But, one evening in mid-October, we came home to find a message on our machine. Our neighbor, Marge, had a kitten in her garage, and she wondered if we would want it. It turns out, her son, Joel, was living with a friend in an apartment down on the river, about 6 blocks from us. He was walking one morning when he heard mewling, and found a little striped grey kitten, bedraggled and wet, struggling on the bank. He took it back to the apartment, only to find his friend irate. I'm not sure what the story was there. He may not have liked cats, but I think there was more to it. Joel was never the most productive fellow, and I suspect he was living off the good graces of his friend. Bringing a cat home was likely close to the final straw for him. He told Joel to get the cat out of the place within the hour or he could go, too. So, knowing no other options, he did what most grown-ups do when they don't know what else to do; he took it to Mom and Dad.
Well, Mom and Dad (Marge and Bud, to us), had two dogs, and didn't think they would appreciate having a cat in the house. They knew we had kitties, so Marge called us and left that message, then put the kitten in the only safe and comfortable place she could think of - her car.
So, when we came over to see the kitten, she took us out to the garage. We were expecting a mangy, scrawny, drippy little thing that would shy away from any quick movement, as strays so often do. Instead, we saw this adorable little grey thing curled up in the front seat, as cozy as could be. I opened the car door and he looked up at me and immediately crawled up my chest and stuck his head under my chin, as if to say "Where've you been, Mama?" Of course he came home with us.
We took him to the vet the next morning, got him all checked out, vaccinated, and cleaned up. He was the picture of health. It took another day to come up with the name Moses. Perfect! Enter Moses Kopiski. We always like to dignify our kitties with middle names. Ivan's was Raskalnikov, for he was prone to bouts of aggression followed by contrition. Bernice's was La Flueur, for she was indeed our "little flower". Moses' name proved to be a poser. He liked eating bugs, so we often called him "Renfield", but it didn't really go with the flow. We liked the sound of Moses P. Kopiski, but could never settle on what the P. stood for. In the end, we left it at that, and decided Moses would let us know what it stood for when he was good and ready. Turns out, it took a lifetime for us to get it. But it was worth the wait.
It's easy for us to remember the general time in which Moses came into our lives. Just about two weeks later, the five of us were sitting in the dining room on a sunny November 2nd, looking at 28 1/2 inches of beautiful snow - the Great Halloween Snowstorm had hit Minneapolis.
That's our jack-o-lantern, sitting under the snow.
We already knew that we had a special kitty, so we were beside ourselves with joy that we had saved this little fellow from his homelessness when we did. And I got two great Halloween Treats that year: a long, snow-filled weekend with my sweetie pie where everything stopped completely for a while, and a new kitty who would turn out the be one of my best friends.
For more pictures of Moses and his friends, click here.