I have two cats buried in the yard. And another’s ashes on my shelf. For him, I planted catnip and catmint everywhere. The garden makes me miss him. Now it draws cats from far and wide. They appear like magic, from under the raspberries, from a patch of lettuce….All I want is to pat them, but my dogs chase them away. They can’t help it–it’s an impulse. And this is our life now. Me and these dogs. The quiet keeps growing. I mean to write but I don’t. Because the silence, the now, is a spell I don’t want to break. It’s the cat before the dogs spot it. It’s the way no one knows where I am, or what I’m doing. I thought I hated that, during the forced solitude of the pandemic, before the return of tradesmen and errands and gossip and almost-plans. Now I like it. I think I’ve always liked it: when no one knows anything, except the moth fluttering across the yard, two dogs, and a bumblebee. A cat, nearby. A couple of cardinals chirping in the peach tree up above. I am here. We are here. We are here.