I won't go into great detail, because I'm not trying to boast about doing a good deed. I mainly write this as a follow-up to my prior incredulity that a good deed is actually a good thing. Sometimes, our compassion and generosity may not be appreciated or used in the way we want by other people. But animals are an entirely different story.
Normally when I take walks, I have my headphones to my MP3 player jammed in my ears to tune out the noises around me. But on this particular day, I took a walk without them. And as I turn a corner at the end of the street, I hear a very soft mewing from somewhere nearby.
I look across the street and spot a cardboard box. My first thoughts were, "Oh, someone is giving away their cat, or maybe a mama cat is having kittens." So I cross the street and look inside. An adult black cat is lying in there with his (her) eyes closed, mewing very weakly. He doesn't turn his head to look at me, even when I say something to him, so I know something is not right.
I knock on the door of the nearest house, not wanting to make assumptions that this was a random stray cat, and the girl (I say girl, but really she was about eighteen, nineteen years old) who answered told me the brief story. The cat had been smacked by a car in front of her house and left for dead. The girl's family had, in fact, believed the cat was dead, but her fiance had put it in the box and gone to see if someone could do something about the cat.
I let her know that cat was indeed alive, and if she would call Animal Control, I would wait with the cat by the road--the poor woman was so frazzled by the whole incident, she couldn't even look at the cat (I don't blame her, it's rare for me to be able to look at a wounded animal without panicking). So I wait ten, fifteen, twenty minutes--no Animal Control. By now, the cat has regained consciousness, and looks up at me with bright green eyes.
Good, that means your neck isn't broken, I thought. But then I see the trail of blood oozing out of his mouth, and it's bad. Crap. The cat is bleeding internally, and who knows how long he's been lying here before I even walked up.
Not wanting to wait for Animal Control any longer, I flagged down a public works truck, since I figured the worker must know where the animal shelter is where the cat can get treatment. Bless him, the truck driver comes over and takes the cat, and when I called the animal shelter a few hours later, I was told the cat was getting medical treatment (but that was the extent of what they could tell me, since this wasn't my cat and they could only divulge details to his owners, if he has any).
I don't know if the cat survived or if his injuries were too great, but I can tell myself we got him care as quickly as we could, and that he wasn't just immediately put down or that he had to keep lying there in pain.
And I feel good about that.
So the universe does have strange ways of reminding us when our hearts get jaded about how we need to keep our eyes and ears open, because we can't help everyone but maybe you'll be there are the right place and time for someone who does need you.