It was in the spring when Moshi found Joel. He was just a bitty thing, a tiny bundle of gray and white who suddenly flew out from under a bush as Joel was mowing one evening. Nobody came around looking for a run-a-way kitten so my son claimed him as his own and gave him the name of Moshi.
It didn't take anytime at all to discover that the little guy had no intention of staying behind closed doors. No matter where he was in the house, he had the uncanny ability to get to an open door before it closed shut. Those first several weeks we were either looking for him, chasing him around the yard or crawling under the shrubs trying to get to him. He was the most determined cat I've ever encountered. Nothing could stop him, he'd even worked his way out of one of our screen doors. So Joel figured he'd just lower the glass and raise the screen. That didn't work either, he just climbed all the higher.
We have a nice walking track close to the parsonage, and Larry and I often take Rudy the dog for a couple laps in the evening. The first time I saw Moshi trailing along I panicked, concerned he'd not find his way back home. But he always did. One evening we had just left the park when a neighbor noticed him following close behind. He asked if he was ours. Kinda, I said, and explained he belonged to our son. He went on to tell us that he didn't care much for cats, but Moshi had been over there visiting on a few occasions. "I really like this one," he confessed.
One evening Rudy and I were taking a walk down Charles Street. He was especially excited, yanking at his leash, pulling me along at a pretty fast pace. Just a few houses up from the parsonage a woman suddenly came bounding out her front door laughing. "I'm sorry," she said, "but I have to say that seeing that little dog pulling you along and that little cat trailing behind you has to be one of the funniest things I've ever seen!" I turned and sure enough, there was Moshi following at the rear. Still laughing, my very amused neighbor headed back though the door as I made a grab for the cat. But Speedy Gonzales wasn't about to let this outing end and he immediately flew out of reach. With a sigh, I turned Rudy around and we walked the short distance back home, Moshi not far behind. Following in a park is one thing, on a road at dusk is another.
Some choose to live fast and furious. That was Moshi, he had the DNA of a traveler, an adventurer. I always figured that as soon as he could crawl his way out of that birth box, away from his mama and siblings, that's what he did. Oh sure, he ended up living with us for a time and quite contentedly. He was small, but the motor-like purr that came out of him would fill an entire room. He ate our food, curled up on our couch each evening, and crawled into one of our beds at night. But when the sun was up, so was he. There was no holding him in, he was ready to explore, to experience whatever and whoever he should encounter that day.
Moshi was with us less than a year. The very thing I feared is what took his life, the street. Larry buried him in the back yard of the parsonage, right along the fence and placed a plastic bucket full of artificial flowers marking the spot. That was a year and a half ago and the arrangement is still there. Larry asked me a few months back if I wanted it removed. I told him to leave it. There are some things worth remembering. Moshi is one of them.