We brought Alex home from the shelter. He immediately raced into a hole in the basement wall. He wouldn't come out. For three days. Tom gets serious. He stays home from work and sits in the basement staring at the hole.
The Stand Off
Mid-afternoon, Alex emerges and descends to the basement floor. Tom has craftily placed a bowl of delicious wet food some distance from the duct hole. Alex slithers in the direction of the delicacy. Suddenly, he stops and sniffs the air. He surveys the area. He sees Tom. Their eyes lock. Time freezes.
Battle of Lightening Reflexes
It was a race to the hole. Man vs. cat. Biped vs. Quadruped. Lightly Hairy vs Really Furry. Thinking quickly, Tom lunges toward a stray basketball fortuitously lying in his path. In an adrenaline-fueled wild ali-oop, he slam dunks the basketball into the hole in the wall, just nanoseconds before Alex reaches it. Blocked! Alex shrieks in horror and dashes off across the top of the furnace.
Alex: Basement Dweller
Alex doesn’t come out of the basement. He lives arboreally in the ductwork. Months pass. This is not my idea of pet ownership.
Tom descends to the basement every evening. He speaks quietly to the cat. He patiently wiggles delectable treats. He dangles irresistible hot pink feathers on a string connected to a large fishing rod. He lures Alex closer, closer to stairs out of the basement.
A minor setback occurs when Alex wrenches the hot pink feathers, the string, and the entire fishing rod, from Tom's grasp and barrels for cover under boxes of yearbooks and tax returns. Neither the feathers, the string, or the fishing rod have ever been seen again.
Alex the Wild-Ass Cat: Get Down with Your Bad Self
Eventually. Happily ever after.