Making more progress
Shadow's progress continues. We went from very small touches of his feet, to petting with a wand toy to light toughing to now full blown all over petting and brushing. This all happened within a month. He loves to be pet as long as he doesn't find me giving too long of eye contact. Close range eye contact still freaks him out a bit. On Sunday, my son was playing with the wand toy with Shadow and he was able to pet him too. This was just huge!! He is hanging out in the house, out on the deck or in our yard for a good part if not all of the day.
I am still working on getting Shadow and Jake (our indoor kitty) acclimated. Since mid February they have been spending time together while Jake is in a medium sized dog cage or Jake is in a pop up cat tent. This keeps them separated, but allows sniffs and some paw touching. There has been no hissing or growling, yet Jake often takes his paw with his claws out to swipe Shadow. This used to freak Shadow out and he would run. No he will sometimes swipe back. For the most part it is playful. Yet occasionally Jake will have his mean face on with ears back. I had tried to bring Jake out of the cage and hold him while Shadow is inside. Yet each time, Jake seemed very afraid. I often leave the door cracked for Shadow so he can quickly get outside if he gets too scared. When he is just inside to sleep, I do close the door. So with Jake out of the cage, I have to worry about him getting outside when the door is open. Jake has a harness that he will sometimes use when we take him outside on the deck. I put it on and we went outside on the deck while Shadow was out too. Shadow immediately came up to Jake and ducked his head and rubbed under Jake's chin. Jake returned the favor. It was quite sweet. They then sniffed and sniffed each other. Shadow soon moved over near the edge of the deck and was watching a squirrel. Jake wanted to go too. Thank goodness for the harness with leash. He got up close to Shadow and took him paw and swiped him on the backside. It startled Shadow. After a few minutes Jake and I went back inside. This was a great first step. So today, I decided to try again when Shadow came inside. They sniffed again, but then Jake lunged. He didn't use his paws or claws, just a lunge forward. Shadow moved away. Jake wanted to be by Shadow and just stare.
I am a bit leery with Jake. Sometimes he seems calm and relaxed while others he shows ears back and a mean face. Shadow will sometimes narrow his eyes when Jake is acting this way, but retreats or runs away.
This is all just a slow process that I am hoping avoids as many setbacks as possible.
My other concern is getting Shadow inside during bad weather. Yesterday we had big thunderstorms with high winds, rain and some hail. I worry so much about him. I thought once the cold cold winter was over, I would worry less, but now it does nothing but rain!