Rescuing the Cat
I have a friend who signs his emails with a line that says something like, “I know I am on the earth to serve others. What the others are here for, I have no idea.”
So, I had this cat named Megan. One day I was in the middle of something in the kitchen and I heard Megan mewing plaintively out in the back yard. The sound activated my sense of responsibility, so I went out to look for her. Following her mewing, I finally saw her in a tree, perched out on the end of a limb about 10 feet off the ground. When she saw me, she mewed even more plaintively. Clearly, I thought, she needs me. It is my duty to rescue her.
I went around to the front of the house, opened the garage, and got out my step ladder. I put it over my shoulder and hauled it around to the back yard, feeling very virtuous and responsible for helping my cat get down from a tree. I set the ladder under the branch and looked up at Megan. She mewed plaintively. I felt responsible and virtuous.
The ladder was a little wobbly on the uneven ground, and I was slightly nervous, but I was doing my duty. I reached the highest step I was willing to go to, and I felt even more nervous. I still wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to get Megan off the limb. Megan had stopped mewing and was looking at me.
Just as I was getting ready to reach toward her, Megan calmly jumped down to the ground and trotted away. I watched her walk into the house. When I came in, she was having a snack from her dish.