Griz is doing really really well these days. Well, he still has the bee-yew-tee-full sore on the side of his head b/c he won't leave it alone, but he has gained lots of weight the last several weeks so I think his FIV isn't as far along as I had feared. I have been buying him canned food but just giving him a couple of tablespoons' worth every couple nights (after dinner and after TC leaves for her evening constitutional), which I think has helped. Last night I really gave him a pretty thorough once-over and he is feeling nice and filled out and very solid except his hips are a little bony still.
He still seems just as cantankerous towards other cats as before being snipped but does stay around the porch a lot more and never shows up with new battle wounds anymore, so he apparently doesn't follow through at least. He smacks TC on the head once in a while when she pushes into his bowl one too many times, and he still puts up quite a fuss when Richard "Beau" Harris tries to come get food, but just a vocal one with lots of puffed-up-ness and stiff-leg walking. Beau obviously doesn't know Griz is snipped because about half the time he decides it's not worth persisting; I think it mostly depends on how hungry he is.
He is more loving and attention-wanting every day. Well the canned food helps but very often even after I put it down he stays at the sliding glass door to try to get in contact with my hand. He doesn't really care how - he likes being petted but he likes just as much if I hold my hand still and he just pushes his head against it and holds it there. If anyone ever turned up who wouldn't mind trying to socialize him and didn't have any other cats or who had other FIV cats I am certain that with time he would be the lovy-est cat ever.
Mind you, if I'm standing or if I have anything a little different in my hands, he is wary. If I just step out a little to put stuff in the recycle bin, he runs to the other side of the porch. If I come on out to go to the garbage can out back or something, he normally jumps down off the porch completely but then within seconds of my going back in, he's back on the deck.
Beau (his real name is Richard Harris because he's huge and white and lanky and looks like he had some hard-drinking days - or the cat version of same - for all I know he really is the reincarnation of RH) is looking far less beat-up now that Griz is no longer in pugilist mode, proof that most of the wounds were probably coming from Gris-Gris. He is also filling out a little in time for winter, which I'm very glad about. It helps that he is bolder not only about G. but about seeing movement inside the house - it used to be if he even saw slight movement way way inside (like my moving to sip coffee on the couch at the other side of the living room - about 8 yards in) he would take off but now he's decided he can get away in time even if I'm walking around as long as I'm several feet away from the sliding door. I really should have got him TNRed by now but he is so incredibly wary, with time he will be even less suspicious hopefully and I can get him trapped.
TC is TC. Her yearly summer habit of licking all the hair off her legs was in full force again this year but they're almost OK again now. I was lazy and didn't try catching her very much. I'm convinced she can't have kittens, either from being spayed or from some physiological issue, since she has been hanging out with the toms now for 3 years to no effect. Still she could use a rabies shot and possibly some testing. It's a given she's FIV positive since most feral/strays are, and since she has shared bowls with Griz so long and they lick each other now and then, but she's holding her own.
She is super fat right now b/c I've been putting extra food out so there is plenty for Beau even after she and Griz finish breakfast (nighttime food is just as much as they will eat in one sitting so as not to attract the skunk or the possum, both of whom decided the deck was their smorgasbord as well) but I've decided her obesity is kind of OK if it's what has to happen to get the other two ready for colder weather. Well, and "super fat" for her, or any backyard stray, is about even with most people's housecats' normal weight so...
She still will come up really close as long as you don't touch her and gives a yelp and glares at you if you have the audacity to try, unless she's super hungry. However: about a week ago I think her other personality had taken over or something because she actually rubbed up against my hand a couple of times, and then she jumped back in surprise, with the token yelp, as if I had been the one to violate protocol. Since then she is back to normal. I'm still kind of dumbfounded.
I've been feeling bad about not being able to stay as active as I had planned with our feral cat management group but my standard rationalization is still in place - at least I'm helping these guys hopefully. I'm supposed to re-establish and renovate our Feral Cat Program webpage now so that will be good for redeeming myself a bit since I can do that on my own schedule and I almost never can make meetings, and haven't been very diligent about TNRing.
Sam and Lucy (EVEN Lucy!) think the porch cat situation is OK nowadays. Lucy was always the worst - throwing herself at the sliding glass door on occasion - especially with Beau - but now they are both downright blasé (I'm resisting the temptation to put an "s" on that). And they have learned that my moments with Griz will sometimes afford them a teensy bit of canned food (they're weird - they actually aren't crazy about canned food in general but they think they're starving these days so it's the extra snack factor rather than its being anything special that they get excited about - and we're talking about a little bit approximately the same size as a Hershey's kiss, slightly more for Sammers since his metabolism handles it better, and that about twice a week).