Amtrak To The Rescue

I rarely share this story, because I’m not proud of what I did. But after carrying the guilt for many decades, I’m ready to forgive myself.

As a teenager, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Working with pets seemed like the perfect job. So, I reached out to a local vet and got hired as a kennel boy. A glorified pooper-scooper. One day, I was caring for a cat that had just come from surgery. It was still unconscious as I carefully washed blood from its stitches.

At that moment, the intercom blared, “clean up in the lobby!” I knew that was code for a dog pile. So, I let go of the cat, grabbed the mop and ran to help. Ten minutes later, I returned to find the cat motionless at the bottom of the washtub.

The vet was understanding, but he should’ve fired me. I accidentally caused the death of someone’s pet…and was devastated. I was so scarred by that experience that I gave up on being a veterinarian.

Fast forward to last Christmas.

Here’s my take: My wife and I left a concert and were walking to the train station lot where we’d parked. As we got closer, we saw a scrawny kitten huddled near our car. He was cold and crying. We looked around for the cat’s owner, but the streets were dark and empty. Clearly, this kitty had been dumped on a downtown street.

I’m not much of a cat fan and had no desire to own one. But this little guy deserved better. We knew that cat had no chance if we just left him. So, despite no votes from our dogs, we adopted the cat and appropriately named him…Amtrak.

On the scorecard of life, that’s one cat in my plus column. And I feel some redemption.

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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