Lucy was my feline friend of 16 years. Sometimes I allowed her to join our classes if I knew the students were cat people. She was part of Smith’s Hashimoto for about 12 years.
One day she got very sick , so I took her to the vet down the street. To make a long story short, after about 20 minutes on the table, the vet told me he could do nothing for her. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He did nothing- not even as much as taking her temperature. He told me that his clinic was only for immunizations, ear cleaning, etc., not illnesses. I asked him where I should go and he gave me no recommendations, so I walked out.
In the waiting area, an older woman saw my distraught face and asked me what the problem was, so I told her. Then she said “come with me, I’ll take you to a good vet.” We walked for nearly a half-hour, chatting a little bit on the way. When we got there I took Lucy into the examination room and a team of 3 vets went to work on her. Within 15 minutes I was told she had diabetes. They gave her an intravenous drip and she came back to life quickly. They recommended special food for diabetic cats, so I switched up her food, and a year later she was clear- no more diabetes. But that’s not really the point.
No Motive, Just Kindness
This nice woman waited for me while all this was being done. We walked back into town together, and I probably thanked her too many times. We went through the train station and said goodbye. I wanted to give her something to show my appreciation so I asked her where she lived, but she kindly said “no thank you, don’t worry about it,” and went through the ticket gate. That was an act of kindness that I will never forget; in fact she saved my cat’s life. I have been on the lookout for this woman ever since that day, but still haven’t run into her. I am and will be forever grateful to this Japanese woman, her empathy, and kindness in helping out this foreigner in need. I’ll call her “Hiroko.” Thank you Hiroko. The respect that people show for each other in Japan is one of the many reasons I stay here, and this particular act of kindness touched me like no other. I am lucky to live here. Jim (Smith’s School of English, Hashimoto)