During today’s run/walk on a cool October morning, I was practicing being mindful of what was within and around me. I took note of my breath, paid attention to my thoughts as they happened, and heard the song of birds and the yelp of dogs in the distance. I took note of the trees, imagining when they might begin to turn color.

Above all, I could sense life teeming around me and through me, sensing a connection to all created things.

And then I saw the black, shiny cat with the ID tags. She was trotting on the opposite side of the street, and I was still a ways off. I found myself simply appreciating the life of this cat, the grace of its beauty. And I knew by instinct that the cat was sensing me as well. Sure enough, as I looked over at her she spotted me and quickly crossed the street. Without thinking I made the little kitty noises my dad always made when he was trying to get a cat to play with him. She stood next to me, and I gently petted her as the purrs kicked into gear.

“You’re a good kitty,” I told her over and over, scratching her head as she rubbed it against my hand. And she was good.

After a couple of minutes of this I decided to proceed home. She walked briskly alongside me for a couple of blocks, and I wondered if she would follow me all the way home. But then I glanced back and she was gone, off to her next adventure, living in the moment as cats always do. And I was left with my own splendid moments to pay attention, to breathe, to simply be as I moved along the glorious earth.