I was in a field behind apartments or buildings, not sure which. I looked across and saw a small cat. The cat seemed about six months old. Mostly white, it had a black tail, black spots on its head, and black. It was watching me. I thought it homeless. A stray. So, I moved toward it to help it. See if it was alright. As I did, I saw a second one. Identical markings and pose. It was toward my left. There’s two, I thought, then saw a third further left. They were situated like they sat at first, second, and third base on a ball field. I thought, how odd, and, they seemed healthy. But, I wanted to pet them and ensure they were okay. I didn’t see a mother cat. I also wondered why they were on this field.
While dealing with the cats, which didn’t avoid me but nor did they hurry to me, I ended up by a parking lot. Men with cars were there. One, young, white, with a black beard, began chatting with me. I decided to forestall where the conversation was going. I told him, “I don’t have employment for you. I’m sorry. I feel for you. I appreciate your situation. I don’t know the particulars but I know that you want to work. I know you’re eager to work but you can’t find work. And I’m sorry, but I don’t have any work for you.”
He told me that he appreciated my honesty but wanted to know how I’d made it. I told him I was lucky. Entered the military, stayed with it twenty years, and had some success with a combination of intelligence, work, and luck. I thought most of it was luck. But what did I do after that? Again, I was lucky. Joined startups, was promoted, ended up with IBM, kept on for fifteen years. Some hard work but a a lot of luck. Wasn’t trying to humbrag or nothing; trying to be straight with them. So, my advice, he wanted to know? “Find a toehold. Work hard. Hope to create separation from others but stay kind. Friendly. Positive. And just keep at it. Keep your fingers crossed that you’ll be lucky.”
Then, one of the cats came to me. I picked it up.