Quiet morning. Girls both at school and Bubba's off to California. Dishes done. Laundry put away. Email answered. Dog walked. It occurs to me how long it has been since I sat in a quiet room and meditated, so I head upstairs, settle down on a cushion, cross my legs and begin breathing.
The cat, however, has different ideas. This cat, who is very aloof and has never sat in anyone's lap in the six years we have had her, has decided she needs to be touched. I can hear her soft pads as she makes her way across the carpet toward me, and I hear her begin to purr just before her silky head crashes in to my left hand. Eyes closed, I am determined to ignore her until she goes away. This is one more distraction - a chance to practice focusing on my breath and letting everything else slip away.
She paces between my hands, angling her head so that the soft space between her ears bangs into my knuckles as she walks in front of my folded legs. Back and forth. Insistent.
The longer I ignore her, the pushier she gets. Now she is stopping for a second at a time in front of each hand, pushing and nudging and purring and as she makes her U-turn to walk to the other hand, she rubs her flanks against me.
I can't help but smile. She knows what she wants and she is going to get it. For what ever reason, at this moment, she needs to be touched. I open my eyes and indulge her, scratching behind her ears and underneath her collar as she melts into me. If I don't see this as a power play, if I don't resent her for 'winning' or 'getting her way,' I can simply acknowledge that she knew what she needed and set about making it happen. I can stand in awe of her ability to make this the most important thing right now. I can wonder about my own self-awareness in a quiet moment and whether I am able to pinpoint that one thing that would feel the best to me and go after it.
I am grateful for this lesson and this quiet moment. And the truth is, even though I didn't meditate, this touch is fulfilling for me, too. Feeling her thick fur fill up the spaces between my fingers and listening to her pure purring pleasure is satisfying and grounding. It gives me hope that the next time I am in need of touch I can let someone know.