I had him neutered and figured I'd clean the dormant chicken coup, which has a chicken wire roof, fill it with straw bales, chairs, beds, a big litter pan, and lots of hiding places, and let him get used to the place while I was gone. Then after a few weeks, I would open the door and have him as a barn cat. I bought new large waterers and feeders so Donna and Tim could check on him without having to replenish food.
Well, it was a wash, because even though I'd checked the coop from top to bottom, he got out within half a day and was gone. He climbed right up the wood walls and pushed through a corner of the wire ceiling.
Donna put out food for him while I was gone, but no one touched it. I kept putting food out, but it became clear that it was raccoons who were getting fed. After about three weeks I stopped putting out food, but watched for tracks.
He was neutered, ear tipped, and microchipped, so I hoped that if someone else trapped him and he ended up at the shelter, they would call me. A few of my neighbors have indoor-outdoor cats and put food out, so I hoped he'd found another yard to hang out in.
Yesterday and today I saw a black and white cat. At first I thought "Dumped cat!" but then I remembered Bullet. Perhaps he's come back?
I dug out his photo (above) and have memorized his markings, so if I see the new cats again, and can get an idea whether it could be the same cat. It would be nice if it were, as I've been feeling badly about him. I've put out bowls of food, and I'll set traps again to see what I catch.