Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Cat That Came Back From the Dead

When I was growing up, we had a cat named Herman. Herman slept with me every night for as far back as I can remember. He fell ill with some cat disease that would require a lot of money and time at the animal hospital to cure, and there was no guarantee the treatment would work. While we weren’t poor, my parents were trying to raise three kids and spending that much money on Herman wasn’t in the budget.* They made the decision to put Herman to sleep. We said our goodbyes and my mother took him to the vet.

Time went by and, one afternoon, my mother got a phone call from the vet. He told her we could come get Herman, he was all well now. My poor mother didn’t know what was going on, and the vet explained that he knew how much we loved Herman so he had treated him for free. To this day, what that vet did still brings tears to my eyes. **

I have to admit I didn’t go to law school so I could “help people”. Mostly, I just thought being a lawyer would be a good job and the pay would be decent. When I was in law school, I belonged to some organizations that provided pro bono legal services, and I thought I would always be doing some pro bono work for the rest of my career. It’s what I was trained to do, so why wouldn’t I want to help people if I could?

I haven’t done any pro bono work since I passed the bar. I can’t do it during the day because I have to work on my cases and get my “billable” hours in. At the end of a ten hour day, I am tired and hungry and just want to change into shorts and a tee and eat dinner while watching some mindless reality show on television (mindless as in Big Brother, not Project Runway or Top Chef). That’s when we are not preparing for trial; at the end of a 16 hour day, I start stripping when I hit the front door and just fall into bed.

I hate to say it, but I don’t know when, or if, I will ever get to do any pro bono work. I’m just too damn tired.

*How things have changed. They spent $$$$$ on knee surgery for their current dog. My mother slept on an Aero bed on the floor for weeks after the surgery because the dog couldn’t jump on or off a regular bed.

**I have a lot of questions about that incident, but they will remain unasked. Knowing my father, I'm sure he must have told my mother to pay the vet when she picked up Herman.

Can you tell I’m still in work mode? Two footnotes on my BLOG post!


SeaSpray said...

Great post! That was a wonderful thing the vet did. :)

You'll get your chance for pro bono work and when you'll know it is the one to do. The timing will be right. :)

jmb said...

What a champ that vet was. I wonder if they still do that now. It seems that vets charge more than doctors sometimes.
Last time I had my dog's teeth cleaned it cost $500 dollars. Blood tests first (old dog), general anaesthetic, teeth cleaned, this and that, $500 please!

Vijay said...

Great story MbA. I agree with seaspray, you'll do your bit when the time is right.
JMB: $500 is an obscene amount of money. The dentist at our hospital will probably do 20 root canals for that amount (works out to slightly more than 20,000 rupees).

Carver said...

That's a great story. I love hearing about genuinely kind actions by people.

EE said...

I got kicked off the blogroll?

Sad day indeed.

Medblog Addict said...

The last time I was on my blog, I didn't even have a blogroll. Blogger nor Blogrolling have been very cooperative lately. I'll have to add you back on.

Mauigirl said...

What a great story! I'm so glad Herman recovered and that the vet treated him for free.

I'm laughing about the fact your parents' dog had knee surgery and your mom slept on an Aero bed so the dog could sleep on the bed after the surgery. Our previous dog had that same knee operation and we went out and bought an Aero bed and slept on the living room floor with her until she was able to jump on beds again just as your mom did!

I hear you about the pro bono stuff. Don't worry, someday you will "pay it forward" one way or another, and do some good deed for someone else.

EE said...

Haha, I was kidding, I figured it was something like that.

Blogger has been sketchy lately.