A’Lana Bates and her father asked their mother what she wanted for Mother’s Day in 2020 in January. Her response? a white and orange cat.
Bates told The Dodo, “We had a stray turn up in the early ’90s who was an orange and white female and she was the finest cat. A few years after her passing, we got Spooky, an orange and white barn cat who was a pure delight. Mom wanted another after his death in 2008
Naturally, everyone felt the request was adorable and decided to adopt her a kitten in May. Tom instead arrived.
Only a few weeks after Bates’ mom spoke her wish out loud, a stray orange and white cat wandered into the family’s yard in the middle of a rainstorm. They couldn’t believe that the kind of cat they’d been looking for had suddenly appeared, but at first, he certainly wasn’t what anyone had expected.
“At first he was very rough-and-tumble and only wanted us to bring him food and water on the deck,” Bates said. “Slowly he started coming in the house, but we couldn’t touch him.”
It took a very long time to win Tom’s trust, yet he kept returning. He obviously wanted to be a part of the family and felt at home there. It was all a little unfamiliar to him. But his new family was extremely kind with him. He still has his eccentricities, but he appears to have accepted that he is now a part of the family.
Tom enjoys being petted, but if you do so for a second longer than he would like, he will bite you as a warning. Only Bates’ mother is authorized to take him up. His name came about since she is undoubtedly the cat he belongs to more than anybody else.
Despite it all, Tom’s family loves him so much, and somehow, they wouldn’t have him any other way.
“Tom wants to be a lover but isn’t sure how,” Bates said. “I am pretty sure the moment he showed up, my folks knew they were keeping him.”
Tom the orange cat showed up exactly when he was needed, and both he and his family are so grateful that they found each other — even though Tom occasionally forgets to show it.