When I got Dodge, he had wandered onto my property from the woods out back. He seemed to take an interest in the cars and trucks I worked on, and was apparently living in the Dodge truck I had back there, hence his name.
He would always follow me around the yard, watching or "helping" while I worked. I noticed his intelligence early. He didn't mind noisy tools or equipment. But when I would use those that were potentially harmful (such as welders or grinders), he would walk away as soon as I picked them up... and return when I was finished. He didn't run, he wasn't afraid, he was simply smart enough to know not to be around them.
At this time, he was highly territorial and most likely feral. He wouldn't let anyone close to him, but came around me of his own accord. He also was not too fond of dogs, as one of my neighbors discovered when he attacked their Labrador. He was just a mean, ornery cat with knots in his fur and missing three of his smaller front teeth. But for some reason, he liked me.
So when another neighbor voiced his displeasure at Dodge roaming around his yard, I decided it would be in his best interest to retire from patrolling the grounds and come inside. He must have known my intentions, because he simply followed me into my finished basement. He lived there in his own apartment (the former owners of my house had rented the downstairs out) for a while as I slowly introduced him to my other cats.
He also showed no interest in going back to the outdoors. When I would enter my house from the downstairs, he would greet me at the door and make absolutely no attempt to go back out. He purred constantly when I was around him. His visits upstairs got longer over time until finally I was able to have him up here permanently. Now, he's like a completely different animal. Where he used to be combative with other animals, he gets along with my other cats. He rolls around on the floor and plays.
He has quickly adapted to his new surroundings and role as a house cat. I know it is said that a cat can't be called a NFC unless it has papers, but he must at least be part. He has the same personality traits, the green/gold almond shaped eyes, tufted ears, long fur between his fingers, "britches", and the coat with the coarse hairs and down undercoat.
I've given him a bath, and I had to use a brush to get the water through his fur. And while he may not have papers, he did come from the forest. If he could talk, he would say that he didn't need a pedigree to survive in the woods, so he doesn't need one now. He is living proof of the kind of strong, intelligent, and adaptable creatures that Norwegian Forest Cats are.