I needed him the most. I decided to start the process of making things permanent.
So this past Monday I took him to the vet for an exam (he's scheduled to be neutered Sept 15, which is when I planned on bringing him inside). He totally flipped out when I got him in the carrier. Poor thing was trying his best to find a way out, and was panting on the way to the vet. But he was SO good while being examined. Never even hissed or tried to attack. He would snuggle up close to me, and even laid down with his head on my arm. So I thought we were good and he understood I was there to help. He did get treated for worms, got his ears cleaned, vaccinations and blood tests...he tested positive for FIV but otherwise seemed healthy. They scanned for a microchip but didn't find one (I've also asked around the neighborhood and posted about him on my neighborhood FB page, and no one knows anything about him).
I expected him to run off for a while after getting him home. But he's still not returning...at least not like he was. He'll come up at random times to eat, but then go on his way. And a neighbor lady said he's been at her house a few times, but otherwise I have no idea where he's been going.
I just really miss my sweet friend and I'm so scared I've ruined our relationship. I was getting excited at the idea of having a cat again, and I felt bonded with him. And it seemed like he really trusted me and was happy here. Do you think he'll forgive me and start hanging out again? Even though I know what I did was for the best for him, I feel terrible about it now. 😢

PXL_20230815_230728520.jpg
 

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
19,511
Purraise
36,384
Location
Lion City, Singa-purr
I just really miss my sweet friend and I'm so scared I've ruined our relationship. I was getting excited at the idea of having a cat again, and I felt bonded with him. And it seemed like he really trusted me and was happy here. Do you think he'll forgive me and start hanging out again? Even though I know what I did was for the best for him, I feel terrible about it now. 😢
:hellosmiley: and welcome to TCS!

We are so sorry to hear about Dahlia :alright: You may want to pay a tribute to Dahlia and you can do it here inhttps://thecatsite.com/forums/crossing-the-bridge.19/

Thank you for taking this kitty to the vet and have him checked by the vet and planned to get him neutered and also planning to take him in and give him a warm and fur-ever loving home.

Don't worry, this kitty will surely forgive you and he knows he can trust you otherwise he won't snuggle up to you when being examined by the vet and I should say that his behavior at the vet is superb.

Think you can start planning a room for him on the house and get him in asap. Condition him to get used to the room before he goes for the neutering surgery. You want him to be as comfortable as possible after that because it's going to be straining on him to get into the carrier and to the vet again but this you have to do it only once again and after that, slowly let him gain back his trust in you when he is in his room.

Get some towels and leave it where he use to hang out so that the towels can soak up his scents and after several days, you can bring the towel into the room so that when he comes in, there's familiar scents. It may be a wild ride initially and he'll calm down after the storm is over. Once he's inside before and especially after the surgery, rekindle the relation once again. Just don't rush through but let it run on the cat's term.

In the meanwhile, try to coax him to get nearer to you to trust you again. Feels free to ask questions and do keep us posted of the progress.

He's such a handsome boy :redheartpump: :hearthrob:
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

dizkneephreek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 24, 2023
Messages
28
Purraise
78
:hellosmiley: and welcome to TCS!

We are so sorry to hear about Dahlia :alright: You may want to pay a tribute to Dahlia and you can do it here inhttps://thecatsite.com/forums/crossing-the-bridge.19/

Thank you for taking this kitty to the vet and have him checked by the vet and planned to get him neutered and also planning to take him in and give him a warm and fur-ever loving home.

Don't worry, this kitty will surely forgive you and he knows he can trust you otherwise he won't snuggle up to you when being examined by the vet and I should say that his behavior at the vet is superb.

Think you can start planning a room for him on the house and get him in asap. Condition him to get used to the room before he goes for the neutering surgery. You want him to be as comfortable as possible after that because it's going to be straining on him to get into the carrier and to the vet again but this you have to do it only once again and after that, slowly let him gain back his trust in you when he is in his room.

Get some towels and leave it where he use to hang out so that the towels can soak up his scents and after several days, you can bring the towel into the room so that when he comes in, there's familiar scents. It may be a wild ride initially and he'll calm down after the storm is over. Once he's inside before and especially after the surgery, rekindle the relation once again. Just don't rush through but let it run on the cat's term.

In the meanwhile, try to coax him to get nearer to you to trust you again. Feels free to ask questions and do keep us posted of the progress.

He's such a handsome boy :redheartpump: :hearthrob:
Thank you so much for the reply and your kind words about Dahlia. We were together for 14 years and she was there for me through so many ups and downs. She was my best friend...my child, even. I've missed her so much.

As for Elwood (my orange friend), I do hope you're right. I saw on my camera that he came up looking for food this morning around the time I woke up. But I missed him by about 10 min 😔 Of course the raccoons, skunks and possums had eaten everything over night and even turned the food bowl over. But I cleaned it and filled it back up, just as I do every morning. So hopefully he'll come back at some point during the day to get some food.

I had decided it would probably be a good idea to start letting him inside the house before the surgery. I think it would be too jarring for him to go to the vet again, go through that whole ordeal, and then end up in a completely unfamiliar place. The issue is, my husband and I are going on a trip from the 6th-10th...which is why I was waiting until we got back to let him in full-time. I didn't think it was a good idea to let him and then leave him soon after. But I think, if he starts trusting me again, I'll let him in for a little while to explore and hang out. Now that I know he's been treated for parasites, I feel much better about letting him in.

I've just felt so sad this week, especially yesterday. It would make me so happy every time I saw him snoozing on my porch chair. Now it seems empty, and I miss watching him sleep. On a side note, it has been insanely hot here this week with heat indexes over 110°. It seemed he was sleeping more on the concrete behind the chair on Sunday and Monday and it's only gotten hotter since then. So it's possible he's found a cooler spot to rest. But the chair is still covered in his fur, so hopefully he'll claim the chair back when it cools down a bit this weekend.
 

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
19,511
Purraise
36,384
Location
Lion City, Singa-purr
Thank you so much for the reply and your kind words about Dahlia. We were together for 14 years and she was there for me through so many ups and downs. She was my best friend...my child, even. I've missed her so much.

As for Elwood (my orange friend), I do hope you're right. I saw on my camera that he came up looking for food this morning around the time I woke up. But I missed him by about 10 min 😔 Of course the raccoons, skunks and possums had eaten everything over night and even turned the food bowl over. But I cleaned it and filled it back up, just as I do every morning. So hopefully he'll come back at some point during the day to get some food.

I had decided it would probably be a good idea to start letting him inside the house before the surgery. I think it would be too jarring for him to go to the vet again, go through that whole ordeal, and then end up in a completely unfamiliar place. The issue is, my husband and I are going on a trip from the 6th-10th...which is why I was waiting until we got back to let him in full-time. I didn't think it was a good idea to let him and then leave him soon after. But I think, if he starts trusting me again, I'll let him in for a little while to explore and hang out. Now that I know he's been treated for parasites, I feel much better about letting him in.

I've just felt so sad this week, especially yesterday. It would make me so happy every time I saw him snoozing on my porch chair. Now it seems empty, and I miss watching him sleep. On a side note, it has been insanely hot here this week with heat indexes over 110°. It seemed he was sleeping more on the concrete behind the chair on Sunday and Monday and it's only gotten hotter since then. So it's possible he's found a cooler spot to rest. But the chair is still covered in his fur, so hopefully he'll claim the chair back when it cools down a bit this weekend.
My guess is that he’ll keep coming over since he already knows you. Besides you I don’t know if there’s anyone else who is feeding him. I think it’ll be good if you can be there before he comes over as this will help train his mind that every time he comes over, you are there waiting for him with food. This will definitely help him trust you more.

Yes, please do have him into the house earlier and vet’s visits are inevitable and maybe you have to do it once or twice before fully settling down.
Do you have someone in the house when you are away during that period of time? If there’s someone in the house when you are away, you can bring him in first or else then you have to wait till you return and not sure will there be food out for him when you are away.

Yes, he’ll find a cooler place to rest. You can get a sturdy structure to shade the chair so that he can continue using it but if he doesn’t, he’ll be back to the chair once it’s cooler. The chair already has his scents so it’s like it belongs to him now.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

dizkneephreek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 24, 2023
Messages
28
Purraise
78
My guess is that he’ll keep coming over since he already knows you. Besides you I don’t know if there’s anyone else who is feeding him. I think it’ll be good if you can be there before he comes over as this will help train his mind that every time he comes over, you are there waiting for him with food. This will definitely help him trust you more.

Yes, please do have him into the house earlier and vet’s visits are inevitable and maybe you have to do it once or twice before fully settling down.
Do you have someone in the house when you are away during that period of time? If there’s someone in the house when you are away, you can bring him in first or else then you have to wait till you return and not sure will there be food out for him when you are away.

Yes, he’ll find a cooler place to rest. You can get a sturdy structure to shade the chair so that he can continue using it but if he doesn’t, he’ll be back to the chair once it’s cooler. The chair already has his scents so it’s like it belongs to him now.
I wish I could be out there every time he comes to eat. But unfortunately he comes up randomly now. It's very hard to catch him out there, and I can't sit outside all day and night. And my camera doesn't even create notifications every time he comes up, so I've been having to scroll through the entire recorded timeline to find him.

Unfortunately I won't have anyone in the house while we're gone. My mom was planning on stopping by to put food outside for him while we were away. We went away for the weekend a week ago. I put food out for him on Friday, mom came by Saturday afternoon to put food out for him, and I put food out for him on Sunday. But he didn't hang out as much while we were away, which made me nervous about our longer upcoming trip. He's used to me feeding him in the mornings, so I wondered if him not getting food until Saturday afternoon had something to do with it. When I bring him inside I would put out automatic food and water bowls while we're gone so he'll have access to food whenever he wants. But while he's outside, I have to worry about wild critters getting to his food before he can.

He came back about an hour ago. Unfortunately I'm at work so I couldn't go out to greet him 😔 But at least he did get to have some fresh food and water.
 

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
19,511
Purraise
36,384
Location
Lion City, Singa-purr

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
19,511
Purraise
36,384
Location
Lion City, Singa-purr
D dizkneephreek

I forgot the mention this and I don't want to edit my post because you've already read it and you may miss it.

I want to say is, when you go away next week, leave some of your clean unwashed non-perfumed garments at the deck chair and near where he eats. This is to have your scents present so that he won't miss you even if he don't see you and this is to keep him coming back.

Have a safe trip.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

dizkneephreek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 24, 2023
Messages
28
Purraise
78
D dizkneephreek

I forgot the mention this and I don't want to edit my post because you've already read it and you may miss it.

I want to say is, when you go away next week, leave some of your clean unwashed non-perfumed garments at the deck chair and near where he eats. This is to have your scents present so that he won't miss you even if he don't see you and this is to keep him coming back.

Have a safe trip.
That's a great idea! Thank you for the suggestion 😁❤
 

Kwik

Animals are Blessings
Top Cat
Joined
May 29, 2023
Messages
6,944
Purraise
12,687
Location
South Florida
Any way you could cancel your trip and bring him in now? Can't hurt to ask,right?

I hope you have a safe trip and I hope Elwood will be there waiting for your return.....please let us know what happens ,I look forward to hearing Elwood is safe in his forever home with you

I'm so sorry about your Dahlia,I know the heartache and you have my deepest sympathy-sounds like a little orange Blessing came from Heaven 😻
 

Kwik

Animals are Blessings
Top Cat
Joined
May 29, 2023
Messages
6,944
Purraise
12,687
Location
South Florida
I could use some advice. Or maybe just some comfort or encouragement.
July 20 was the one year anniversary of me losing my 16 year old soul kitty, Dahlia. It was an extremely hard day and I stayed home from work. That afternoon I happened to notice an orange floof in my yard near the woods. I feel like I've seen him before but he'd always run off when he saw me. But I really needed some kitty snuggles that day so I thought I'd try my luck. He acted like he was going to run again at first, but then stopped and looked at me. I don't know if he could tell I had been crying or not. But to my surprise he started walking toward me. He still acted a little skittish at first, but quickly started purring and rubbing all over me when he realized I was ok. He even butted his face against mine for kisses. We hung out for a while outside...and then days, weeks later he started coming around more and more. I began feeding him, and he claimed the glider on my front porch as his own. It became a habit of him sleeping out there literally all day. Around 8pm-5am he'd go exploring, but then he'd come right back to snooze and hang out. He's absolutely the sweetest thing. I wasn't looking to adopt any time soon, but I couldn't help but fall in love with this guy and it seemed he had adopted me! It felt like he had been guided to me on the day I needed him the most. I decided to start the process of making things permanent.
So this past Monday I took him to the vet for an exam (he's scheduled to be neutered Sept 15, which is when I planned on bringing him inside). He totally flipped out when I got him in the carrier. Poor thing was trying his best to find a way out, and was panting on the way to the vet. But he was SO good while being examined. Never even hissed or tried to attack. He would snuggle up close to me, and even laid down with his head on my arm. So I thought we were good and he understood I was there to help. He did get treated for worms, got his ears cleaned, vaccinations and blood tests...he tested positive for FIV but otherwise seemed healthy. They scanned for a microchip but didn't find one (I've also asked around the neighborhood and posted about him on my neighborhood FB page, and no one knows anything about him).
I expected him to run off for a while after getting him home. But he's still not returning...at least not like he was. He'll come up at random times to eat, but then go on his way. And a neighbor lady said he's been at her house a few times, but otherwise I have no idea where he's been going.
I just really miss my sweet friend and I'm so scared I've ruined our relationship. I was getting excited at the idea of having a cat again, and I felt bonded with him. And it seemed like he really trusted me and was happy here. Do you think he'll forgive me and start hanging out again? Even though I know what I did was for the best for him, I feel terrible about it now. 😢

View attachment 457934
I love him-he looks very much like my boy Cheech,RIP plus he was always hugging me( every day & night for 19yrs )

This guy is a gem❤
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

dizkneephreek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 24, 2023
Messages
28
Purraise
78
I love him-he looks very much like my boy Cheech,RIP plus he was always hugging me( every day & night for 19yrs )

This guy is a gem❤
I'm so sorry about Cheech. Doesn't matter how long we're blessed with them, it's never enough time.

Dahlia was a special girl. She got me through some of my roughest moments, and saved my life and sanity on more than one occasion. She was my world. I lost her just two months after losing my last grandmother, and four months before losing my last grandfather. 2022 was one of the hardest years of my life.

I really believe Elwood was a gift from above. It all just seems like too much of a coincidence to be just a coincidence, you know?
 

Kwik

Animals are Blessings
Top Cat
Joined
May 29, 2023
Messages
6,944
Purraise
12,687
Location
South Florida
I'm so sorry about Cheech. Doesn't matter how long we're blessed with them, it's never enough time.

Dahlia was a special girl. She got me through some of my roughest moments, and saved my life and sanity on more than one occasion. She was my world. I lost her just two months after losing my last grandmother, and four months before losing my last grandfather. 2022 was one of the hardest years of my life.

I really believe Elwood was a gift from above. It all just seems like too much of a coincidence to be just a coincidence, you know?
Oh I sure do and I don't believe in coincidence,I Believe Elwood is God's Blessing ....

I'm so sorry you've had a year of so much sorrow,I truly am- I pray this year will bring you much happiness and great Joy ❤
And thank you,you're very kind.....you're right,it's never enough time
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16

dizkneephreek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 24, 2023
Messages
28
Purraise
78
So I know this is dumb and probably just my anxiety talking. But y'all have been so sweet and kind so I thought I'd write out my thoughts here.

While I'm thrilled Elwood has been hanging out again since Friday, I can't help but feel a little downhearted. He hasn't been hanging around as long as he did before the vet visit. Before then he'd sleep in my chair literally all day. But now he's just here in the mornings and evenings. He may come up periodically to eat, but then he's off again. I guess I'm just worried...what if he doesn't want me as his person? Or what if he doesn't want this to be his home? What if he isn't happy as an indoor cat? I don't want an indoor/outdoor cat. He does act like he wants inside and will sometimes sit at the door when I come in. I know it's silly, but I've felt a little hurt that he's not around as much. The logical part of me knows he's just being a cat and it's not personal. I'm hoping neutering will help him be more content in one place.

I did consult a pet medium I trust a few weeks ago. She said he wanted to have a home and would be okay as an indoor cat. Might take some adjusting, but it wouldn't be too tough. So I'm trying to hold on to that. But I can't help but wonder what if she's wrong?

I've worked really hard over the weekend to get my house more cat ready. After losing two grandparents last year, I had accumulated a lot of stuff from both of their houses. And honestly I've been too emotionally and mentally overwhelmed to deal with it, so my house has been a mess. But Elwood motivated me to finally get things in order. I guess a part of me is worried I've done all of this for "nothing" (although I know it's not nothing...it needed to be done regardless). I plan on bringing him in this evening for the first time to see how he does. So I guess we'll see!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

dizkneephreek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 24, 2023
Messages
28
Purraise
78
Update: I brought him inside around 4:30 and he stayed until around 7. I knew I needed to get him outside before the skunks and raccoons showed up. He seemed very nervous at first. He was even shaking a little, meowing, just seemed like he felt trapped. I kept petting him and telling him it was ok. He finally ate a couple treats. I sat on the couch and he jumped up next to me. That's when he seemed to really calm down. My husband started moving around upstairs which seemed to put him on edge (understandably). But I gave him some of his food, hoping that something familiar would help out. It seemed to. We got back on the couch and he let me hold him for several minutes (purring the whole time), then he got down and curled up beside me. He slept like that for a good hour, even twitching at one point so I knew he felt comfortable enough to go into a deeper sleep. When I opened the door for him to go out he seemed ready to go. Although he did linger on the threshold while I had the door open.
Hopefully these are all good signs. I don't know. It's been a long time since I had a "new" cat so I'm not sure how long it normally takes for them to calm down. I knew this would be weird for him as it's all new sights, sounds and smells. But I guess I was hoping for more curiosity and less scaredness? Hopefully we'll get there.
Have you all had success turning strays into strictly house kitties? How long did it take them to fully adapt to their new life?
 

poolcat

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 13, 2021
Messages
226
Purraise
411
You'd never guess from that photo that he's an outdoor stray! I think he's found his home! I've brought a few strays inside. Each one was different in the amount of time it took for them to settle in. I doubt Elwood will take long to get adjusted to indoor life.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20

dizkneephreek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 24, 2023
Messages
28
Purraise
78
You'd never guess from that photo that he's an outdoor stray! I think he's found his home! I've brought a few strays inside. Each one was different in the amount of time it took for them to settle in. I doubt Elwood will take long to get adjusted to indoor life.
Thank you for that! That makes my heart happy 😁 I'm going to keep letting him come in so hopefully he'll feel more and more comfortable. Hopefully by the time he gets his surgery he'll feel okay enough to be inside permanently.
 
Top