Not a pet–but I’ve finally made friends with the local community cat.
He has a clipped ear, so he’s gone through a Trap-Neuter-Return program. And he generally seems to be in good health, though his eyes are a little crusty. A neighbor put out a blanket for him to hang out on.
It took a long time before I even saw him outside of rare glimpses–so really skittish at first. Eventually I could get to about 10 feet away before he would hiss.
I started bringing snacks. At first, I’d put them down at the 10 foot radius, then back off. He certainly didn’t hesitate to chow down once I was out of range. Over time, I could get a little closer, and he would get closer to me. Early on, I sometimes got a little too close and he’d do a weird squeak/hiss sound. Back off, and don’t push it.
But eventually he started coming right up to me, even bumping my hand as I put the food down. Again, starting slowly, I’d give him a gentle pet. Each day I’d pet a little longer, or in a new area. And now I’m giving him full length pets on the back and ear scritches. He seems to like that as much as the food now. And the other night he walked around a bit with his tail raised, which is usually a pretty good sign of being relaxed and comfortable.
I don’t have a name for him, but here he is: