As told to the family historian Pyewackit, who having known Gizmo, personally wishes to share her story, it goes like this.
Her mother was a fierce hunter who prowled the gardens like her panther ancestors. She crawled on her belly after field mice and stalked snakes with stealthy finesse. Until she didn’t. We found her lying in the garden with the dead snake nearby. She had fulfilled her destiny and met it at the same instant. We didn’t know what to call her because she had been tossed out at our place several weeks before and she had not told us her name. So she was buried in the garden with a mound of stones to mark her passing. That evening we heard a pitiful mewling coming from the garage. Mac checked around and sure enough, there nestled in the hold of the cinder block ship lay a tiny barely week old kitten.
We at first called her Cinderella, for obvious reasons. But she soon taught us her name. I made her a formula that did not agree with her at all. Calling Dr. Lawhon, I explained that we were fostering a new born and were experiencing projectile vomiting after each feeding. He recommended we put her on Pedialyte immediately. What a valuable piece of information this has proven to be over the years.
Having planned a trip to Alabama that July 1996, we packed up the baby and all her supplies, portable litter pan included and headed off to Selma to be in time for the Olympic torch to pass through that historic city. Gizmo as she was now known, was nine weeks old and still taking her pedialyte straight up. She was bossy and cantankerous, loving and dependent, agile and boneless in her acrobatics. She was loved as we have loved all our feline companions and then some. She made us laugh and she entertained Mac’s family with her antics. Even though we had brought her kennel with us, she was allowed the run of both the grandparents and her aunt Ginger’s. She had been from South Carolina through Georgia into Alabama. She went as far as Mississippi and North Carolina. All before she was a year old. She loved to travel.
She also loved her dogs, two shelties named Duffy and Ripley. She tried to slip into the back yard with them every chance she got. One night she was successful and we didn’t know. The next morning we discovered that she was missing. We called and called her name both inside and out. We scoured the fields and called the neighbors. Mac haunted the pound, going there several times a week for over a year. We posted her as missing in the Chronicle for three months, put up posters of our Gizmo sitting in my doll’s house and still searched the fields and woods. One day a lady called me. She told me that they had found Giz several months back and that her daughter was wrapped around her heart, and Giz was wrapped around hers. She had no intention of returning her, just wanted to relieve our minds, to let us know that she was okay.
We cried. Although knowing she was perfectly fine helped, it didn’t cause us to miss her any less. It pained us that Gizmo had taken yet another trip, this time without us. I hope that she is still with her new family and that she is still the apple of her little mistresses eye. Our little world traveler deserves only the best.
— Sandi McBride is a resident of Jefferson, who blogs regularly and enjoys her garden and her furry and feathered friends. She is a wife and mother of two sons.