Wednesday, July 15, 2009

For The Love of Moe: A cat destined for a lifetime of love

The San Francisco SPCA makes magic happen everyday. We are always standing at the intersection of love and friendship and it truly is the best place to be, day after day. One of the most rewarding aspects of what we do each day is hearing from the people who we help to make those love connections with.

Sometimes, cats can go through several transitions before ending up in the ideal home. Unexpected circumstances like moving, allergies, new-born babies, even the passing of a human guardian will stand in the way of a cat having the rich routines they so desperately deserve.

Moe's story is a great example of one man and one cat's journey together. It twists and turns and ends up warming your heart. Without further adieu, I give you this wonderful story, written by Moe's guardian, Robert.


According to the my documents from the San Francisco SPCA, Moe the cat was born on July 24, 1999. In the Fall of 1999 he was adopted by my friend Ken. Unfortunately, my friend Ken decided then to go graduate school and he discovered that his boy friend was allergic to cats. One would think they would have discussed this before the adoption; kind of like having a child: "Honey, you want to have kids?" No one ever likes "Oops! I'm preggers" as the proclamation of a coming child.

But I do digress. Ken surrendered Moe on January 8, 2000. When Ken told me what he had done, I called into question his parentage and vowed to go to the San Francisco SPCA the next day and adopt Moe. When Ken reminded me of my allergies to cats, I told him "I will find a way to deal with it." On January 13, I and a mutual friend of Ken and mine, drove to the SPCA location in Potrero Hill; breaking a few traffic laws in the process.

Once there, we were told Moe and a number of other cats were near Union Square for outreach. I rang Ken who works in the Financial District and told him "Get out of your office, get down to Union Square, find your cat and make sure no one adopts him until we get there!" We all arrived at the same time. As Ken walked past the cages of cats, I suddenly saw a little orange Tabby arm with a white paw reach towards Ken from between the bars of the cage. It was Moe. My heart broke...can we say "AAAAAWWWWW"?


So, on January 13, 2000, Moe the cat became my friend and companion. That night, when I went to bed, I decided to close my bedroom door as I was worried about my allergies to cats and wanted one room in the house where I could breath. Silly human, I had yet to learn the tenacity of cats and the persuasiveness of kittens. There was a meowing outside my bedroom door that I could not ignore. Poor little kitten, first time in a new place, just after being surrendered and then adopted by someone else.

OK, so I caved. Not like it would have taken much anyway. But, I told myself, I will not allow him on the bed, as being able to breath is something I find rather important. For any cat owner at this point who is reading this, you must understand, I was naive.


Moe was my first cat. Stay off the bed? I opened the door and first thing Moe did was to hop up onto the bed. So then I told myself, "Ok, he can sleep on the bed, but I won't let him near my face." You're laughing now, aren't you? You know what is coming, don't you? I lie down in bed and the first thing Moe does is to curl up next my head. I though "I am so dead in the morning. I will stop breathing at some point and just not wake up. All for a kitten." Once again, I called in question Ken's parentage.

The morning comes, and I can breath. I am fine. No allergies. Somewhere between the ages of 27 & 30, I lost my allergies to cats. How? No clue. Five years later, I would decide Moe needed another cat - he disagreed - and I adopted "Bessie" from the East Bay SPCA; and promptly changed her name to Selina Kyle. Moe having lived just he & I for five years, took some adjustment to his new friend. But after a month's time, they bonded and now seem inseparable.


Two years ago, I found myself a bi-pedal companion and adopted him too. He also came with a cat named Tanner. A twenty-five pound bundle of love who loves nothing more than to be held in your arms 24/7. Keith - my human - and I bought a house and moved in together in the Fall of 2008. When we did, we adopted a beautiful Tortoise-shell Siamese. Her name was "Monkey" but it was changed to Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. I deny having anything to do with renaming however, "Mage" proved her namesake accurate. In one word: "Diva." Surprisingly, Moe who is very much and alpha male and Madonna who is an alpha female, get along the best. They play often. Who knew?

I thought the SF SPCA would like to know how one of your adoptees is doing. Moe still sleeps with me every night, but no longer next to my head. He now insists upon sleeping ON me. Like most Leos, he loves to be held and scratched and cuddled, but only when no one else is looking. He hides when Ken pays a visit, but I have since stopped calling into question Ken's parentage.

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