I picked up the kitten about an hour and a half ago. It (he) has grown quite a bit in the week it was away and has a fat, round tummy now.
However, he is still scared, and is currently hiding in the farthest corner under the L-shaped sofa, the darkest spot in the apartment. If anything, the poor little guy seems more scared than before, but he was born feral, and his recent experience staying in the vet clinic for a week probably was terrifying. I haven't actually seen said clinic, but I assume that he was left in a cage with other animals in cages around him, like any other animal clinic, and taken out just to be washed and given treatments. Neither fun nor comforting, and he is soooo tiny he still needs a mommy.
Thought about moving the sofa and hauling him out of there so I could hold him in my lap, but decided to just let him rest a while and see if he will come out on his own later. I just really, really, really hope he can figure out what the kitty litter is for.
It's so sad to see such a tiny kitten so frightened that he is quiet and hiding, but I haven't much experience with feral cats. I hope that with time and gentleness, he will get more confident and comfortable. I'll have to look up some information on feral kittens to see what I can do to coax him out. I think he would do better with some cuddling, but would like to be able to do so without scaring him in the process.
Ironically, I was a little concerned that the kitten would require too much attention; instead, he is too afraid of me to want any attention at all. So sad. :(