And how's the former feral doing, bluemilk?
I should share a story too... I often tell the story of Hilda, whom I named so because she reminded me of my aunt Hilda, who constantly had something to object to everything. (Actually, the cat's full name is Hildegaard von B' now, B being our neighborhood name, and it's inspired by Hildegaard von Bingen, whose music I love and I passed by Bingen on a trip in the Rhine, which I loved too).
When I first moved into this building 4 years ago, Hilda wouldn't let anyone sleep at night, that's how ferocious and noisy she was. Neighbors feared her (I feared her too) because she could bite and scratch for no reason. I didn't have cats or know the first thing about cats back then, except that they are scary, grey things that jump out of the garbage room in buildings and make disposing of garbage a scary experience.
When I started feeding the strays downstairs at the superintendent's insistance, this cat started rubbing on me one day and I stopped her immediately, told her that was off-limits. "I give you cats food, but touching me is off-limits!"
Soon, however, she taught me that a plan is something you have until a cat decides otherwise. She continued rubbing on me, but wouldn't let me stroke her head for more than a second. She was the terror of the street, the poor colony cats preferred to go hungry than come eat the yummy food I set down for them each night, so I asked for help from someone who knows a lot about cats.
That's how Hilda got TNR'ed immediately and I was told that she was in heat at the time of the spaying, and that she was probably an abandoned cat who was simply terrified. I started giving her preferential treatment at feeding times, and when I adopted Princess off the park bench (2 strays fit on a bench for meals, and the ones who had claimed those 2 spaces for their own are nowadays house cats of mine, so there was room left), Hilda took her place, which gave her access to spending hours next to me, and one day, she timidly, tentatively made towards my lap.
I also trained her to respond to her name, especially when she got scared. She learned to respond to my call and come to me for refuge and reassurance instead of attacking when she feared a dog, cat, human. Nowadays she spends life between the porch of the building, my lap and frolicking around the garden, and when something makes her feel unsure, she runs to me and sits on my lap or hides between my legs. There hasn't been any noise, biting or scratching from her in about a year. She's a sweet lap cat with occasional feisty behaviors. She has a mommy, me, even though I can't take her upstairs to my home, and spends more time with me, playing, being brushed and petted, than my own house cats.