I am uncertain how to proceed with Hampton. He has made so much progress on his own with very little guidance from me. I have never pushed him to come out of his shell, but instead allowed him the freedom to progress on his own. He is very interested in watching me interact with Shadow and Stellar, but I can tell he is just not ready for anything more.
When I worked with Shadow, Patches, Orange Kitty, Stellar and Cisco, each one of them was driven by chicken. I could toss a piece to them and then each toss I would put a bit closer to me. The cats loved the chicken and before they knew it, they were right next to me. That was always one of the first steps. Hampton might eat the first piece of chicken, but the rest of the pieces go untouched. So food may not be a motivator for him.
I brought out the da bird wand toy the other night. Shadow and Stellar went crazy for it. Hampton watched for about a minute, then he ran under the deck. I am not sure he had ever seen a toy before. He does love the scratchy mats and is also interested in a few toy mice. The wand toy was just too overwhelming. I guess it is one step at a time.
He is coming up onto the deck to eat and also to hang out in the evening. He even is waiting on the deck by the sliding door in the morning with the other cats. Yet, if I go outside, he watches for a bit and then retreats under the deck or scurries to a corner of the deck so that he has an easy exit. His eyes are a big as saucers. If I toss a toy in his direction, he will not touch it or smell it until I have gone inside.
He does stay the entire night. He arrives between 5-7pm and stays until around 8am. Then I have no idea where he goes. I assume it’s not too far and I am hopeful he is not crossing any streets. He must have a spot under a deck somewhere that is cool and away from people and noise. During the night he sleeps on the deck with Shadow and Stellar. He will sleep on the love seat, under the love seat, on the deck and even in his feeding station. He has taken great interest in his feeding station and likes to rub his face all over the sides of it. He realizes it belongs to him. It now has his name on it too!
I am not in a hurry to try and socialize Hampton. I believe it will come naturally when he gets brave enough. By watching me interact with Shadow and Stellar, he is learning so much. It may be a longer process, but I do not feel that pushing his boundary line is a good idea. I want him to know that this is his home and he has nothing to fear.