Everyday as I walk through the Financial District on my to work, I pass this older man, a senior, who I figured was either homeless or living in a shelter. It turns out he is homeless. His name is Paul and his beautiful, brown Himalayan cat's name is Chiquita. They are inseparable. He carries her in a backpack or on his shoulder. She wears a leash and I have seen the two of them walking down Market Street, a main thoroughfare. He utter loves this cat and takes impeccable care of her.
Since I pass him everyday, we have become friends. In the past week or so he has been troubled by someone stealing from him while he is sleeping. First, it was his small, portable, radio & headphones. Its the only other thing he has and loves. He replaced the radio at the beginning of the month and then someone tried to steal his earphones. He had tied them into a hole in his jacket so when the thief pulled on them it broke. He had to replace these too.
Well, today when I saw him he told me that someone had stolen his beloved cat, Chiquita, last night. The two of them have been together for the past eight years. He tried to run after the thieves, but he cant run very fast. He started crying when he told me that she was the only thing he had. For the next three hours, he looked everywhere for her, but couldn't find her.
I can't tell you how sad this has made me. My friends at work remind me, with compassion, that this is life on the streets. A cat is stolen from a homeless guy so someone else can buy drugs. But, it breaks my heart nonetheless. I have been crying all daylong and praying for a miracle.