Certainly you've heard of "helicopter parents", the ones who can't let their kid just go off and be a kid, make his or her own mistakes and decisions. Well, I'm pretty much like that with Oliver.
We are starting to let him go outside on his own, off of his leash. This morning, I let him into our backyard, which is really just a slope with random plants on it and a metal fence. Since I really want to be sure he knows how to get home and will come home, I keep walking out on the balcony to see where he is. When I call him, he runs back to where I can see him, but he's wandered into the neighbor's yards and onto the open space next to our house. He always comes home, though, so that's good.
I watched him pick a fight with a neighbor dog. Fortunately, there was a chain link fence between them, but he walked right up to it while the dog was barking at him. Finally and before any damage was done, Oliver ran away. And just a few minutes ago, I went downstairs to see where he was. I heard this horrible yeowl, and ran out onto the patio just in time to see Ollie fight off the mean old tuxedo cat that lives on the next block. I'm happy he's good at defending himself, but that was a good time to bring him inside for awhile.
When R got home, he looked Oliver over and discovered a little spot of what looked like blood on his nose. No scratch, just blood. So maybe he really took it to the other cat before I got to them.
I know that Oliver will come home. When he's in the house, he follows me all around, and he has slept right up next to me for the last few nights.