Nov 01, 2021, 11:48pm
Updated on: Nov 02, 2021, 2:46pm
The biggest cat in New Jersey is up for adoption. The cat, made of fiberglass, is 52 years old and, according to its owner, appeared in the 1969 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Fifty-two years I’ve had this cat… Everybody called me crazy,” says Billy Moriarty.
Moriarty is a self-described animal lover and is looking for a new home for his 1,000-pound fiberglass feline. He says that the cat started its life as a Thanksgiving float in the parade.
“I’m just hoping someone can find a good home for it. I never want to get it destroyed,” Moriarty says.
The relationship between Moriarty and the cat is an interesting one. Then a 22-year-old truck driver, Moriarty was called to the old Macy’s parade workshop in Weehawken where the floats were being discarded.
“I took out Cinderella’s castle, brought it to the dump and dumped it. I took out the big dinosaur – Boom – and I watched it get crushed by the bulldozers,” he says.
But when the cat, which sports a Santa hat, was loaded onto his truck, Moriarty says he couldn’t bear to bring it to the crusher. Instead, he took it to Joe’s Truck Stop on Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City, where it sat in the room for a decade or so.
When Joe’s Truck Stop went out of business, there was a run-in with a guy from the bank who tried to seize it.
“He goes to me, ‘What are you doing with the cat?’ I says, ‘What do you mean what am I doing with the cat? That’s my cat,’” Moriarty recalls.
There were some tense moments, with Moriarty threatening to back the big cat over the other man’s vehicle.
He also recalled another time when the cat’s tail took down some telephone wires.
“Oh man, that day was funny,” he says.
Moriarty got his cat back and moved it to his friend’s business Cliffy’s Clocks in Jersey City. It sat on the roof for decades and became a well-known roadside attraction.
“I left it up there until his wife finally got disgusted with it and made me take it down,” he says.
There were a few more stops before Moriarty finally brought the cat to his current workplace, a truck parts warehouse against the railroad tracks in Belleville.
“This is the sixth time I’ve moved my cat. It’s only got three lives left. A …….