Life is mysterious in the way it makes us cross paths with others who can change our lives. Last month, Canadian Air Force technician, Shawn Matchett, and his two children, just happened to be at a parade in downtown Toronto when he saw a kitten dart under a truck. It was slow-moving street sweeper that was cleaning up after the parade, but there was no doubt this kitten was in danger’s way.
“He came flying out into the middle of the road. A maintenance truck stopped and the cat ran under the truck, recalled Matchett. “I climbed under the truck. He had gotten up into the shocks of the truck behind the back wheel. I got him down and didn’t see his injury at first. He clung right to me and was scared. He smelled like garbage and was really dirty.”
Matchett then noticed that something was very wrong with the kitten’s back leg, as if it had been partially crushed. He wrapped the kitten up and immediately took him to a Toronto vet who presented him with unfortunate news: either the kitten would have to be put down or the leg would have to come off.
Matchett reached into his own pocket to pay the $500 vet bill to have the leg amputated, even though he knew his current circumstances wouldn’t allow him to keep the kitten. “This guy was so young and had such a life ahead of him, so I said go ahead (and do the surgery).”
Again, fate crossed the duo’s path as while Matchett was at PetSmart on the way home from the Vet, he met two volunteers from a cat rescue group, called Street Cat. They offered to take the kitten, nurse him back to health and find him a permanent home.
The rescue group named the little three-legged orange and white kitten Alpha Bravo, in honor of Matchett.
Matchett, of course, had to visit the kitten in his foster home and remarked how strong Bravo is, despite his hard start to life.
Matchett also visited the Facebook page featuring Bravo. He read some of the comments, where people commended the Air Force tech for his magnanimity. “I read the comments and they said it such a rare thing I did. I don’t think it is,” he said. “In the military, we do our job to make the world a better place. This is part of that same commitment¯.”
This guy is a true hero – and the world truly is a better place because he is in it. Just ask one little three-legged kitten, who would if he could, give his rescuer a heartfelt salute.
Photo Credit: Street Cats, Toronto