One of the neighbor cats came up the steps to visit. He's named Ducky. Not Duckie like in Pretty In Pink, not Dougie like in the revival of Twin Peaks (which I haven't seen any of yet, so no spoilers please), but Ducky. We don't yet really know each other, but he did let me scratch him and pet him. And he purred, which encouraged me.
I don't have enough experience with cats to yet be completely sure when a cat likes me: I told Ducky, as I've told other cats, "Thank you for not minding me." (I did smile as I said that.) I figured "not minding me" is, at least, a good goal, and Ducky and I have met that. And I kept petting and scratching him.
As quiet as my life's been this past year-and-half, where I've mostly not worked, I still — still — have trouble being In The Moment. Not thinking about later, not thinking about what needs doing, just being. Wait: Being. It deserves a capital letter. And
Ducky, this morning, helped me be in the moment. I didn't cut short my petting or scratching, except when he would briefly move or adjust. And once he had paused and seemed comfortable, I'd pet and scratch again.
It was a nice run of several minutes. And then his fellow cat Shelly Pepper — I think they live in the same house — showed up and visited with Ducky, too. Peacefully. I watched them for a minute. Now I'm back inside, deciding, after that little break, what to do next.
I feel better.