Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.),
Rescue / shelter organization
Gardner, Kansas, United States
Posted Dec 01, 2012
The Story of Gio
Gio and his brother Neo were born under a rosebush in Albuquerque, NM. The two boys, along with their three tri-color tortie sisters, and their Momcat, were rescued by a UPS driver client of mine. I had long been on the lookout to adopt a solid gray cat, “Carpet Gray” I called them, like a plush blue-gray carpet. My client told me about the kittens, and I nearly exploded with excitement. I made plans to meet the gray kitten at his foster mom’s house as soon as possible.
Momcat was a sleek black shorthair with oriental features, long of face, leg and tail. The three tortie girls were medium length hair, and identical to each other. The black kitten, later called Neo, was all over me. The gray kitten I had come to see was not so interested in seeing me. He hid behind the foster mom, and resisted my best efforts to engage with him.
Eventually, after watching his brother have all the fun playing with and on me, Gray kitten decided perhaps I was not an evil ogre there to eat him. He slowly advanced on me, sniffing me and investigating. He allowed himself to be petted briefly, then hung out with Momcat nearby. He was done being interested with me. Naturally, I decided to bring him and his inquisitive brother home with me. Somehow, kittens come in pairs more often than not.
The two kittens, in their kitten crates, were kept for a few days in the laundry room, to give them time to adjust to me, the elderly Ladycat in the house, and the dog. Gray cat was named Grigio by my daughter, who had discovered Grigio meant “gray” in Italian. His nickname quickly became Gio. One day, it was “meet the family face-to-face” day, and the baby gate between the laundry room and the rest of the house was removed. No one noticed, not kittens, nor dog, nor Ladycat.
Gio barely ventured out of his crate, unlike his more adventurous brother, Neo. He would come to the laundry room door, look around, then go back to hide in the crate. Eventually, though, he made it across the mystical line separating the laundry room from the living room. At that moment, the dog came bounding through the living room. This dog, raised by Ladycat, had neither fear nor aggression toward cats, and had been eager to meet Neo a few minutes earlier in the living room. Dog ran past the laundry door, completely oblivious to the gray kitten. Gio, however, saw the dog. He immediately “fuzzed up” – becoming twice his normal size. He screeched at the dog, hissed, then ran and hid in his crate. He refused to come out for days.
Later, he did come out, and gradually explored the house with his brother. He loved to crawl in paper grocery bags, boxes, any hidey-hole he could find. More than once when he was a kitten, we had to rescue him from under furniture, and once from inside the reclining chair. As he grew up, he grew to like me, and to tolerate other humans. However, to this day he does not generally like people other than me. My friends all call him the “grumpy old man” because he will not tolerate attention from anyone. I call him “Wide Load” and “Gio the Hutt” because in spite of strict dieting, he has become rather huge. The tiny gray ball of fluff that would fit in my hand is now a 15 pound monster.