This is a belated update, a week or so ago when we had a freezing, frigid, cold spell. One night it was 25 below, and the next night it was 35 below. I have been trying to keep an eye on where my little wayward cat spent most of her time. Along with some dry cat food, I set up a basket of hay for her to sleep in, in the garage. I have seen her go in and out of the garage often, but unfortunately it does not appear that she sleeps there. By following her tracks I can see that she goes down the bank to my old homestead, which is currently in the process of demolition this summer. Now I made a small opening, so she could go into the garage that's attached to that old house, but she chooses not to. Instead her tracks go under the house. When it get's below zero, I can only imagine how cold it must be under there.
Yesterday morning I called her, and she came up the bank to my back deck holding one paw up. Then I noticed that she kept picking up both paws. She seemed to be more hungry for attention then she was for food. I had hoped this cat would come in out of the cold on her own. But after seeing how unbearable the cold was on her paws, I came to the conclusion that I should take matters into my own hands. With the door open, I sat in a kitchen chair, so it would bring me down closer to her level. Then I pulled the food dish back far enough so she was actually standing in my hallway. Once I knew I wouldn't catch her tail in the door, I quickly shut it. After the door was shut, she was spooked, not pleased, and no longer eating. My other cat Zelda was safely locked in the back bedroom.
If I had an extra room, I would put her in it, but unfortunately I don't. So my plan was to keep the stray in my bedroom, to keep the cats apart. By the way she acted I don't think she was ever in a house before. I had previously set up a litter box, food and water, and it took about an hour to get her into my bedroom. When I finally accomplished that I shut the door and left her alone for awhile, and when I returned I found her under the bed. I thought to myself well this is what she does, she's reclusive, she looks for food, and finds small places to crawl into, so she'll feel safe. So I'll leave her alone. When I got up in the morning I noticed that she had eaten some of the food. I looked under the bed and called her by the name (Ezzabella) That was the name she answered to through the last nine month. Much to my surprise she came right out, and she was friendly to the point of being aggressively over excited which made me a little nervous.