Gizmo’s previous owners called her antisocial and quiet. I will admit she does have a bit of an RBF but from the moment we got her home and cut off her way-too-tight collar Gizmo has slowly become a totally different cat. Before finding her way to us, she had at least two previous owners who both gave up on her for one reason or another. Gizmo was frantically skittish and was delivered in a kennel too small for her. Within a week, the cat that “didn’t like to engage with people” slept on top of us every night. Now my favorite thing is waking up to her as the little spoon, on my hip or cuddled between us.
She came with the name Gizmo and we didn’t want to change it after 10 years, but if it were up to me she would have had a much more beautiful name to match her sweet personality. Also, it’s the most amazing feeling to call her name and see her drop everything and run to me.
I didn’t grow up with cats and wasn’t a ‘cat person’ before Gizmo. So it’s been a new experience but I love learning her personality—finding new toys that pique her interest, concocting her preferred ratio of water and canned food. I find we are oddly similar—we want our alone time until someone has a laptop open or has become distracted, we both look cranky when lost in thought, we love afternoon naps, we hate having our belly touched, and we both like to get our way all the time.
My husband and I like to joke that she has a cuddle radar. Whenever he and I ever start snuggling in bed or on the couch she mysteriously appears and hunkers down in between. We are expecting a baby in May but Gizmo is our original fur baby. I want to make sure she doesn’t feel ignored and will continue snuggling with us and the baby. She has recently taken to napping in the rocker in the baby’s room. Not sure if she is preemptively staking her claim or showing her excitement for her future baby brother.
Gizmo loves vanilla ice cream, kisses on her forehead, lounging in the sun and staring at the shadows that the trees cast in the morning. She is a really chatty cat. Sometimes we have a full back and forth conversation. She responds to every hello with a meow and is often confused when we are on the phone but not addressing her. Gizmo is still shy around new people—it takes her months to warm up to someone. Truthfully, I find it endearing that she really only likes me and my husband. Not like those disloyal dogs who wag their tails for any stranger.
I work from home but it is particularly challenging to work with Gizmo around. She insists on being in my lap all day—she has become particularly fond of sitting on the baby bump, as she does love finding the tallest surface to perch on.
I am a firm believer there are no bad pets, just bad owners. She just clicked with us and every year, over the last eight years, has become more and more comfortable and confident. Now she definitely rules the roost—it’s Gizmo’s world, we just occupy it. We know she’s at least 18 years old which the vet still cannot believe because she’s in such good health. I think our bond and love has kept her in good shape. I just hope she has forgotten life before us and only worries about catching birds in the yard and when she’s going to get her next kiss. She’s brought such joy to my life but I think it’s mutual.
Alyssa Macy is a home decor product designer. The best part of her job is that she works from home and gets to spend all day with Gizmo.