Even before he was born, I didn't want him.
His mother kept him hidden at the neighbor's workshop, far away from the love of human hands. She was barely social herself, wandering in and out of our lives, sometimes disappearing for days at a time before materializing on the back steps. Just another pregnant unwanted one that someone had made my problem instead of theirs. And as expected, her son was wild, untouchable, unlovable.
With a 6-month-old son, myself, I didn't have any time to spare on a cat like that.
And so when we moved up to the family farm, I left him, his two siblings, and his mother to swipe a meal from other neighborhood food bowls.
But a month later, I still felt remorse for leaving them to struggle, so I returned to catch the mother and bring her to our new home. And he was there--one son sticking close to his mother's side. Lanky. Colored like an orange and cream dreamsicle. Too many ribs showing.
Just one month of August heat and irregular meals had taken its toll in another way, too. This time, he accepted a hand of kindness stroking his head and back. This time, he purred as he ate. Hunger had made him docile, even clingy.
I promised to return for him next. And I did.
Only then did we name him Jonah, after the reluctant Biblical prophet, because he was quite reluctant to stay in a cage during the 30 minute ride to a better life.
Now? I can't imagine my son without this cat. They're inseparable. We laughingly refer to Jonah as our cat-dog because he acts more canine than feline. If I "lose" Wyatt, I look for the pumpkin-colored splotch on the green landscape of our backyard.
I've seen Wyatt cover this poor cat with rocks and leaves, try to open the cat's mouth and insert some cat food because "he need some food." And still, Jonah sticks closer than a brother.
The cat I did not want has turned into a most faithful companion for a little boy who needs just that kind of friend.
Jonah is just one of the many things has God sent to my life that I didn't think I needed at the time. But now? I can't imagine life without any of them: My husband. The twins. Living a stone's throw from my mother in law.
I am thankful God knows my every need far in advance of my knowing it myself.