Odd feral behavior
I have a small colony of 3 fixed feral cats who have lived on my back deck for three years. Simon is oldest, and is probably the father of Brighton and Esther, 3 year old siblings.
This spring, another itinerant male kitty came prowling around our ravine. It's a perfect place for cats - wooded, with a fresh spring, plenty of cover, and soft-hearted humans who will feed kitties. This new cat is a male and not neutered (yet), all grey with a white tuft on his chest. He's very pretty, but cocky.
All the times we've seen him before, he would walk around the area calling. It was trilling and yodeling and caroling - not aggressive, and certainly not a heat call. We could hear him everywhere. Our fixed males at first were curious about him, but when the grey boy attacked Simon, Brighton decided to be proactive and keep watch for grey boy and run him off if necessary. We've started our TNR project again (I've trapped 11 cats in a nearby neighborhood, and one yellow boy from my ravine), and we've decided to get grey boy fixed, except he disappeared.
He showed up today again, and he's displaying behavior we find bizarre. Our feral cats are at the top of the hill on the deck, and he sits at the bottom of the ravine in full sight and just stays there. He doesn't call or act aggressive, he just lays down and doesn't move around much. Brighton walked right past him and didn't even look at him, and Simon prowled around him closely enough that he clearly knew grey boy was there.
The boy did get up and move around, he got a drink of water from the spring and ate a little kibble we put out for him. Then, he went right back to the same place and laid down. He's not limping, shows no sign of injury anywhere, and reacts to my presence and the other cats in ways that show he knows what's going on, but he is silent. I heard him call twice, but he normally yowls constantly.
If he's sick, he could be in our shed in the ravine or in a number of good hiding places. Is this sick behavior? I can't tell. The other cats show him no aggression, though they did before. I just don't know what to make of all this.
He's gone again. I'm trying to trap him, but he's pretty savvy and wouldn't go for the tuna I put out. Any ideas?