On the day he was to be released, I carried him to the front door and let him look outside. He was very excited, happy even. Randy opened the door, and I let him walk out on his own. I thought maybe he'd choose to stay inside with me. Nope, he chose freedom, no hesitation.
Below he walks from the front door, looking timid and hunched down still, the way he looked inside the house.
He turned and looked back at me and I spoke to him. On the edge of freedom here.
Benji hesitates and looks around the yard. He looks upset, ears partially back as he listens to me encouraging him.
And then he slinks off. Yes, the yard is out of control. It's been raining every day and we haven't been able to mow.
And now, look, he's back to his old self! Ears are up. He's walking tall, no more being hunched over. No more being scared. The old Benji personality has returned.
He looks around the yard. His yard.
And he looks back at me with glowing wild eyes. He's happy again.
Since he's been released Benjamin has taken up his old position as lead outside cat. He's much more dominant than the other 2 resident outside cats. We were hoping that by getting him fixed it would mellow him out some. But he still chases the other cats and shows he's the boss. Maybe it takes time.
He's very sweet to us now, he lets us pet him, even though he's outside. He hangs out very close to our house, is always around. On the first night outside I sat on the front porch and pet him for a while. I brought out the little cat toys (little mice) he had when he was locked inside, and he was very happy to see and play with them again. He loved his toy mice when he was locked up inside.
I wish we could have found a home for him, but there's so many stray cats, no one seems to want another. And truly, Benji is happy being free. He was different inside, a broken cat. Now he's Benjamin, ruler of Razzberry Corner's yard.