Late the 23rd, I heard funny noises on the front porch. Sure enough, the disgruntled cats were clustered in a clump on the steps as a huge 'possum licked the metal cat food pan. I picked up the metal mop handle and stepped outside, striking her repeatedly. Eventually, she drug herself down the steps and under the basement steps.
I set the trap on the back porch on the 24th, and awoke to the 'possum, happily encaged, food bowl intact (generally they are shredded when a raccoon or 'possum spend the night). I let MS know that we had another live trap customer to cart off into the wilds of the lake country.
So that afternoon, MS decided I could put the five tortoise shell females and the yellow one out in the "cat house", and work around them for the final touch-up things. The cat house takes up the NW corner of the 26 x 26 (still unfinished garage).
Using both crates, I got three of them corralled in the utility room while MS put in light bulbs in the "cat house". I grabbed two more, preventing them from going behind the washer/dryer as he took the first crate out.
"How are you going to keep the others in as you add the new ones?" I asked.
"Oh, that won't be a problem."
I shifted my weight uneasily. Herding cats NOT a problem?
He took two more out in a single crate as I crated the two I was holding in the one he'd just returned to me.
Sure enough, no sooner had he turned them loose than they climbed his body and fled. None of them had ever been outside before. Licker (of the ever active tongue) darted through the cat door in the north wall of the garage near the people door, escaping into the house yard, then through the woven wire fence into the horse pasture and disappeared. My favorite, the long haired Hint of Orange (full sister to Licker from Bandita's second litter, the one with nine originally) came toward me when I called, but instead of coming to my feet, she detoured to the dryer vent the orange female twice used to get back into the utility room when I tried to acclimate her to outside living. Hint jammed her head in and scrabbled against the vinyl siding until I got around and caught her.
Once she was in the cat house, she climbed up in one of the carpet squares MS had attached to the wall in a sling-like shape, facing out. I petted her for a bit, then went out to try to get the other one. She'd slipped back into the garage. I could see the side of her head in a low shelf in what will be the cat food/litter storage area once the doors are put on.
Knowing what the cement would do to my knee, I still got down and tried to catch her, but she freaked out and ran under the car. We couldn't find her. I left cat food out near the place she'd picked to hide, but have not seen her again. I hate that!
Eventually, the last cat got tired of lurking behind the washer/dryer combo and came up, so I took her out, safely introducing her to the plywood holes that formed the various areas the cats can sleep/hide in. Everyone else was not only hiding, but also dead silent, a rarity for that bunch.