Cat was wild when he came to us. So wild I was afraid to put my hand close for fear he'd bite me. I kept him in a cage for a week feeding and sitting next to the cage talking for several hours a day. Eventually Cat stopped cowering at the back corner and worked up the courage to eat and drink while I sat nearby. Summer was ending and the evenings were cooler so I moved Cat to the garden shed. There was a lot more space for Cat to move about.
At first Cat stayed hidden behind boxes so that I wondered if Cat had somehow escaped. But the food I put out disappeared and the litter box needed to be emptied so I knew Cat was being shy. Boy Grand and Baby Grand visited the shed often and Cat grew accustomed to them. Cat finally got brave enough to come out when I opened the door with food to peek at me and finally to come to the food bowl if I gave him enough personal space.
One day Cat looked at me and shyly meowed. It was a big step for Cat and Me. I propped open the shed door and sat back. Cat put both front paws outside the door and felt the dirt. Cat looked left and right and made some tiny meow noises. Then Cat walked out into the big garden area before sprinting off to the barn.
Cat stayed out of sight for several days and did not come to the shed to eat. I sadly thought Cat had found a different home until Hubs caught sight of Cat in the barn. But Cat remained allusive.
Winter set in with a cold blast of air and some icy rain. I worried about Cat until one morning Hubs caught Cat leaving one of the nesting boxes in the Chicken Pen. Cat had a warm cozy spot to sleep. Boy Grand calls Cat "Chik Chik" because he believes Cat might be confused and thinks of itself as a chicken.
We kept a close watch and started seeing Cat with the chickens often. One day the chickens made their way to the back yard when I noticed Cat walking along with them! Cat stretched out on a garden bench in the sun and lazily watched while the Chickens went about pecking in the grass. As the chickens moved away Cat moved with them.
More and more often Cat joined the chickens while they fed around the homestead. Cat particularly liked walking with the littlest Red Hen. One day I noticed Cat and Little Red Hen looking in my front door together. That's When I knew they are best buddies.
I soon realized they were looking out for each other. One afternoon I noticed them together in the front yard. Little Red Hen pecked something out of the grass, walked to the sidewalk and dropped it. She stood guard over the prize until Cat came. Cat dutifully ate the prize while she watched on.
It occurred to me Cat might be hungry so I took a handful of cat food to the spot where Little Red Hen had fed Cat. Cat heard me call and came back to the spot. Cat smelled the dry food I'd left but didn't eat. Instead, Cat walked to Little Red Hen, walked in a circle around her and gently allowed his tail to wrap around her before walking back to the food I'd left. Cat waited until Little Red Hen came over and ate the food! Amazing!
A few days ago Cat came to the back door and meowed. I took that as a sign Cat wanted to be fed and made a little pile of cat food on the porch. Cat ate about half of the food then looked toward the Chicken Pen and meowed. All the chickens came running and finished off the cat food! Unbelievable!
Today Baby Grand and I were enjoying the warm weather on the back porch when the chickens and Cat came to see what we were doing. Baby Grand spread some cat food out on the porch, then we watched with glee as the chickens and Cat ate together.