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  • Nancy Bathurst

  • January 2018
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The Gizmo Story

A beautiful story from Sara:

It was early in the morning and my 11 year old daughter Kiki was getting ready for school and exclaimed, “Mom, did you hear what Gizmo did last night?” I had to blink twice and think hard as I was in the middle of my first cup of coffee for the day and was trying to think of what she was talking about. As an exhausted mom, when my kids ask me a question about something and I have no idea what they are talking about, I usually have to think hard of what it is I forgot to either do or not do. I finally had to confess I had no idea what she was talking about (not unusual!). She is always quick to give me the 411 so I knew she’d let me know. What?

Kiki proceeded to tell me that at 1:30am she heard Gizmo, our super lovable and friendly Siberian, meowing in her room next to her bed. She said it was an extremely loud meow, and it woke her up and she looked over to see Gizmo proceed to start licking “a brown spot” on the carpet. Kiki assumed Gizmo had vomited. She got up to help him, only to realize as she got closer that the “brown spot” on the floor was our tiny baby bearded dragon, Ezra, we had rescued just weeks earlier.

You see, Kiki struggles with anxiety and it’s kind of ironic that both Ezra and Gizmo would be the heart of this story. The reason we have Ezra is because we went to a small animal expo and saw him. He is the sibling (from the same clutch) to another bearded dragon we have who is 5 times his size. We saw Ezra at the exact same stand and spot we bought our first bearded dragon at just a couple months earlier. When questioned about why he was so small, the person selling him admitted he “wasn’t trying to feed him a lot” plus he was probably the runt. Well, that’s all it took. Kiki has a heart for all animals (we have 4 cats, a dog, a guinea pig, a tank full of fish, two bearded dragons, and Kiki herself has her own two fish tanks with injured fish she rescued from Petco!). I knew right then and there that there was no way we were leaving that building without that tiny baby lizard. Kiki may have her challenges, but if there is one thing you cannot ignore is her heart for helping both animals and people. How could we say no?

So we acquired the baby lizard. Anyone who knows me knows I am pretty thorough on following best practice for all our pets so I had to spend that evening and the following two days getting a whole new set up for the new bearded dragon. We got him a set up and started feeding him and he started eating. I borrowed a digital scale from Nancy and I brought it home to weigh Ezra and was saddened to discover he was only 12 grams. This lizard who was supposedly six months old should be 10 times that weight. In any event, Ezra was in a better place now and we resolved to feeding him and helping him grow and thrive. Kiki made it her mission and took care of him, giving him the love and food he had never received.

Now let me tell you about Gizmo. Gizmo is our third Siberian. Our first two are females and we felt the itch for a third. Our human children are two girls and one boy so naturally with two female Siberians, we needed a third that was a boy! We followed protocol….got on the list, picked Gizmo, eventually brought him home, and soon realized he is no ordinary cat. I started noticing that when Kiki would have emotional meltdowns or behavior problems at home, all of a sudden Gizmo would show up out of the blue and sit on her. It would help calm her down tremendously. Eventually, if I noticed her starting to “lose it” I would just hand her Gizmo and tell her to go to her room!! Not only that, but he loves to be held and just exudes love. He doesn’t just like to receive love, he actually seeks out people to let hold him and cuddle him. It is rather therapeutic, and to this day I know if I tried and put effort into it, he could be certified as a therapy cat. He seems to not only accept any amount of holding and petting, but has a knack for giving back as much love as he receives. We always joke that he has to be in the middle of everything, because, well he does. And now I realize why.

Back to the story. I can only imagine the confusion Kiki felt as I felt the same confusion the next morning when Kiki told me this story. Ezra was supposed to be in his terrarium. Yes he comes out to socialize and be held but certainly at 1:30am he should be nowhere but nestled in his corner in his tank sleeping. Kiki explained that she picked Ezra up and put him back in his tank, and went back to bed. Upon her telling me this story, I rush over to Ezra’s tank and check him out. Sure enough he looks amiss, sullen, and has a tiny bloody scratch on his face. I quickly realized what must have happened. My husband holds Ezra while watching tv at night. He must have been holding him, and fallen asleep. It’s the only explanation. But with my husband already in the city at work for the day, all I could do was text him to try and figure out what the heck happened.

Kiki and I who have poured time and energy into helping Ezra heal and grow, were distraught all day. I made an emergency vet visit with the reptile specialist and brought Ezra in that morning. The vet examined this tiny then 30 gram lizard that our cat got a hold of. Torso was ok. Skin was ok. No puncture wounds or bite marks minus a superficial cut on the face. With a flashlight he examined Ezra internally and reported no internal wounds or bleeding. The vet looked right at me and said “I’ve seen cats get a hold of lizards. The cat may have gotten a hold of him, but he did not hurt him. I don’t know what he was trying to do, but he didn’t hurt him.” I was dumbfounded. Here we have a cat who got a hold of what would be equivalent of a mouse, and didn’t even hurt him. And then I put two and two together.

I realized it wasn’t any ordinary cat. It was Gizmo. When my husband fell asleep, I know what happened. I am a mom to all these creatures and I know what happened. Gizmo tried to help Ezra. My husband fell asleep, and Gizmo knew he would be in danger. We have three other cats, love them all, but they are cats and had they gotten Ezra I know his fate would have been worse. But Gizmo took him. Gizmo took him, traveled through the living room, the kitchen, up two flights of stairs, down a hallway, into Kiki’s room at 1:30am, and meowed to wake her up to help them. He went to HER of all five family members. We have a 3,500 square foot home and Gizmo could have gone ANYWHERE in the entire house with him. But he didn’t. He took Ezra to Kiki and woke her up to tell her what was happening and to put him back where he belongs. And until she could get him, he took care of him by licking him. And our joke about Gizmo having to be in the middle of everything all of a sudden makes sense. He is that way because he is always trying to be there to protect and help us.

Ezra recouped…the vet said if anything he may be emotionally scarred….but he is ok. After a day or two on pain meds for probable soreness, Ezra was back to normal and eating. And Gizmo has gone along his merry way, doing what he always does….just being an awesome cat in the middle of everything.

Thank you Gizmo, we love you.

And thank you Nancy for the gift he is!

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  1. Aneta Granda

     /  January 9, 2018

    What a beautiful and moving story. It made me cry😭 Gizmo is such a beautiful and amazing kitty. Please, give Gizmo and Ezra lots of hugs and kisses from my entire family😚🤗💋💋💋💋

  2. Molly Johnson

     /  January 10, 2018

    Thanks so much for sharing! It reminds me of one of the stories in the book Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul 🙂


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