Seeing Raleigh evolve is interesting. He is not nearly so fearful as he was. A colleague from the rescue-group came by on Saturday to clean Raleigh’s ears and apply an ointment to fight ear-mites; afterward, Raleigh hid. He may still have a ways to go when meeting other people, but he is gaining confidence daily with me and living in the apartment.
I have let him out for short periods this week. Last night, he roamed about the apartment, cautiously. I crept along with him, and he continually looked back to see if I was there. When paused, I put my hand on him and he moved forward again. I kept talking to him and the other cats.
The new arrival had a close encounter with Cammie and I had to act swiftly to avoid bloodshed. The princess was not fooling around. Parker hissed at Raleigh, but allowed him to come very close; I think I can work on that. Tucker hissed and moved away; he probably is simply tired of all the new cats. Renn and Josie were calm and largely unconcerned.
My peach-hued guest explored the hall and corridor, then the sitting room, before lying next to me on the couch for a while. I think letting him out with all the other beasts, but under strict supervision, is feasible. On the weekend, I will sequester the more anxious cats and let Raleigh roam more freely with just Renn and Josie free.
Raleigh’s coat is much improved now. It is smoother and softer than it was just a week ago. He has been receiving good food; that undoubtedly makes a difference. As well, he is probably feeling safe. Having a comfy bed and a full tummy does wonders, I think. He likes being on my lap; he purrs and flexes his big snow-shoe paws a great deal - though the other night, I made the mistake of having him on my lap while eating - trying to eat - a Pop-tart. Those spatulas of his certainly do make holding a hungry cat difficult.
On the negative side, he continues to drool and his breath is bad. Though his teeth may have been ‘good’ for a feral and an FIV-positive cat, I suspect some at least are in need of repair or removal.
Raleigh is starting to groom himself. I have seen him do it, though he stops when I walk into the bathroom. I have also seen damp tufts of hair from, probably, his tail. He threw up a hairball yesterday, which suggests a satisfactory amount of grooming, if not of the disposal of the results. He is starting to be an inside cat again.
On that note, his voice is coming back. If it is true that cats only meow to humans, then while trying to live outside, he would not have used his voice much. I joked earlier that he sounded like a child with laryngitis. That may not be far from the truth. When he first tried to speak to me, he was silent. Then, he developed a raspy, breathless speech. Next, it resembled a person trying to talk while inhaling rather than exhaling, a grating sound (grating to the ear, not the nerves). Now, it is a metallic squeak.
Raleigh will probably go on the rescue-group’s website as a cat available for adoption. I think he would indeed do very well as a family pet; though I have known him for only two weeks, he seems an easy-going fellow - certainly with people. Once I see him interact more with his fellow felines, I’ll be able to describe him better to potential adopters. But an FIV-positive cat doesn’t generate much interest, and Raleigh would need at least a couple weeks of patience on the part of any new person before his timidity was overcome. Until then, he will have a home; hopefully, it will be one he finds welcoming and safe.