Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: near Washington, DC
Thank you for taking care of the cat.
Use, TNR cats usually stay in the area IF there is enough food. I have been feeding a colony of around 10 cats, around five have been previously owned, for around two years. The really feral cats have become somewhat more accustom to me but not a lot. The stray/dumped cats, continue to let me pet them. During the same time period, I TNRd 35 cats, obviously not all stuck around to dine at "my restaurant" (a/k/a dumpster).
Regarding ear tipping, if this is the only cat you see, then not necesary. But some organization requires ear tipping (Alley Cat Allies), although if you explain you plan to foster the cat, then they might waive that requirement. I ear tip the cats I TNR, it's the only way I can tell if it's a new cat that I need to TNR.
The garage set up seems fine. Though depending on where you live, you might look into safe heat sources; straw works well in an igloo device (search the internet and cat forums for pictures, how to).
Regarding tamming Mouse, you can get an idea NOW how tamable Mouse might be. How close can you get to Mouse? Can you sit kind of near her when she is eating? The optimal age is around three months or less, but my friend rescued Ritz and her brothers and sisters when they were closer to five or six months old. And, Ritz is a lap cat and likes her belly rubbed (but still skittish--that's simply her personality; her brothers and sisters aren't like that). A lot depends on the cat; it's them not you.
I can tell you in my experience there is little correlation to how the cat reacts in the trap to how tamable they will be. The cat that reacted the most violently when TNRd turned out to be a real love bug who purrs 24x7. Though he hates other cats with a passion.
In conclusion, I would certainly first get it fully vetted, including tested for FIV/FELK and continue feeding Mouse after he is neutered/spayed.