The Story of Gato — the Cat Who Transformed Our Hearts

by Elijah Free, MH, CMI, CMT

About nine years ago, my wife and I moved to a cottage that was one of four on a property the size of a small park.

Elijah Free practices transformational healing modalities at Pacific Naturopathic in Mountain View, CA
Elijah Free practices transformational healing modalities at Pacific Naturopathic in Mountain View, CA

We moved with our two cats. Living on the property was a semi-feral and homeless large black and white tuxedo cat. He was not fixed and was covered with fighting scars and wounds that never healed. He had a broken fang and was near skeletal from starvation. It made me a bit concerned for our cats.

However, he never seemed to bother our cats and was interested in me. A day later, while walking through the yard, our eyes met and locked. It was like he was showing me his very spirit. I saw just who he was and said, “This is an exceptional cat. We are going to take him in.:

Our neighbor who was there at the time said he needed a name right then, and Gato became part of our family.

After our initial connection, I brought him out some food. I was going to feed him anyhow, no matter what. When I called ‘Gato’ for the first time. He came running immediately. It was evident this was an exceptionally intelligent cat.

When fall came, we had progressed to where he might come in for a few minutes, but he needed an exit nearby.

By late September we knew the rains would be coming soon. We were on the back porch and I said to Gato, “We need to work with your coming indoors. The rains will start soon. And besides, I’ve fallen in love with you.”

Gato gave me one of his knowing looks and turned over and showed me his belly. This was his way of saying, “Yeah, me too.” Then he ran off.

Over the years Gato became a beloved family member to both my wife and myself. It was very clear this was one of the smartest cats we had ever seen. Gato made up games he would play with definite rules.

One day months after he moved in I said to Gato, “Hey House Cat. How’s your day going?”

Gato had transformed from a homeless, starved and lonely cat into an adored housecat.

Gato, the feral cat who won our hearts.
Gato, the feral cat who won our hearts.

However, what we had to deal with was that Gato had contracted FIV, which is like feline HIV from his homeless days. Our vet told us that this could affect his health dramatically.

For over nine years Gato looked to be the very vision of health with shiny fur and bright eyes.

The beginning of this past October Gato got very ill. He was diagnosed with advanced leukemia as the result of a compromised immune system. The vet also told us that he had far outlived his life expectancy by several times with his underlying condition.

Gato began to wind down his life. A short time ago, I took a week off from the clinic to hospice my beloved family member.

This became one of the most transformational experiences I have had in many years. I spent all of my time with Gato caring for his every need. He ate up till the end and I kept him hydrated and as comfortable as possible.

When the time came, I held him for a long time and we said our goodbyes for this life. Gato had one of the most beautiful passings a that I have ever experienced. I have been around a lot of death earlier in my life in the military and as a paramedic.

From this experience with Gato, I have found myself with a much more open heart from the love we shared and the profound care during our last week together.

I had transformed Gato into a loved housecat. And Gato transformed me into a more open and caring being. We were complete.  

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Elijah Free is a healer, specializing in pain elimination of all types, both mechanical and metabolic.

 He is a master medical herbalist with numerous specialties, a researcher and product designer for his own label; 

Earth Friend Herb Company

 Elijah is the author of Apprentice to Angels, and a U.S. patent holder for a formula to eradicate fibromyaligia. 

He is the creator of a formula to end PTSD for war veterans and civilians alike. A documentary video may be seen about the healing of PTSD in war veterans.

Elijah has been an associate at Pacific Naturopathic 

for over fifteen years. 

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To schedule an appointment with Elijah, 

please phone 650-917-1121.