The Right Thing

On a walk my daughters and I often take in the evening, we pass a house where a little black cat trots out to meet us. The cat’s tail is bony, its nose white as if dipped into a saucer of cream.

We always turn down that particular street, saying, Let’s go see the cat, and stop and pet this friendly creature.

In the dark last night, a car followed us, then stopped, as the cat sat in the street. When the cat didn’t move, my daughters and I turned and walked back, to encourage the cat to head along now. The driver pulled up and rolled down the window.

I didn’t recognize this curly-haired woman. She asked me if the cat was mine. When I said no, she wondered aloud why she had kept sitting in the car. I didn’t know what to do, she told me. The cat didn’t move.

I laughed and told her, You did the right thing.

She raised her hands from the steering wheel and began laughing. I did the right thing! she exclaimed.

Walking home in the dark, I kept thinking of what looks to be a long winter ahead. But for a radiant moment, Saturday showed us our VP-elect proudly acknowledging the history and labor of so many nameless others. It’s a historic moment my daughters relish.

“So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.”

— Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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