BK having breakfast on the back porch just prior to lap snuggles.
We have had some cold nights lately. After the first cold night, I awoke to find that the kitty village was at full occupancy. BK was in his house and I couldn't tell who was occupying the other house, but I was pleased to see that some kitty was staying warm.
I think the last thing I wrote about BK was how he had melted in my lap. That continued for a few days more after I wrote about it. But then I tried to capture him by placing a towel in my lap and then waiting for him to relax in my lap. Then it was a matter of speedily making a kitty burrito out of him. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but it was a major fail. He freaked, peed on me, bit me and scratched me good. The flesh wounds didn't hurt me, but his intense fear of me was heartbreaking for me.
Regaining his trust has been a slow slow process. It took weeks before he would even approach me again. Eventually he warmed up to being petted but didn't want anything more to do with my lap. These last few days with the temperature the coldest it has been this year, he has been more interested in my lap again. But he is far from melting into me, he remains cautious as he perches in my lap. Each day brings more progress. Yesterday morning he curled up in my lap as if he was going to take a snooze, then a noise startled him and he shot away.
I still desire to trap him and get him over to the vet. I have all the equipment needed to make it so, all I am lacking is finding the courage to risk losing his trust again. After the trauma of the last attempt, I realized my biggest fear is re-traumatizing him so that he decides never to return. I realize logically this fear may be crazy, but my deep seated feline-codependent driven fear makes this a significant emotionally hurdle for me. I think it would be slightly easier if I didn't have an emotional attachment to him.
What I wish for is to have an experienced TNR person to assist me (hold my hand) with both the logistical and emotional elements of this operation. I'm not sure how to find this person though. I just got the list of Feral Friends for my area from Alley Cat Allies and even though there is no one super close by, I may reach out to a few people in nearby cities to see if they might help.
In the meantime, I will continue to provide a warm, loving lap to BK anytime he desires. He loves to have his head and face rubbed. As I have been loving on him these past few cold mornings, I have been thinking through all that would be required to run electricity over to the cat houses so I can provide outdoor heating pads to keep them good and toasty. It's only a little more money.