Four months ago, one of our family went missing. At the time, we were looking at other places to move, but when our kitty went missing, we put our search for a new home on hold.
After Djarfur had been missing a couple of months, we realized we couldn't wait forever, so we started looking again. We found two solid possibilities near where were already living, applied for them both, and got the one we wanted.
Moving is stressful of course, especially for kitties. Our two remaining kitties, Feiminn (Djarfur's litter mate) and Noodle didn't really get along before we moved. Feiminn was the tender and sensitive kitty and Noodle was the proud, outgoing, athletic kitty. Their roles completely flipped when we moved. Feiminn settled into the new house right away - especially since we have our own private back yard that is fenced in. Noodle was freaked out for days, and by the time we started letting him back outside, he kept going back to the old place.
Here we are more than a month later, and Noodle still keeps going back to the old place. We have a routine now. If we can go get him before 9am, we do. After 9am he is on his rounds (?) and is not available. If we don't get him in the morning, we get him between 8 and 9pm.
At first Noodle *hated* being in the car, so we switched to walking the two blocks with our cat carrier and each taking a handle on the way home (Noodle is not a light kitty). Every time we passed Cafe Niche, he meowed in complaint.
We did that for a few weeks and then it was clear that this wasn't going to keep him at home either, we went back to driving over and bringing him in the car. Weirdly, it has had the effect of habituating him to the car and he no longer complains in the car. That will be useful the next time he goes in for vaccinations.
Meanwhile, Feiminn is super chill. He has lots of places in the house where he likes to hang out, but he spends a lot of his day underneath the back deck, rolling in the dirt. He has never been happier. It's been wonderful to see, because he was nearly despondent in the months after his brother disappeared.
Noodle is very lovey and attentive when we are home. He even goes to bed with us sometimes. But then, sometime between 12pm and 1am, he decides to meow loud enough to shake the house and starts bouncing on me and Dan. Between my earplugs and Dan's CPAP machine, it's hard to get us out of bed but that about does it. So we shut Noodle out of our bedroom. By the time we wake up, he is gone.
I don't know what it will take for Noodle to stay home and get used to his new neighborhood. My animal communicator friend noted that Noodle has a high status in the old neighborhood (he is very popular there among kitties and humans) and no status in the new one. Also, it seems we only have one other kitty on this street, and I believe I saw that kitty leaving out of our pet door last week.
Dan figures that 'when it gets cold', Noodle will stay home. I want to believe that, but still, that seems like several months away (we have averaged 97 degrees for the last six weeks. Averaged.)
I welcome your advice. Also with finding Djarfur. We miss him still, and every day I grieve his loss, wishing I knew how to get him home.