Birthday Girl

Today is July 8th, one of my favorite days of the year. No, it’s not a holiday or anniversary. On 7/8 of 1997, 13 years ago, Gypsy was born into this world. I couldn’t ask for a better cat and I love her like a daughter. I consider myself blessed everyday to have such a wonderful cat in my life. In honor of Gypsy being a teenager today(oh no, my little girl is gone!) I decided to post her story and how she made it into my life.
1997, it was nearing the end of summer and I would be entering into my freshman year of high school in August. My family had been cat-less for a few weeks and the loss of our last cat took a toll on all of us. In October, we decided to go to the Greentree Festival and look at the cats available for adoption.
Our parents told my sister and I that we could each pick out a cat of our own. There were cute kittens and quiet kittens in every color, but none were drawing me to them. I rounded the booth and on the head table, in a wire cage covered with a blanket all alone, was Gypsy. I lifted up the blanket slowly and immediately a paw took a swat at me. I lifted it up more to reveal a gray kitten, chewing the metal bars and clawing at me. The woman saw me looking at the kitten and told me the kitten wasn’t really meant for adoption and that they brought her because they were required to showcase all their kittens today. I asked if I could hold her and the woman hesitantly agreed. She handed me the fighting kitten and I carefully grabbed her. I fell in love the minute I touched her. Her fur was so plush and soft, the way she aggressively gnawed on my arm and lovingly left claw marks on my shirt and arms told me this was the kitten for me. “She’s so cute! She’s perfect!” I exclaimed. The lady stared at me wide eyed and told me that is a wild cat and that she wasn’t suitable for adoption. I ignored her and asked how much the cat was. The lady pretended not to hear and explained that this kitten was “damaged”. When they had gotten her, she had a larvae taking up residence in her nose and when they pulled it out, it had crushed her left nostril and left permanent damage. The lady told me the cat would always have medical issues due to this and that they weren’t planning on keeping her in their facility much longer. With Gypsy still comfortably in my arms, making a meal out of my arm, I looked the woman straight in the eyes and repeated my question “How much?” She got snippy and said “Twinkle Toes is the same price as the others”. I called my parents over and said I wanted this one. They looked at me and at each other and made sure I was serious. I didn’t have a name for this adorable bundle of kitten energy, but in the car I quickly got one. She was wild, feisty, and clawing through her cardboard carry-home box. I knew a name like Fluffy or Princess just wouldn’t do. Her nature was bold, she was a survivor, a fighter, no one can tell her how to live. Gypsy popped into my head and it was a perfect fit.
Nowadays Gypsy is very different. She has outgrown her kitten phase and only attacks hangers and fridge magnets. She’s a major cuddlebug and loves being petted, held and loved on. Her nose? Yes, she still has problems with nasal drainage as well as eye drainage and she gets an infection in her nose or eyes a few times a year, but it’s nothing the vet and I can’t handle. You can always tell where she is, because you can hear her sniffing. She loves it when I sniff and snort her fur, maybe because she thinks I’m like her. The journey with Gypsy has been wonderful, she’s never failed to lift my spirits, listen to any problems I have, and help me sleep at night. I can’t wait to see what our future together holds, here’s to Gypsy on her 13th birthday.

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