by Debby Auchter
My beloved 15-year-old Devon Rex cat, Kurrlee, was failing. At the vet, after much discussion and tears, she was euthanized. It was so sad; I spent the evening depressed.
The following afternoon, my husband’s car broke down and he called a tow truck. With his car on the tow truck, my husband sat in the cab with the driver. They were waiting at a red light by an Interstate overpass, during rush-hour traffic from Miami.
Suddenly, a small black thing came flying off I-95, tumbled down the embankment, and ran under the overpass. My husband asked, “Was that a rat?” “No,” the driver replied, “A cat.”
They didn’t give it much thought and got on I-95. Suddenly, traffic was dodging all over the road, with brakes flashing and horns honking. They crept up to the problem — a gray kitten running frantically in the center lane of five traffic lanes. “Please pull over!” my husband cried.
The driver pulled onto the shoulder, and my brave husband dodged traffic to get to the kitten. It darted to the shoulder, where the driver tried to catch it. After several minutes of frightened running with both men in pursuit, the kitten ran under the tow truck’s front tire and the driver snatched it up. He handed the cat to my husband with his raincoat to hold it.
They dropped the car at the repair shop, my husband put the kitten in a box and got a rental car. Realizing both kittens had been cruelly thrown from a car, he was worried about the outcome of the first flying cat. He drove back and found the kitten lying limply in a ditch, bleeding but breathing. Even if it died, he thought it would be more comfortable at our home.
I headed for the vet again. The gray kitten was fine, and, reeling from Kurlee’s loss, I authorized X-rays for the black kitten. Miraculously, he recovered rapidly. He can’t jump, but he can run, and is named “Rocky” for “rocky road”.
My husband called the towing company so we could name the gray kitten after the tow truck driver. The driver’s son answered. When my husband disclosed why he wanted his father’s name, the son said his father hadn’t mentioned the rescue. But he wasn’t surprised. Apparently his father is a quiet hero, so helping strangers isn’t unusual for him.
We named the gray kitten Leamond — in honor of Leamond Moorer, the kind man from Moorer Towing who helped save his life. Time is money in the tow truck business, especially in South Florida. Mr. Moorer didn’t have to stop, spend several minutes running after a stray kitten, or offer his raincoat to hold the cat.
He could have claimed that his work required his attention, but he didn’t. Mr. Moorer took the time to help — and two small lives were saved as a result.