We have a cat in our house. I've never been fond of these coy creatures who strut about like they own the joint. However, Wyatt loves cats, and I love Wyatt. So on Wyatt's ninth birthday, we adopted a felis catus that had been abandoned in a cardboard box on the doorstep of our local vet. They couldn't nail down the cat's age, but she is well beyond kitten. They pulled most of her teeth, rotted as they were. We have no idea of the cat's original name, which was welcome news to Wyatt because this meant he could pick a new one. For a boy, naming your pet is half the reason for having a pet at all. We purchased a litter box and a couple toys and new feeding dishes. Spark took up residence in Wyatt's room, settling on Wyatt's bean bag as her nest and perch.
We assume Spark has abuse in her background. She was skittish her first months in our home. In high school, a friend spotted a cat sunning on the sidewalk where we walked. He snagged the feline by the tail and twirled her, screaching as only a terrorized cat can, above his head in large, looping arcs. At the height of one of his whirls, he released the cat, catapulting the shrieking projectile toward the roof of a building near us. She survived the ordeal, but all that to say that the world can be cruel to the Sparks among us.
The beauty for Spark is that she's found herself a Wyatt, a boy who will hug her and talk to her and who would surely punch in the nose any ruffian who intended to toss her on a roof. Some mornings, Wyatt will come downstairs with his t-shirt covered in white cat hair, proof of all the play and love he's pouring on that little creature who has now found a place to belong.
Each of us have a bit of Spark in our story. And, I pray, everyone of us has a Wyatt.