Random acts of kindness project: Day 3 – September 13

Those of you on my Facebook know I try and help my friends as much as I can, but sometimes in helping a friend you stumble into a kindness done for a stranger.

A friend of mine recently found himself unexpectedly homeless. That was one thing, but in addition to being out on the streets his two cats were out of a home too.

Alone, finding a shelter or crashing on a couch isn’t a problem, but with two cats many doors were closed that would otherwise be open. The dilemma now became finding them a new home–fast; or finding a no kill shelter.

He asked me to help get the word out to see if we could find them a good home, so I sent messages out to friends, Facebook friends, and on Craigslist. It wasn’t long before messages started coming in. Many were notes of contrite deferment, but some offered suggestions. Then I got what would be the best email. A young mother with an autistic boy was looking for cats, per the advice of his therapist.

After reading her email my friend was touched. She called and talked to him and told him of her daughter who was so excited that she had been surfing the Internet for toys.

This hard working mom is also a full time student and money was tight. She asked if there was an adoption fee. “No, all I want is for them to have a good home.”

I think it was a done deal the moment he read her email, but we arranged a time for her to bring the children to meet his “children.”

I can’t describe the look on the little boy’s face, but I will never forget it either. The little girl had the glee of a child when she spotted them in their crate, but the little boy….

His eyes went wide and he was all at once excited and calm. He sat down on the floor beside the crate and calmly stroked the cats, first one then the other. The male cat took to him immediately, cuddling his head in the boy’s cupped hand. It was a rare, instantaneous and unconditional love that bonds two souls together.

This was fine with his sister who was taken with the female cat. Their mother beaming as she looked from one child to the next. I thought my friend was going to get a bit misty watching this transaction.

The only trouble we had was transferring the cats from the crate to their carriers. As with most cats, the didn’t like this and I thought the boy was going to cry when one scratched me. “It’s all my fault! I scared him.”

“No, no dear,” I assured him,”its the carrier, not you.” He put his fingers in the holes of the carrier and the cat rubbed against him. The boy smiled.
My friend smiled and so did the mom.

Ten minutes later, they were gone. But, it was more than finding pets a home, we brought together an autistic boy with a true friend and companion.

Random act of kindness: Day 1 – September 11

Today I was in Salem, going to the vendors meeting for the proposed casino at Suffolk Downs. We were early, so I decided to grab something to eat. It was a good meal at Victoria Station and as we were finishing up, a man came in with his two young daughters (about 5 and 7). They ordered and both the dad and the eldest girl got salad bar salads.

They youngest wasn’t into vegetables, so when the other two got up to get their salads she didn’t want to go. Now negotiations started. The eldest didn’t like the way dad made salads and the youngest wouldn’t budge off her seat. The dad was about to give up and cancel the salads when I had my friend, Tony get his attention.

“Are you going to the restroom?”

“No I was taking her (pointing to the older girl) to the salad bar. He gave me a pathetic look.

“Don’t worry, she can stay there. We’ll keep an eye on her” A look of relief washed over him but the littlest one looked suspicious. I think she thought we wanted her to sit at our table. She started to follow him. “Oh so you want to come now?”

She shook her head and whispered something and he told her no just go sit down. She did and looked over at me. I gave her a smile and waved. She relaxed and began to sip her soda.
When her father and sister had returned with their salads. He thanked me.

“No problem,” I said as the waitress brought our bill. He and the kids went back to their food and discussions. They didn’t notice my rolling two $1 bills into tiny toothpicks.

When the waitress came back to take our credit card, I quietly asked her to wait for us to leave and then give each one of the girls a “dollar toothpick”. She smiled and assured me she would.

As we were walking passed his table on the way out the man thanked me again and said being a single dad was a challenge. I assured him that they reminded me of me and my sister and not to worry. He had know idea of the surprise for his girls coming up.

We left. I never saw the waitress return or give them their gifts. It didn’t matter.
I didn’t need to see it.

We went to our meeting.