Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Gentle Giant

Daryl Pulis of America's Home Grown Veggies weekly radio show writes: "Alex first showed up a few years ago wanting nothing but food. He gradually decided that we were okay and I was able to get him into a crate, checked for a chip (none) and get him vetted. He wanted no part of being inside, despite our best efforts. Even when he was drugged after neutering, he tried to dig out of the greenhouse. A couple of years ago, he decided that sleeping on our screened porch in bad weather was okay -- as long as we didn't close the screen door. When the door was closed, he tore through a screen and jumped 8-feet or so to the ground to escape. We learned to keep the door open.  
   "We made him a specially insulated box and put a heating pad in it for him for the winter before last, and that was ok. He was content to sleep on the porch with the open door and he eventually followed me in and out of the utility room when I was washing clothes and gardening out front.
   "This past winter in Georgia, it was just too cold, with temps below zero. I brought him and his bedding into the utility room and we toughed it out. He hated having the doors closed. He tore the curtains, shredded the carpeting by the doors and otherwise expressed his disapproval . It was rough on both of us, but he came back in every night if coaxed. 
   "There's more to the saga, but the big news is that he likes it here with us and is getting used to the other cats (he's number 9) and no longer considers them an automatic threat. It took a couple of years, but now Alex is now happy to be inside and snuggle."
    Daryl adds: "He always listens to me when I record America's Home Grown Veggies. He's the only one who doesn't try to get in front of my monitor or bounce a (loud) ball to get my attention as some of the other cats do. He waits quietly until I'm done and then makes a beeline for my desk for a cuddle. It was certainly worth the work it took to tame him."

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