On December 30th, while I was working and prepping to pass the afternoon meds, one of my residents walked inside the unit and said, “There’s a kitten outside.”

I sighed.

It was lightly snowing that day, and it was the start of a 3-in-a-row work stretch that would include the new year. A snowstorm was forecast for the next day.

I sighed again.

Back in Miami, my ex and I had three cats, all of them rescues that came to us in similar ways: kittens that somehow showed up in our lives and whom we couldn’t say no to. So when I heard there was a kitten outside, I knew the pattern quite well, and I knew better than to fight fate. So I went outside, got the kitten from under a car, put it in a box, and took it home. I had a new cat. I named it Cincy, in honor of my new city.

I cleaned it up as best I could and two days later, in the middle of the snowstorm, took it to the vet, and got the meds I needed to cure the eye infection normal to most street kittens. I also found out Cincy was a boy cat. That was two weeks ago, and as I write this, he is perched on my arm, having climbed up my leg, and attempting to swat at my fingers while I type.

I missed my cat Pippin a lot. By mutual choice, my ex and I decided he would stay with her in Miami, so as to not subject him to the trauma of a move up north. But I missed him. I knew I’d eventually get a cat, but hadn’t really made any concrete plans about it. I guess I didn’t need to; we never made plans with the other three, and Cincy would be no different. Now that I have him, I realize how much I’d missed having a cat in my life. In a city where everything is new, where I only have two friends (one I rarely get to see), having Cincy has been a blessing.

Even if he sometimes bites my nose while I’m sleeping.