My cat Moish came into my life as unexpectedly as possible. It was a bitter cold March evening while walking home from dinner that fate came into play. For some reason I took a different route than normal. I was tipsy from wine. A woman walked past with a little girl carrying a cat carrier. As I was crossing the street, she said in broken English: “miss, miss, you want cat? I found just down street, take please.” I told her to take the cat to the ASPCA which she didn’t understand. It was dark out and I couldn’t see a thing. On a whim I said “fine, give it to me!” My imbibed state quickly thought “what the hell am I doing? I can’t deal with this.” Up to my apartment I went, weirded out by the situation.
I put the carrier down, took off my coat, and prepared for whatever creature was about to walk out. Thoughts of disaster arose, what if it’s a skunk? or a raccoon? I opened the door and out came the most beautiful, soulful, confused cat imaginable. I was stunned. He wore a collar with an address and phone number on it, and I knew I was now going to have to track his owner down. I went to the store, bought a foil roasting pan, litter, and food, and decided it was too late to do anything. This male feline paced around my apartment, obviously agitated. When I got into bed a couple of hours later he came in, jumped up, and fell into my arms like a needy baby. This little guy who craved warmth, touch, affection was now with me. I was hesitant about cuddling with him because he had what I thought could be a tumor, or worse, an infected cyst with maggots inside.
The next day I called the number on his collar, and the woman who answered said she had no idea why her number was on the collar. She swore she didn’t have a cat and sounded sincere. I next walked over to the address a few blocks from me and rang the buzzer. A woman who answered started screaming out the window psychotically to get the hell away. She was insane, and no way was I going to try to reason with her. When I returned home it hit me: I have a cat, like it or not.
I ended up spending the next year and eight months with Moish. Unbeknownst to me he was way older than I thought and turned out to be quite sick. The time I spent with him was remarkable. Our bond was so tight and I loved him as much as humanly possible. His destiny was to pass away with me, and as painful as that was, I wouldn’t change knowing Moish Hoffman for the world.