|Gizmo liked to show up where he wasn't expected, like this laundry basket.|
Gizmo was a naughty cat. And demanding. He liked to drink at night from the faucet in our bathroom. But insisted that one of us open the tap, set to a precise trickle, while he watched, at night. That last part was vital. We couldn’t just set the trickle before bed and go to sleep. He’d wake us anyway.
Gizmo was a regal cat. He would regularly summon us downstairs to give him food. Even when his bowl already had food in it. I would troop after him in the middle of the night, knowing the bowl was already full. I would lean over, groaning, lift the bowl of kibble, and give it a ceremonial shake. Then Gizmo would deign to eat. Maybe. Sometimes he would just sniff and turn away. This went on for a decade. At least.
Gizmo was a punitive cat. Ignore him and there would be consequences. If one of us didn’t appear in the bathroom in what he considered a timely fashion, Gizmo would begin knocking things into the sink: cups, toothbrush stands, shaving cream cans. Anything that would make a loud, booming noise.
Gizmo was a destructive cat. Refuse to conduct the food bowl ceremony, and he would leap upon the hutch and nudge valuables — cups, saucers, a handmade ceramic Scott Frankenberger pie plate I had commissioned as a present for my wife’s birthday — off the shelves. Had I accidentally dropped that pie plate I would have been mocked forever after. But Gizmo’s act of deliberate vandalism was immediately forgiven. “A sweet cat,” my wife said.
Gizmo was a sensual cat. He enjoyed frequent and vigorous carnal relations with the stuffed tiger my younger son had won in Las Vegas. Gizmo liked to rendezvous with the object of his affections on the landing outside our bedroom door, letting out a piercing yowl that sounded like a cat being torn in half. I tried to ignore it, best I could.
Gizmo was a loyal cat. He slept at the foot of our bed, on my wife’s side, next to our other cat, Natasha. They would groom each other.
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