Maxie has been moved upstairs out of the furnace room to the guest room, where I can visit him without having to squeeze past the hot water heater to the tiny corner under the stairs where he had taken refuge, in case Lily or Loosy came looking for him with murder on their minds. The murder is really only on his mind; he's still pretty nervous about these two gentle giants who outweigh him by many pounds.
Naturally, as soon as I put him down with food, water, and a litter box in the guest bedroom, he scuttled underneath the bed so he can keep a weather eye out for intruders and has resisted my efforts to coax him out, though he devours every morsel of food I've offered---after I leave. So his "braes" are mainly under-bed boxes, the extra leaves of the dinner table, and mounds of spook farts, which in my house have nothing to do with ghosts and everything to do with cat hair. (I know it has a faint politically incorrect sound to it, but it's truly an innocent expression which I learned from my ancestors.)
Anyhow, we are making progress here in the getting acquainted department. The L's still haunt the hallway outside his door when I'm in there talking to him under the bed, but they are somewhat less anxious. And he's sleeping in the box lined with an old sweater---until I come into the room. Then he's under the bed again, but I notice he's not as panicky about it as he was.
From the story the farmer's kids told me, I've deduced that his mama may have been a feral cat who dropped her kittens off in the farmyard and then vamoosed. The family took the kittens in and brought them to market the next week. So Maxie has only been part of a human household for a very short time. Lily the Lilylivered was a feral kitten herself, which may account for some of her jumpiness. Loosy the Lovecat has to resign herself once again to sharing me with a baby (Lily was her last rival), but she has her own ways of possessing me and will always be the senior cat, if not exactly the alpha.
I haven't gotten a picture yet. You don't want to see what the underside of the guest bed looks like, even with Maxie little face peeking out.