In June of 2017, Gizmo was found underneath a thorny bush outside of my old neighborhood late one summer evening. He was hurt, alone, traumatized, and only about one month old.
Gizmo was a tiny but chubby kitten with a large, bulbous head and a gash near his right eye. He was christened the name “Gizmo” after the character in the movie Gremlins because his infected eye, dome-like head, and incessant hissing made him look like a gremlin.
At Gizmo’s first visit to the vet, we discovered that he developed a very large dome-like head at birth due to hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. Fortunately, by the time we found him he was mostly asymptomatic. Gizmo also suffered from a very rare eye condition called entropian which caused his right eyelid to fold inward at birth. As a result, his eyelashes continuously rubbed against the cornea of his eye. (Entropian is extremely uncomfortable and requires a quite expensive surgery to correct or a lifetime of soothing eye drops to relieve.)
When Gizmo was old enough, he was neutered and got all of his shots up to date. We took him to several adoptions for several months, but no one was interested in our little special needs kitty. While we fostered him, I realized that he was not like most cats – he appeared to have significant intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities from the hydrocephalus. Gizmo is not quite as dexterous as other cats, has poor coordination and balance, and often unintentionally runs into obstacles. The same qualities that drew others away from Gizmo were exactly what made me love him so much…
I really wanted to keep Gizmo for myself, but I knew that my boyfriend was not interested in getting another cat. In hopes of making him more adoptable I paid for the surgery (with some help from a generous friend) to get his eye fixed. One day in November my boyfriend came down to our adoption site and paid Gizmos’s adoption fees as a birthday present to me – and I had a lovely surprise waiting for me when I got home that day.
Believe it or not I was not ever a “cat lady” until I met this particular cat. Gizmo is not a pity case for me or an obligation – he is a cat that I see as an extension of myself. I knew the moment I laid eyes on him that he was created for me and I wanted to give him the best life possible.
I hope that all cats find that same love.