A few months ago, Matea was biking home from work when she saw a little ball of fluff on the side of the road. As she peddled closer, she realized that the fluff was actually a tiny stray kitten wandering all alone near a busy intersection.
“People were just walking by and not even stopping, which made me realize he probably wouldn’t get the help he needed,” Matea told The Dodo. “I’ve always had a soft spot for animals in need, and seeing him so tiny, walking around and no one caring, I knew I had to do something.”
Matea pulled over, and carefully approached the kitten. But when she scooped him up, he relaxed in her hands, as if he was grateful someone had noticed him. “He made no move to run away,” Matea said. “Maybe he realized I was there to help.”
Matea placed the kitten in her backpack, where he quickly made himself comfortable. “At first, he was a bit fussy when I put him in a backpack,” Matea said. “Soon enough, he got cozy on the dress I had in there and he fell asleep on it … I think he realized he had a soft and secure place to sleep.”
At home, Matea named the tiny tabby Gizmo and allowed him to keep sleeping in her backpack where he felt safe. Matea and her boyfriend knew the kitten was in bad shape, so they drove him to the vet where he was examined, given fluids, dewormed and treated for fleas.
It didn’t take long for Gizmo to start feeling better and for his adorable personality to shine through.
“He is such an Energizer bunny — hopping around, nipping at your ankles, playing with the many toys he’s got,” Matea said. “Occasionally, he will jump on my back, as if he remembers that backpack ride on the day I found him!”
Gizmo and Matea have quickly settled into a routine, and the little cat always wants to be as close as possible to his mom.
“He loves snuggling up to me when I wake up in the morning and when I get back from work,” Matea said. “We start every morning with him taking a nap in my lap for half an hour while I drink my morning coffee.”
Now, Matea can’t picture her life without Gizmo and is always grateful that she took the time to stop on that fateful day.
“I just want my story to maybe entice someone else to keep an eye out for the most vulnerable animals,” Matea said, “and help in any way they can.”