Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Loving the Unwanted

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.


  1. Amazing how He does that, don't you think?

    (If Wyatt should ever decide that Jonah needs another friend, I do have one Sanchez the Cat that has taken over my house, with stray roots and a dysfunctional cat family of origin to boot. They'd be great friends...)

  2. Isn't it funny how four footed furry friends find their way into our family? Many times they have a way of showing us about faithfulness and thankfulness! :)

  3. Hopefully, they can help teach my children kindness, too, Julie.

    And Lyla, my hubby is NOT a cat person and yet he shares the house with 3 inside and 1 1/2 outside at present (all who just "needed a home" except for the one pretty princess who we chose, and she knows it)...he's often said my verse should be, "If you love me, feed my cats." He might decide to live on the roof if I told him I was adopting yet another dysfunctional cat. :-)

  4. That's funny...in Argentina, they keep their dogs on the roof...

  5. Oh, don't you just love it when God gives us something we didn't know we wanted? I just love that about Him! Love that picture, it's award-winning!

  6. Too funny, Lyla! I'll remind my hubby of that if he ever decides he's had enough of the cat haven indoors.

  7. I have dogs now, so I can't have cats. But when the children were little we had Siamese cats. My father always had a little bag where he would put a stray kitten in, and bring it home, and we would love that kitten, thank my dad for rescuing it. Sometimes dad would even tie a red ribbon around it and give it to me and my sister as a surprise. At one time we had fifteen cats, all well fed, and loved, and lovingly looked after! You better believe it.

    So I can truly relate to this story!