I found a super nice woman who has a group that TNRs in a pretty rough city, and sometimes they have cats that need to be relocated. I decided to "take in" two feral kitties for my yard, as I have a chicken coop with a rodent problem, and it seemed like a win-win solution for everyone. She chose a pair of year and half-ish old semi-feral males, probably brothers, who were in a pickle at the complex where they'd been fed for the past year. They needed relocation badly, and she thought they fit in with my situation well. She had them vetted and we made arrangements for her to bring them over.
I set up my mud room for them with a cat flap in the exterior door so that, eventually when they're ready to be released, they can come into the mud room for shelter and food, etc. There's an outlet out there where I can plug in a heated house and water bowl. My plan was to eventually get them comfortable enough to be able to lock the flap at night so they're shut in the mud room til morning. In the meantime, I set up a dog crate to keep them in for at least a month, and started to get pretty excited about taking these boys in!
When the woman came over, she only had one cat with her...a tuxedo. She said that the other guy, a tabby, escaped in her garage, and she'd try to re-trap him and bring him over ASAP. No big deal, I got the tux set up and figured he'd see his partner in a few days or so. A couple days later, I got a heartbreaking email that the tabby had escaped the garage
I don't think he's been spotted since, but she's got food and traps out. I'm sooo upset. Not only am I worried that he'll never be seen again, I'm also worried for my poor tux boy. I really don't want to release a lone cat. I feel sorry for him.
Also, he's not very feral. He hides and doesn't want to be touched, but I can go into his crate to clean and feed, and he doesn't hiss or growl. Just kinda backs away. I guess they were pretty comfortable with the girl who fed them when they were at the complex and would come out to rub against her legs, etc. I like this tux boy a lot and I almost feel like there's a possibility this cat could be turned around, and might be better off in an indoor home. I feel like I'm cheating him out of that. The problem is that I really can't take another cat inside. I have five and one more would *really* be pushing it. I was almost considering talking to the woman and seeing if we could find him a more suitable situation while I fostered him in the meantime, and taking in a different pair from her instead. I think I'd feel MUCH better about him staying with me if he had his brother...I think I have a good setup and a couple of cats would be happy and well cared for here, but what are the chances that the tabby actually sticks around her yard to be trapped again?
I'm not really sure what the best choice is. Any advice, suggestions, input would be appreciated!