After research and agonizing we accepted the obvious answer: Duncan sees cats outside everywhere and doesn't like it. More than that, he smells cat food he's not eating, and Zuzu's demand for head rubs brings more stress and confusion. It's time to thin our herd of cats - and most notably the fertile mom, before she repeats her performance.
On Friday I put our two travel cages in the garage with food inside. Hungry Spook fell for the trick easily, and both Zuzu and Pinky gave it some thought. In the end Pinky got her hind end shoved in and off we went to the Humane Society, wailing all the way. It turns out they have a one-cat limit, but being semi-feral I could not guarantee a recapture so they took both and told me to stay away for a few days.
|friendly Zuzu is still here|
So Zuzu and mama remain.
This actually was what I had hoped would happen, as the other two youngsters were still enjoying their wild nature, and not being sociable like Zuzu. Perhaps Duncan will relax and (after mama is relocated) we can manage two cats, whether indoor/outdoor or combined under one roof. As Sadie tolerated then mentored Duncan in his early days, perhaps he can pull off a similar task for a step-sister.