Yes, he was a Badass Cat but in the best sense.  He took no shit from anyone (including me) and would hiss, scratch or bite you if you pissed him off and most of the time you didn’t even know what you did to incur such wrath from such a handsome cat. He also would not let you go into the bathroom in my old apartment (my mom and husband can attest to this) for some reason that made serious sense to only him.  (My theory on this is that when I took a bath, he would sit on the side of the tub and watch over me — so that was our time and he did not want anyone to interfere with that.  Who knows?) He would let you pet him for a few minutes and then either would walk away annoyed or scratch you for having the audacity to deign to touch him in the first place.

Based on this description, you would think he was well – just a cat and acting like one. That is where you would be wrong.  Gizmo was unique from the moment I brought him home as a mere baby (he was about 6 weeks old, adopted from a friend of a friend whose cat just had a litter).  Before I adopted him, I was newly divorced (almost anyway), living in a new strange apartment and coming home from work everyday to an empty shell of a home.  It had no life and the feeling of emptiness was palpable.   It sucked on toast.

Fast forward to a few months later and I am driving home in my Jeep with this little black furry thing that I had no clue how to handle. I had no carrier yet so he was crawling all over the car and me the entire 40 minute drive (at one point I had to stop him from getting under the clutch!). Love started right then.  He was inquisitive and unafraid – two traits he never (thankfully) outgrew.  We got back to the lifeless apartment and as soon as his four little paws hit the floor, suddenly – life came to that dull, empty place.

Once, while having a party (I lived on the bottom floor and having specifically told everyone NOT to let the cat out) he got out (of course!  He was Gizmo!).  I almost had a heart attack.  Anyway, this little guy had managed to get to the parking lot and was under a car crying his little heart out.  So, I crawled under the car to retrieve him (yes, several scratches and bites were endured during said rescue operation) and managed to get him home safe and sound.  This is the same cat my husband and I could not find in the house and spent several hours driving around and calling his name thinking that he had gotten out again and only goodness knows what had happened to him.  We found him later hiding inside our couch in the basement. He was a little shit like that.  But he was my little shit.

When he was younger, he would also sit outside of my bedroom door and cry to be let in while I was trying to sleep.  Understand that I wanted him with me (and those cries hurt my heart) but he had claws, I had a waterbed and he liked to jump from the bed to the headboard, thus causing several leaks which had to be patched in the middle of the night. Needless to say, I relented many, many times and did a lot of patching of holes.  I let him in once again and woke up in a puddle of water.  I slept on the floor that night with Giz by my side, purring.

Anyway, long story short, we found out that he had diabetes and needed to receive insulin shots twice a day.  If you have read this far, you know this was daunting, but we loved him so much we did it.  We gave him fluids in his tushy.  Giz of course was no fan but he endured because he was a fighter.  Then we found out he had a “flipped” stomach (who the heck even knew that existed? We sure as heck did not).  We cried a lot and paid for the surgery to have that fixed. Our little fighter bounced back – again.  No thanks to the ER Vet Hospital who told us we had to pay in advance for what they thought they might do ($$$$$) or they would let him die.  No kidding and they said that to us with a straight face. We spent hours on the phone trying to get credit to have them save him.  In the end, we just pulled the trigger and went into debt with a different credit card as the “animal credit card” people also suck and would not give us enough credit for the “possible” amount we may have had to pay.  It’s worth noting that we have very good credit and our cat was possibly dying while all of this was happening.

I do suppose thanks are due to the person who actually performed the surgery – but you know the company you work for and their practice of doing that to people is bullshit. Ugh.

We did eventually have to take him to another ER Vet clinic for a different issue and it was not that one thank goodness. If you have an animal who is in distress, please do not take them to the clinic in Bowie, MD.  Just my humble opinion (but if you Google “Shitty vet clinic Bowie MD” they are the fourth choice that shows up – Dogs and Cats Veterinary Referral).  Just saying.

In a nutshell, Gizmo was aptly named after the little guy from Gremlins.  He was unique, strong, lovable and a fighter.  He fought back on everything that his little body threw at him and kicked its ass every time.  So much so that even while at the Vet, at 18 years old (88 in human years!), in arthritic pain and had cataracts was giving me his paw and still trying to get up – knowing he couldn’t – but he still tried.

If only we could all be Badass like that.  This is really a very short story about a cat who deserves a novel.  A cat who was much more than that to those who loved him and still do.

It’s taken me almost two years to post this and as when I wrote it back then there were too many tears.  Now, there are still tears when I read this, but at least now I smile when I see his picture on the fridge instead of cry.

Love and miss you Giz.  Who’s the cat?  You’re the cat!!!