UPDATE - December
Below is the story of Fluff, which began in September. He is now all vaccinated, microchipped and desexed, seeking a forever home with kind humans he can trust and preferably not have to share with other cats. There are five others here, and it stresses him out having them all rushing around. I would expect he is also not keen on dogs.
Fluff is extremely cautious and will run away and hide from people he doesn't trust. When he was first brought to the sanctuary and was freaking out with fear he gave somebody some pretty serious scratches when they tried to grab him. So you need to let him come to you, don't chase him, and if he's hissing or growling, stay out of his reach. He won't growl anymore once he likes you (though he still sometimes accidentally hisses), he will talk to you, run his noisy motor and want tons of patting, and you'll even be able to grab him and lift him up, but it takes time. Needless to say, do not trust children with him!
In the winter, he grows a ridiculous woolly coat and turns into a brown cloud. Most of it falls out in the summer, but he still has a hugely poofy tail. Luckily, he quite likes to be brushed. His tongue pokes out of his mouth a lot, possibly due to some missing teeth.
Original entry from September:
Hi everyone, Tim here. I've missed my regular blog for a few weeks due to assorted goings-on...
So we left off last time with this igloo, which contained a growling, hissing monster named Fluff.
Michelle did some ninja moves while clad in a leather jacket for protection against his knives, and got igloo and beast safely into a carry crate and I brought him home.
This is his new home - the bedroom in my granny flat (aka the holiday cabin that was already on the block before we built our new house). We put his igloo over in the corner next to the brown table.
So he spent the next week alternately lurking in his igloo making horrible noises if approached too closely, and teleporting about the place when no-one was there to see him move (which is how he ended up behind the lattice below). I tried tempting him with all sorts of things that cats normally find irresistible, like dried cordyline palm leaves and the end of a rope. The rope was the first thing he didn't hate, but he didn't try to play with it either. The thing that most interested him was shadows moving around, cast from the light of my phone.
One day I found a weird hairy thing on the carpet. It appeared to be a dreadlock he'd removed from himself. I also tried sleeping on the bed several times, as well as attaching a brush to a stick (it's actually the handle of a fly-swatter) and shoving it into his igloo to pat him. He didn't entirely hate this.
After about a week, he was starting to peer out at me sometimes to see what I was doing, but I thought he needed something more, so I got a refill for my Feliway diffuser from the vet's and plugged that into the powerpoint next to his igloo.
The next day he came out of his igloo and went under the bed when I brought him his dinner, and became interested in fighting the rope and the palm leaf at last.
The day after that, he let me pat him on the head with the brush on the stick!
Then a couple of days after that, he seemed friendly enough that I didn't need the stick.
That was September 17. Also on that day, one of my other cats, Delilah, didn't come home for dinner, and she is still missing. :(
Over the next few days, he moved around more while being observed...
And then suddenly on the 20th, I was trying to scritch him with the brush again and he decided he didn't want prodding with a brush, and came over to demand actual patting!
And he kept doing it...
It was around this time that I discovered he drools when he's happy... yuk!
So, he's coming along. He still won't come out far from the edge of the bed, and he walks in circuits where he comes for pats, then goes back under.
And he hisses every time I come back into his room after being away, he doesn't like being loomed over, and he doesn't like sudden movements.
But he sure does like the pats!
UPDATE - October 30.
Fluff now happily hangs out in the main room of the granny flat and goes out into an enclosure on the deck. He now says 'maow' the majority of the time when previously a hiss would have come out, and he can approach me when I'm standing up, bump into my legs, etc. He likes to fight cordyline leaves and other rustly objects, really loves the pats, and even likes belly rubs. Still working on being able to restrain him or pick him up.
I have listed him as available for adoption - if you're interested in him, you will need to come and visit him in his home, probably multiple times, until he trusts you, as he seems to have decided he <3s me so much, that for strangers to drag him away might break him all over again, and nobody needs that!