Okay, peeps--what's your experience here? New Kitty is having some problems. She arrived last Tuesday, and now nearly a week later, she's still extremely sky and skittish. In fact, she vanishes to the point where we thought she must have gotten out and run away. A few days ago, we turned the house upside-down and finally found her huddling in a dark basement corner. I put her in one of the bathrooms alone for a couple more days, with occasional peaking in on her, and she finally let me pet her and even purred and licked my hand, but the moment she got out of the bathroom, she vanished completely and has not been seen once in two more days.
When I first met her, I noticed her right ear was clipped. I recognized this as part of the catch-spay-mark-release program for feral cats and asked the cat agency about it. The cat lady said New Kitty and her brother were found outdoors and caught, but they were clearly used to humans, so they weren't put into the barn cat category. Both New Kitty and her brother let me pet and hold them, though they were both nervous about it, which I expected in a strange cat stuck in a weird environment.
However, after nearly a week in her new home, New Kitty still hides obsessively. I've had more than a dozen cats of all stripes in my life, and I've never seen this--except among the feral barn cats we (unsuccessfully) brought into the house and tried to tame. New Kitty never, ever comes out of hiding on her own. Ever. She hasn't eaten that I can tell. The litter is stirred around, but that might be from Dinah.
Every other cat I've had hides for a while, but eventually creeps out for cautious exploring, and eventually gives the humans some wary sniffing. Not New Kitty.
Has she gone feral? Did the shock of rehoming freak her out too badly? Will she eventually come around? Has anyone else seen this before? Or should I call the cat people and tell them they gave me a feral cat?