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