He came into my life just when I needed a friend.

I didn’t know that at the time, of course. At the time I thought that I was performing a rescue; I had no idea I was the one being rescued.

My friend Julie and I had gone to the animal shelter so I could adopt a cat. “Look at this one,” she said, pulling me toward a cage I hadn’t considered. An adult orange marmalade cat stared back at me, impassive.