I can't remember the quote anymore but it's something along the lines of bragging about a good deed lessens the good. I normally wouldn't share a particular good deed that I've done but this one still sits with me and it's been months.
There is a homeless gentleman who has a caravan made of a bike and attached trailer. He also has about five cats. They ride in the trailer and they are always with him. I've heard that he's been offered housing but he has to reduce the amount of kitties he has. He can't bear to do it so he remains on the streets.
The cats are very well loved. I've heard that he won't accept help or donations for himself but he will for his cats. You can tell because they are clean, groomed, and well-fed.
One morning I stopped to get a coffee and he was in the parking lot. I always feel a twinge of guilt getting something and not getting something for him.
As we know, Lucy is the most spoiled dog in all the land. We've tried many combinations of beds for her throughout the house and shop. One we bought ended up being too small. I put it in my truck with the intention of dropping it off at the humane society. As intended donations often do, the dog bed was well-traveled, spending about a week in the backseat.
For some reason, it popped into my head that perhaps he would take it for the kitties. I parked near him and got out of the car. I'd been told that he is harmless, so I didn't feel hesitant and I've learned skills in approaching said folks over time.
I knelt down and said "Excuse me, sir?" It took two more times before he answered. I'm assuming he was worried that I was going to tell him to move or pray at him or whatever he must experience from the general public.
I explained "I have a little dog bed that I was going to give to the pound but I thought maybe your kitties would like it instead. He quietly responded, "What happened to your puppy?"
My heart just broke, here is a human who has nothing and his first response is asking about the well-being of a dog. I laughed and explained that she was just a very spoiled dog and was just fine, cozy at home.
I asked him again if he wanted the bed and he said yes. I explained that I would be right back and got it out of the truck. I approached him again and held it out. The cats were out of their carrier and huddled around him. He took the bed and smiled a big smile. "Oh, it's nice..."
He set it down and the cats immediately made themselves at home on it. I commented that they seemed very happy and loved.
"Maybe they'll share it with you a little" He kind of laughed and continued pet the cats. I wished him well and retreated to the truck. I heard a quiet, small, "God bless you" as I turned away.
Again, I was touched by his caring. He's clearly broken and yet his first thoughts were of a puppy's well-being. Maybe he's not so broken after all.