14 June, 2012

La Gatita en Paraíso (The Kitten in Paradise)

Hola a todos!

Last week was my birthday, so I took a week off from blogging. To make up for it I will be posting twice this week.

Anyway, I thought I'd take this time to share a little about an amazing creature that lives with me in Oaxaca. Her name is Gizmo, and she is my adorable 6 year-old tabby cat. She is also a very special and amazing little kitty. I know a lot of owners say the same thing about their respective pets, but I think I can make the convincing argument that in my case, at least, its very true. Let me share a little bit of of Gizmo's story with you.

I first met Gizmo in October of 2006, when in Uncle Hardy's Fun Shop I spotted a flyer advertising "Free Kittens", the only requirement being that they go to a home that won't declaw them. I remember saying "Oh free kittens!" and the lanky guy behind the counter unfolded his long body and sprang to his feet--"I'm the one with the free kittens...". And we went from there.

Oh my! What big eyes you have!
As it turned out, by the time I called only one kitten was left, but he described her to me as very beautiful kitty with a sweet character and assured me that I would love her. I went by his home (which was actually not far from parent's house) to pick up my little two month-old kitten. And that's when I met the cutest thing ever--a sweet little tiny tabby with big eyes. I picked her up and held her in my arms, and the Uncle Hardy's guy remarked "I have never seen her stay in someone's arms for so long!". From that moment I knew that she and I would have a special bond.

Little Gizmo peeking through the window.
To give a little more of an idea of the specialness of Gizmo--she has moved about 8 times in her short life. Now, the conventional wisdom is that cats are more attached to places than people. When you move a cat, there are a series of steps you take to ensure that your cat doesn't flip out and try to run back "home". But every time Gizmo has moved, she has been a trooper.

Her first move came in Chicago, when I relocated from one apartment to another. Next, after a 3-month absence and about 4 weeks of being extremely angry with me for leaving her behind in Chicago while I galavanted (sp?) about Oaxaca, she came with me on an air flight to Tucson, Arizona, where I was going to start graduate school. She settled in quite nicely and became a queen of the desert, though a slightly less campy version than Priscilla, and lived among lizards and coyotes for almost 3 years.

Her biggest adventure came next, when she was plucked from her home and placed into a kennel, until 5 days later when a friend of mine could rescue her. She stayed with him for about two weeks before being woken up one morning, snatched from a pile of blankets and sweaters, stuffed into a cage, taken to a vet where she got poked and prodded and injected, then back into the cage where she endured a 2 hour road trip to Phoenix, and then not one, not two, but three THREE flights from there to Oaxaca (PHX --> Hermosillo --> DF --> Oaxaca). Somehow she made it through being stuck in the underbelly of a dark tube just fine, and without being extremely mad at me.

However, landing in Oaxaca didn't mean the end of her moving around. I stayed in a small 1-bedroom place when I first arrived, then when Chuck came down we moved to another apartment, Gizmo in tow. Finally, once our casita opened up again, we packed her up one final (hopefully) time and brought her there. And she seems to have settled in just peachy, and in fact I suspect she is even enjoying herself. She's already brought down one bird and took out a mouse, at least that we know of, and she spends her days napping at her leisure and her nights terrorizing the neighborhood birds.

Gizmo in her favorite hiding spot in our old apartment now office.

And through all the constant moving and having to readjust to new environments, Gizmo has remained a happy, cuddly little kitten. She'll often jump into bed, snuggling with me and curling up into the crook of my arm. She's as vocal and sing-songy as ever, and she still does things that make your heart break from all the cuteness.

So this was my long ode to my lovely Gizmo. She's a sweetheart and a true trooper, and I hope she sticks around for a long time.

Stay tuned for the next post tomorrow!

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