He goes in and out of his catflap freely, although he tends to just sit on the doormat for a few minutes, and then comes back in. Today I took him down to the back door and encouraged him to go out into the back green. I left him there and came back upstairs and a few minutes later I could hear him meowing on the 1st floor, and as I opened the door to see what he was doing, I heard him come barrelling up the stairs. So I shut my door again and he came in through the catflap without difficulty. That’s the first time he’s made it back from outside without supervision (that I know of, for all I know he gets the bus into town every day when I’m at work) and I feel much better about him going out at night now.
Although I’d prefer him not to go out of the front door onto the street, I’m sure it’ll happen one day – someone will leave the front door open and that’ll be that. So the other day I took him down to the front door and opened it, and then I just sat on the step. He was obviously both intrigued and anxious, and it took a lot of persuading before he would come and be next to me on the step. I was going to sit him on my knee and reassure him as we looked out, but as soon as I tried to pick him up, he got spooked and shot back in and upstairs. I’ll try again another day. Ideally I’d like him to be able to find his way from the street to around the back, so I know that if he gets shut out of the front door he can find his way back in again. It’ll take time, but I think we’re on the right track.