By Mick Jensen
Geriatric puss Gizmo has led a life of ups and downs, but at the age of 20 he’s enjoying a contented retirement in Ashburton.
Gizmo began life in the district and was one of five kittens dumped at the Mid Canterbury Animal Welfare Centre (formerly Mid Canterbury SPCA) two decades ago.
two siblings were rehomed and lived together in Christchurch for a number of years.
Gizmo was hit hard by the quakes and around five or six years ago he came back to Ashburton courtesy of Rallou Keeley and her late husband John.
The Keeleys are big animal lovers and have been involved with running the Mid Canterbury Animal Welfare Centre for many years.
Gizmo now lives with other older cats and barn cats and enjoys the run of the Outpost, a three-room area at the back of the welfare centre’s building off Smithfield Road.
Rallou Keeley said she remembered Gizmo as a kitten.
“He always had ‘runny’ ears,” she said.
Gizmo was older and slower these days, but liked to be fussed and he ate well.
“He eats on his own. The other cats in the Outpost move back for him and they eat later.”
Cats in the Outpost ranged in age from 10 upwards.
Gizmo was the most senior of the felines and quite affectionate, said Mrs Keeley.
“He loves his soft food these days and his milk.”
Mid Canterbury Animal Welfare Centre has a no-kill policy for cats and dogs brought in, unless they are sick.