9 days ago I woke up at 5 am to missed text messages & phone calls from my mother. I called her back and found out that my cat, who has been living with her for the last year due to our rental situation, was acting weird and sick.
I got dressed and went to my moms only to find out the cat in question, Tom, had been let out at some point, by accident, but was no where to be found. I had to go to work.. I didn’t have a choice.. I searched all over for him and couldn’t find him. So eventually my mom and I decided that she’d keep her eye out for him and let me know as soon as possible that he was home. On my way home from work that night I had to go to a physical therapy appointment, I called and checked in, but still no sign of him.
When I finally got to my mom’s house that evening, I saw my cat in the kitchen (on the brink of death) and it was terrifying. He was very, very tired and noticeably in a lot of pain, he was trying to drink water but couldn’t hold his head up. I scooped him up and took him straight to the emergency vet. We were standing there, under those terrible florescent lights, and everything they were saying sounded like a foreign language. I’m still not a 100% sure what they said to me when we were in the waiting room besides, “it’s roughly $1000 and we need the money upfront before we can save him”. I would have sold my kidney at that point, I just wanted them to save him.
I found tom on Craigslist a few weeks before my birthday and decided I wanted a cat. I drove up and picked him up and we were instantly family. He is so temperamental with everyone, except me. A few months after bringing him home, I relapsed. Its all a little hazy, but the one thing I do remember is Tom laying next to me for days while I was using, then detoxing, then using, then finally cleaning up for good, again. He never left my side. He knew I was in trouble and he wouldn’t leave my side. We’re thick as thieves. Even with me living in another place for a year, he always perks right up when I’m over there. He also only allows me to hold him.. No one else.
The emergency vet told me it was a common problem that male cats have. Some crystals had formed in his bladder and his urethra was blocked and causing not only kidney failure but would soon cause a heart attack. I immediately felt weak and sick. I begged her to fix him, but she just kept saying we can’t do anything until we have payment in place.. Seems pretty heartless that you can’t worry about payment after your beloved animal is cared for.. So I quickly applied for a care credit card and told her to get to work. They were able to stabalize him and empty his bladder relatively quickly. All of his levels started to even out over night and by midnight she told me he was clear for the night and I could pick him up in the morning to take him to our normal vet for observations for a few day.
In the midst of all of this, I had shared something on Facebook asking for recommendations for a local vet that would work out a payment plan or some kind of payment arragments with me seeing as I’m a single mom and don’t have tons of money to throw around. I received tons of comments about different vets in my area that would work with me and lots of people offered advice, but one person sent me a message. My freshman science teacher. He told me to just get my cat to a good vet and he’d foot the bill.
I didn’t read it right the first time and by the time I figured out what he was saying I had already opened the credit account and I explained to him it was no big deal and already taken care of. He just kept insisting that he wanted to cover it. finally he explained to me that his family and him had gone through a bad situation where they should have been making decisions based on medical diagnosis instead of finances. They were stuck and unsure as to what they would do until someone stepped up out of nowhere and over their financial support.
He told me, “I don’t want you to pay me back, I want you to take care of your situation and when you can, help someone else”
A few days later, an envelope showed up in our mailbox with a $2000 check and a note that simply read
“I added a little extra for prescriptions or whatever for recovery. Joe”
With everything that has happened in the world the last few years, it’s simply too easy to forget that we really are all in this together.
I’m still completely shocked and humbled that this happened to me.. Some friends have said its karma for being a good person. I’m not really sure why it happened to me.. But it did, and I definitely intend of paying it forward when I’m able.
So I want to encourage you all to look around for the good. It’s everywhere, you just have to look and you’ll find it.
Help someone out when you can with no expectations of being paid back.
Even if it’s something small, if we all just started paying attention and helping each other out, the world will be a better place.
That’s all for now friends!