Last night I saw a familiar-looking cat in my garden. With food and patience, I managed to eventually lightly touch the cat, and seeing my chance, I grabbed it and took it inside. I was fairly sure it was the same cat I had visiting for a month this spring...
but upon closer examination, this is a boy. And much smaller than what I assume must be his mother, because she was probably pregnant when she suddenly left me, and that makes this cat 4 months and up to 12 additional days old. He's certainly small enough to be that age.
So, to the best of my knowledge, he was born in the wilds, by a tame mother. I've been in touch with the mother's owner. I'm free to keep this half-feral if I want to, but of course I can't. I'm leaving the country in two weeks. But I want to do the best I can for him while I can.
How do you tame a half-feral cat? He's been hiding under my bookshelf almost the entire time. I stick food under there for him, and he eats it. Apart from the bites and scratches I received during my surprise capture of him, he hasn't attacked me, though he'll frequently hiss at me when I intrude on his secret hiding place. I can pull him out from there, I can hold him and pet him for a little bit. If I bring him over to the food, he'll eat, then slink back into hiding. I have no clue if his mama trained him to bury his excrement. I've put out a litterbox for him, but I doubt he'll dare come out of hiding to go use it.
Due to the repairs on my place STILL NOT BEING DONE after 3 months 18 days (out of an estimate of 2 months), my place is a mess and I don't have the space I'd have liked to devote to a kitty area.
I have not smelled anything bad yet. Maybe he's constipated. He's been here for about 24 hours now. He has a bit of a cough, just like his mother had (I treated hers with penicillin and she got better). Other than that and being very skinny, he looks healthy.