Seagull Acts Like a Cat – and Eats Food from the Fridge!
Grimwood and her husband, Steve, both in their 50s, put the baby bird back next to its nest, but his mother rejected him, and the Grimwoods ended up hand-feeding him with a bottle.
"After two or three days, he came down in the garden," Grimwood tells PEOPLEPets.com. "We kept putting him back because we had four cats, but he wasn't having any of it. One day, he slipped into the cat basket, and the cats just ignored him."
The seagull eventually made it into the Grimwoods' home, and earned the name Mr. Pooh "because the first time he came indoors, he made a mess!"
Grimwood thought then that once the summer season turned to fall and the seagulls would make their migration south, that would be the end of her time with Mr. Pooh. "We thought when he flew away for the winter he was gone," she says, "but blow me down, the following year, he came back with a mate."
In the three years the Grimwoods have had Mr. Pooh as a quasi-pet, he and his mate, Mrs. Pooh, have learned to rap on the patio door until one of the humans gets up to put out bowls of cat food, which the birds eat and also feed their young. The Grimwoods have learned they need to distribute the food carefully, as Mr. Pooh gets very territorial around the cats, named Gus, Mitzi and Henry.
"They fight for the bowls, so we have to feed the seagull one side and the cats on the other side," Grimwood says. "He just squawks at them as if to say, 'Get off the food!' "
Mr. Pooh drinks from the fish pond outside, but doesn't bother with the fish. Instead, he has a way of getting food from the fridge: "He just stands there until I feed him. He'll eat ham, chicken, anything that's in there."
When he's indoors, he still lives up to his name, but he doesn't fly above the humans' heads, and so far, no one has been hit – by wings, or any unsavory fluids.
He has proved to be a beloved fixture in the Grimwood household each summer, and keeps Grimwood company in the garden, cocking his head from side to side as if to say he understands her when she's talking to him. Grimwood says that they'll "be devastated" if and when Mr. Pooh doesn't fly back from a winter away.
"As far as we're concerned, he'll be here next summer, until such a day that his age takes over," Grimwood says. "But he will always be a part of us."
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