The main difference between finding a cat in a park in Alicante and adopting one from a shelter is that you really have no idea of its history or even its sex. We assumed Gizmo was a he because, well, he looked like a he. But when one of David’s friends came to the apartment and was confident that he was a she, we realized that we really didn’t have a clue or any proof that he really was a he. At the same time, we had grown so used to thinking of Gizmo as a he that if he was really a she, it would change everything. Even Gizmo’s name would have to be changed, but Gizma didn’t have nearly the same ring to it. In a state of confusion, we decided to seriously examine Gizmo to see if we could find a clue. Having never really examined one and not quite sure what it looked like, we turned him/her over, but couldn’t find tangible evidence either way.
It was then that we decided we seriously needed to go to the vet. We needed to go anyway for Sushi’s passport and Gizmo’s vaccinations, but this sudden confusion over what Gizmo actually was made the visit more urgent than ever. So with Sushi in David’s arms and Gizmo in mine (the cat travel bag that we used to use to bring Sushi to Central Park was in one of the boxes en route and we had long ago lost track of the cat leash we had in NYC), we set out for the vet that was around the corner and down the street.
We must have been quite a site walking down the street with a huge American cat and a tiny Spanish one. Gizmo even elicited a compliment in French from French tourists about how cute he was. I was just happy that we were all still in tact when we arrived at the vet.
Gizmo got his first round of vaccinations and a preliminary passport. (In Europe, animals get passports just like humans, with a picture and all. This allows them to travel hassle-free between countries. And because one day we might want to visit France and take the cats with us, we’ll need this.) And we set a date to return on the 28th to get more vaccinations and his permanent passport.
But, most importantly, we found out the answer to our burning question. Gizmo is… a he. We also found out that he’s about three months old, which means that there’s a good chance that while I was celebrating my 31st birthday in New York City, Gizmo was being born in Alicante.
He is healthy and happy and has weaseled his way right into our hearts and our home. And when my brother tells me over the phone about how his newborn daughter sucks on his fist when she’s hungry, I can fully relate. We, too, have a newborn that does the same exact thing!
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