Just over a year ago I posted about Kramer, our adopted cat / companion / son. This is how I described him at the time:
He was a feral outside cat for over a year, so he’s still pretty wary of us — we can’t touch him, or even get near him. He usually sleeps under our bottom step where we can’t reach him. But he’s started spending a little more time with us, even playing with us a bit.
While he’s still far from being a lap cat, he’s made incredible progress. He hangs out with us far more often, rarely sleeping under the stairs anymore. We bought him a stand so he can stare out the window at birds and squirrels. He shows us his belly when he sleeps. He can’t quite meow, but he squeaks at us with enthusiasm. He demands to play with us on a regular basis, and will now even hang out and play when company is over vs. just hiding behind the bed.
In the past couple months he’s been rather at war with himself too: he’s become obsessed with rubbing his face and body on whatever toy we dangle in front of him. He arches his back and puffs his tail like he’s ready to be petted, but then just can’t quite get there. He’s desperate to feel some contact, but still runs away from (or hisses at) our hands if they come too close. In a few of his playtime fugue states I’ve managed to pet him briefly, and once he even let me scratch his little face with my fingers before running away.
So it’s slow, steady progress, but when I look back at what he was like when we first got him — hiding 99% of the time, hissing constantly, sometimes peeing on our stuff — he’s a different cat.