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About 18 years ago, my son, Jesse, and I were driving along a country road when we saw a small, gray kitten sitting on the roadside. His little mouth was opening and closing, so we knew he was meowing. I pulled over, thinking the kitten might have been injured, and told Jesse to go check. Jesse left the passenger side door open and walked toward the kitten. As he did, the kitten got up and started running toward him. But the kitten didn't run to my son; he ran past him, got to the car, and jumped in through the open door.

What do you do when a kitten is so determined to go home with you? We took him to the vet, got his vaccines, and had him neutered when he was old enough...and we named him Kahlil, after Kahlil Gibran, the inspirational poet, because we decided this kitten was wise and definitely inspired (he knew the right path into our hearts!).

Kahlil will turn 19 in a few months. He's a 14-year cancer survivor, takes daily medicine for hyperthyroidism, has lost some teeth, and gets a dose of tonic every day. He's a little shaky sometimes and partially blind, but when the other cats get near his food, he still warns them off with a solid smack!

Just recently, I discovered Kahlil's origins. The owners of a house near where we found Kahlil had moved and abandoned about 60 cats and kittens. The animal control officer came out and collected the majority of them, and, sadly, few, if any, of these poor animals were adopted. Kahlil managed to avoid being caught, but he somehow knew it was okay to be out there waiting for us!

Troy, NC

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