One day I was standing in the weather center looking out the window into the garden, enjoying Larry the Garden Cat relaxing on the deck. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw this streak cut across the deck and then under the deck. All I could make out was a young cat, not a kitten but certainly still a kitty, with beautiful black markings and white feet. I was alarmed because Larry saw the cat and I was worried about a potential fight. Larry walked casually to the opening of the deck and this cat, whom we now know as Joey, met him nose to nose. It was a pleasant and familiar greeting for the both of them.
Though it was obvious they had known each other for awhile, I had never seen Joey before and he was definitely nervous about being in the garden during the day. I immediately went out to investigate this new and interesting friendship. Joey was not comfortable with my presence and ran quickly back under the deck, so I enticed him with some food - just so I could get a good look at him. As he inhaled the food, he observed me petting and holding Larry, and though he watched intently, he was not that interested in being petted. In fact, I really got the sense he wanted me to leave Larry alone so he could have him all to himself.
It didn't take long for Joey to realize the Garden was a safe place with a consistent food source, a heated house and, most importantly, where Larry lived and stayed. Joey adored Larry - followed him everywhere - wanted to play constantly - and when they both were worn out, they could be found napping in the garden right beside each other. Though it had been a month, Joey tolerated us, but did not like human touch. He will stand two inches from your foot, but once you reach out your hand, he'll politely back up about a foot. This made it very tricky when we needed to get Joey to Dr. Bob's for a check-up, shots and to be neutered. Nevertheless, we devised a plan that was not traumatic for Joey and he was back in the garden by the next day. It was very cute to see Joey run up to Larry as if to say, "wow, what a long, lonely night in a strange place - I sure missed you", and Larry sniffing Joey as if to say, "wow, I know that smell, you've been to Dr. Bob's, glad you're healthy and back home."
We never intended to keep Joey. In fact, a THV employee was going to adopt him, but it became very clear they love and need each other. It is such a sweet, faithful friendship and enjoyable to watch. So, Joey is here to stay and Dr. Bob has agreed to take care of Joey's vet needs just as did for Larry. Joey is loved and well looked after, and continues to delight our viewers, employees and garden guests.