Last November, in my post On Becoming A Cat Person, two of the cats I wrote about who had become a part of my life were Katrina and Gilbert.
Katrina was a frequent guest in our home who occasionally escaped, only to be recaptured after a few days, weeks or months. After her last escape in May of 2020, she went her longest period of time outdoors. She never left and basically lived on and under our backyard deck and coming to our patio door when she wanted to be fed. With winter approaching in December, I decided to try and recapture her again. I used the tried and true method to entice her into the house with food and then close the patio screen door, but she was wary of this and would bolt out of the house at the slightest suspicion that anything was afoot. I decided to play the long game with her and let her come in the house night at night without making any attempt to shut her in so that she might let her guard down. Then one night in mid-December, even with me standing right by the back door, Katrina strode into the dining room. Amazed at my luck, I slid the patio door shut and just like that she was back in the house. It was kind of funny, as she looked up in shock as she realized what happened to her.
One change I made after her previous stays with us was to block her access behind the love seat in the living room, as she would spend the majority of her day hiding behind or underneath it. While Katrina is still very shy and won't let us pet her, if I put my hand in front of her, sometimes she will lean forward to sniff it and then I will touch her on the nose. In some ways she is a little less shy than she was before. Now she follows Snickers into the kitchen when he comes in to pester me to give him treats. She is also more likely to nap out in the open and often seems unphased by our presence. Sadly, she still has her frequent bouts of asthma attacks, and because she won't let me get close to her, I can't give her the medicine that I would give to Snickers when he would have his semi-annual respiratory issues. Otherwise she seems to have settled back in nicely and often plays around with Snickers, sometimes even initiating contact with him and getting him to lick her fur.