Caretakers of stray cats took care of rabies risk
On a cold, overcast morning I was walking into a city building for a meeting. My head was down to brace against the strong and biting wind from the river.
Suddenly, in front of me was a beautiful black cat. He wrapped around my legs and mewed plaintively. As there were no houses nearby, I thought he was lost and hungry.
I leaned down to pet him and he was very friendly. Knowing there is an animal shelter around the corner, I tried to pick him up. Major mistake! He did what was natural to him. He scratched and sunk his teeth into my hand.
As a retired Health Department person, I knew enough to worry. The people who worked in the building told me two staff members feed and care for several cats behind the building. I talked to these kind women and learned that a mother cat had wandered onto their lot and had kittens.
They were not domestic so were not open to being "rescued."
The next best thing these generous people could do (which is what they did) was to get humane traps and take them to be spayed, neutered and -- most important to me -- immunized for rabies.
I know the intent of these kind people, at personal expense, was to provide health and comfort for these abandoned creatures. The secondary outcome was to allow a very careless person to avoid a costly and uncomfortable medical procedure by addressing the risk of rabies. (Yes, I did get a tetanus shot.)
Girls showed forceful spirit on behalf of stuck strangers
Not being able to drive myself following a cardiac procedure, but still needing to get out, I joined my wife for a ride to our local drug store.
It was the first warm, sunny day of spring, and we were taking it all in when, suddenly from a parking lot, a van shot in front of us and made it necessary to slam on the brakes. Hearing a loud clunk, I knew something was wrong, so we pulled off onto a side street and parked.
I called our road service and began to wait for help. A van drove up and the man driving it asked if we had a flat tire. I answered no, but said I sure could use a ride home to get our other car, and he was happy to take me.
Then I drove back and noticed the tow truck driver was at work, but he needed to call for a flat-bed truck. While we were waiting for the second tow truck, two young girls walked up to us and took an interest in our predicament, asking us if we needed water or anything else; I replied that wouldn't be necessary because the tow was coming soon. So the young ladies left us, thinking all would be fine.
After waiting a while, I tried calling the tow service three times and could not get through. Once more the two girls came to check on us and see if we were OK.
When I explained my trouble getting any answers over the phone, they whipped out their cell and began calling the service. The one girl told me that she would keep calling until she got someone, then they hopped into a friend's car and off they went.
The girl rode back to say she had got a hold of my service and scolded them for taking so long, as it was hot and we had no water and on and on. I was really impressed with her tenacity on behalf of two strangers. The tow service said they'd be right out, and so they were.
I thanked the two girls for helping us, as their attitude was so refreshing, even better than the water. Now I'm looking to pass it on.
Has someone done you right? Send your Random Act of Kindness to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Portfolio, Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.