We met our next-door neighbors last night, first through an open kitchen window and then coming around the fence in the dark with a ladder. They had heard us outside under the big pine behind our house, coaxing, planning, not-quite panicking, and on the phone with J's parents- woken from bed and an hour away. We've had a raccoon around our house lately, and our cat (the one that goes outdoors) hadn't been at the door asking to be let in, then out, then in, and back out again for a few hours. With an owner's intuition, J had gone around the house with a flashlight and, soon led by piteous meows, came upon beloved Michette's eyeshine, twenty-five feet up, on the lowest branch of the big pine. He came back into the house where I was trying to sleep, because of course I work early in the morning, to get me to hold the flashlight so he could climb onto the roof. Outside, the air was mild and softly misting. A faint drizzle fell around the tree and on the roof, and our breath rose in wisps and puffs of steam. Not safe. There was no way I was letting this happen. I love this cat but I love my man more. Her vantage point was about ten feet up from the roof and two feet over, entirely doable for this semi-wild beast we had just watched a Nature of Things documentary about. The ladder he had found in our back shed was too short to get up to our somewhat rickety extension roof. We tried to lean a huge and heavy beam up against the tree but the angle was too sharp so down it went with a thump. J's parents had just turned down his plan to drive out and bring their ladder in their van when our lovely neighbors came on the scene. Minutes later, J was climbing down the long ladder with a squirming, embarrassed little striped cat under his arm while we introduced ourselves. Our other cat, who no longer goes outside much, used to run up trees and get down them almost as quickly. She chased squirrels and seemed to be part squirrel herself. Michette, while an intrepid creature on the ground, is not a tree cat. She could have jumped but she had her limit to what she would try and was just too scared. I'm learning to drive standard right now. When I'm in the passenger seat, I watch my partner's feet and ask questions about the shifts in scenarios we encounter on our way home. A lot seems to come down to momentum, especially uphill starts and puttering or coasting along in traffic.

Momentum is happening in other places too. This is my fourth day back writing on this blog, and it keeps getting easier to begin. I'm welcoming the return of a daily practice. My friend Rachel got me writing again, though she doesn't know it. Her beautiful honest words inspired me to want to speak with my voice. When I read her blog I silently wish her abundance and all good blessings. I admire her strength in transmuting so many challenges into such engaging and beautiful writings. I imagine a circle of readers across the rock and water of North America, moved and wishing well.