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Cat Behavior Problems (Alexander's Story)

Updated on June 12, 2011


Cat Behavior Problems within my home were not yet prevalent. It was the fall of 1998 and I lived in Mineola, NY. At the time I had three cats that were all tuxedos; Mickey, Harpo and Chico. Chico was a recent rescue who was sickly with a bad upper respiratory problem and diabetes. I had been giving him insulin shots for several weeks and he was getting very weak. Harpo was a tiny and very active tuxedo and Mickey was a large, chubby tuxedo who resembled a baby Panda more than a cat.

I lived in a house that had a small backyard with a bunch of alley cats that were frequent visitors. So frequent were the visits that I had been putting out food on a daily basis, much to the dismay of my landlord who wanted this to stop. I kept finding new ways of disguising the food containers, but very often they were tossed out.

I lived between two stores, a barbershop and a shoemaker. One of the owners of the barbershop had a son who was into animal rescue, as was I. For purposes of this story I will call him Tony. One day Tony spotted two small black and white kittens, who he thought were hanging out in my backyard. OF COURSE THEY WERE, because there was always food and water there. I decided to keep a close watch to see if I could spot anything. Then one day I saw them. There were two tiny tuxedo kittens frolicking in the leaves right near the food I put out.

In my childhood I frequently watched a cartoon called "Heckle and Jeckle". It was about two blackbirds that were always getting into trouble and making problems for everyone around them. They were rascals. I decided to call the my 2 new neighbors "Heckle" and "Jeckle" Everyday, when I came home from work, I would watch them entertain anyone who would watch them. I decided to see If I could approach but could not because they were too feral. Up to that point, I would only rescue and take home cats that were friendly or would approach me, so I decided to leave my 2 small visitors alone for awhile. I couldn't help thinking to myself that winter was coming and it was going to get cold. What am I going to do with them? It was early December when Tony approached me and said that we should trap them. I told him that I couldn't take in a 4th cat and 5th cat. He suggested that he knew only 1 person who wanted a kitten. Of course that was enough for me. If he meets me half way I would take the other kitten. We set a trap and two days later "Heckle" and "Jeckle" became Tish and Alexander (pictured above). I took Alexander. Neither Tish nor Alexander were people friendly. Alexander had a habit of hiding from me every time I put food down. Eventually he came out, but would only approach when I was lying down in bed or resting on my easy chair or sofa. I called him my "horizontal" cat, because that is the only position you could be in, for him to approach you. Over the years I've moved two times since I rescued him. Both times, Alex was the last personal belonging removed from the house. I would have to call him, while sprawled out on the floor with a treat in my hand. Alex is a very grateful guy though and will occasionally jump on my lap to show me that he isn't totally aloof. Other times that he approaches are when he doesn't feel well, if he's hungry or if pests like fleas start bothering him. Otherwise I call him my resident "horizontal boy". He's approaching 11 years old, and is currently my old timer among the crowd of Cat Behavior Problems in my home today.


I N          M E M O R Y

I Lost Alexander in January of 2009 due to a serious infection of the lungs. He was 12 years old. Rest in peace little friend


Heckle and Jeckle
Heckle and Jeckle


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    • hglick profile image

      hglick 5 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Thank You Sally

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 5 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Cute story! I am taming a pound rescue who was labeled as feral but is really just very, very shy! It takes a lot of patience! Voted up and awesome! ;D