i made friends with a pair of my (according to their licenseplate, Raelian?) neighbor's cats today and it occurred to me that i had never recorded my technque so here it is.
things you'll need: a cat, about 8-20 feet of outdoor space between you and the cat (twelvish is ideal), about two or three minutes where nobody will see you and/or care that you're crouching in front of some Private Property), the assumption that you'll fail
1. spot cat.
2. stop. attempt to make eye contact with cat. it should come eventually; if not, the cat is completely uninterested in you as a feature of its environment rn. try again in a few days.
3. once you've made eye contact, try your best to maintain it while slowly approaching. keep your shoulders hunched and knees slightly bent. stop at about four times your arm's length from the cat.
4. crouch down. break and re-establish eye contact as feels casual; a cat takes interest in aspects and degrees of its environment that look comically affected to humans, and thus are not real hard to emulate if'n im bein honest. glance around, stare at your feet, pretend you hear a noise, etc. at about the time you would feel comfortable in this conversation were it spoken, proceed to step five.
5. slowly extend your arm, making eye contact more frequently. now would be the time to deploy baby voices/ kissy faces.
if the cat doesn't approach you after about thirty seconds, it's almost definitely not going to. cut your losses and try again later. most cats also will not let you pet them on first approach. sometimes they'll need to approach you three or four times, but ive never ended up befriending one that needed to approach me five or more times.
a cat will appreciate that you:
) are as small as possible
) ditto quiet and still
*) have not bathed or used underarm deodorant very recently (last couple of hours) or used scented lotion or body fragrance (all dayish)