June 22 /09
Hi everybody. I want to tell you about something that happened last Tuesday, the day that Beauty went to the Rainbow Bridge. Even though it was a sad, sad day, something happened during all the chaos that was so amazing and worth sharing.
As Mama was rushing to the vet, Beauty was in the passenger seat of her car wrapped in a towel. At that point, we're pretty sure she was no longer alive. We think she died on the way to the car, or at least that's when she seemed to be taking her last breaths.
Mama must have run a stop sign. She's not sure because she was crying hysterically while she was driving, and she kept glancing at Beauty and caressing her. But suddenly, there was a police car behind her with the siren blaring and lights flashing. She had enough presence of mind to pull over and thankfully, the policeman approached her right away. Sometimes they just sit in their vehicle for ten minutes doing I don't know what. Mama pleaded with him to let her take her cat to the vet quickly. He glanced over at Beauty and his whole demeanour changed. He asked Mama where the vet is. She told him the street and he waved for her to go, saying, "Vas-y donc, madame." ("Go ahead then, madame.")
As Mama continued down the road, the police car pulled up in front of her and led the way with the lights flashing (no siren), all the way to the vet's clinic. He actually gave her a police escort! What kindness!
There's a point in the road, just before the clinic, where you can make an illegal U-turn which gets you to the clinic sooner. A ticket is handed out automatically to anyone who makes that turn (like Mama once got when she was rushing me to the vet *) So the policeman actually blocked the road with his car, stopped the traffic, and let Mama make the U-turn right into the vet's driveway.
The time she saved would not have changed Beauty's condition, but that simple act of kindness meant so much at a time like that, and Mama says she'll never forget it. The next day she wanted to call the police station and find out who he was so she could thank him personally, but Papa said not to because maybe he wasn't supposed to let her make that turn and he could get into trouble.
But we hope he knows how grateful she was.
* Last year I was bitten by a dog at the park. He was much bigger than me and he had practically my whole face in his mouth. By the time Mama separated us, my eye was bleeding. Mama couldn't tell if the blood was coming from my eye or from around the eye but it was scary. (It turned out to be just above my eye.) She hustled me into the car and sped to vet. We got to that point in the road where the U-turn is, and she just ignored the sign and made the turn. Wouldn't you know it? A policeman flagged her down to give her a ticket.
She showed him how I was bleeding in the back seat and she begged him to let her through. He wouldn't. She asked him to meet her at the clinic, which was just a couple of yards away, and she would show him her licence and registration once I was seen by the vet. He refused. He continued to argue with her about the traffice sign and if he let her through, he'd have to let everyone through ... Rather than waste anymore time, Mama just gave him her wallet and insisted he return it at the vet, with the ticket. And she drove on, come what may.
From the vet's window, she could see the policeman standing in the parking lot waiting for her to come out. He didn't even have the decency to come in and give her back her wallet. He stood there for 20 minutes doing nothing, when he could have been out on the road doing his job.
I know policeman have very important work to do. I know it is their job to keep our streets safe and to make sure that everyone obeys the laws. But aren't there times when exceptions can be made, when a little kindness and compassion should prevail? I could understand that this policeman wasn't willing to ignore the violation. That's his right. But he could have obliged Mama by not delaying her and by agreeing to meet her in the clinic to give her the ticket, instead of arguing about it.
Anyway, I just thought that the policeman who stopped Mama on Tuesday was a very kind man. Although we don't know who he is, and probably wouldn't recognize him if we saw him again, we want to thank him for being caring and compassionate and for having the wisdom to know that being a good policeman also means being a good human being.
June 22 /09