Dennis is oddly headshy. If I came at him with the regular scratch the side of the chin/cheek gesture, he jumped away. If I came down from on top with the scritchers and started just above his neck and headed tail-ward, he was fine with it. Amusingly, Dennis seemed somewhat surprised at himself, and would jump away, love the stairs, stare at me, yowl in a very high-pitched mew, and then come back for more food and petting. I wonder if she (he) is back in heat again?
I bounced into the kitchen to tell CK of my luck, and checked with CK about trying to catch the cat and put the collar I bought on it (the one that says "if this is your cat, call me"). CK recommended waiting for another day rather than ruin the evening. So just to prove I could, I went back outside and repeated the cat scritchings.
*Picture the old brainsucker joke. Yeah, it's that hand gesture, applied with force, to the back of the cat.