I sort of kinda have a cat now. He's (I'm pretty sure he's a guy) an outside cat, and will probably remain an outside cat. He likes to do his own cat thing, and I don't think he'd adapt well to condo living with no cat door to freedom at will, never mind life with a dog. But he's most appreciative of the occasional can of Friskies and bowl of fresh water. He dined here on Sunday and I didn't see him all week, though I think he slept on the balcony. Last night I came home from work and took Sophie for her walk, and he saw us from the end of the street and came RUNNING! Tail up, happy cat, he spotted me and came running! Mommy's HOME!
Then he caught himself and veered off, embarrassed - I wasn't running toward you like a dog at all! Nope, nope, I was heading for this driveway over here. Move along, nothing to see here, I'll just...follow you up the street. Did I say follow you? Heh, no, I'm not following you! I just happen to be walking in that direction. If you feel like opening a can later, yanno, I might be interested. Maybe.
We are having a few chilly nights (they won't last), so I made a bed for him in a corner on the front balcony - a flattish Amazon box lined with a nice cushiony crate pad and a faux-sheepskin dog blanket/throw that nobody ever cared to use. I wasn't sure he found it, but when I got up this morning there definitely was a cat shaped dent in the blanket, and Sophie charged over to give it a fascinated sniffing. I let her - they can get used to each other's scents at a safe distance for now.
Tonight he was waiting on the balcony wall, ate an entire can of food in one sitting, resumed his perch on the wall and let me get within about four feet before calmly moving two feet down the wall - we are closing the gap gradually. I watched out the window as he climbed into his bed and snuggled down. I'll let him sleep off dinner for a couple of hours before I take Sophie out for her bedtime walkie, and I'll announce my intention before opening the door, so he can flee if he feels the need, and come back after she's safely inside for the night.
This isn't a feral cat. He's had a home before, and he appears to think he has one again.
PS: I took Sophie out for her pre-bedtime pee-pee shortly before 10. The cat was annoyed at being disturbed. He leaped out of his bed and sat in front of the stairs, blocking my path, and hissed at me. I was holding Sophie, because I don't know this cat well enough to be sure he wouldn't lash out at her, and I responded to his little temper fit with a firm, "You'd better not hiss at ME or you can kiss that warm bed and food goodbye!" and he turned and ran down the stairs in front of us. When we returned from our mission he was back on the balcony wall at the top of the stairs, and we passed within two feet of him without any issues. I paused and let him look at Sophie, and Sophie at the cat, and they were very proper and polite - no doubt because I was there. We went inside, and he went back to bed. When I woke up at 6 this morning, the bed was empty. He was off doing cat things again. I don't think he has any desire to be an indoor cat.