A good friend of mine has an 18 year old kitty which she absolutely loves and which has been ready to go into kitty heaven several times. I don't know how many lives this kitty has left, but it can't be that many...if any. The sad thing is that it's doting owner has been loath to leave this kitty at home by itself for more than a day, or in the hands of friends who have stepped up and were willing to make sure it is ok. Why?
Well, this kitty is pretty "spoiled" (actually just set in its ways) that it resents other people near her to a point where friends are either afraid of this cat (can you imagine an 18 year old cat with a hissing fit?) or afraid of people to where it will hide for days on end and won't come out until the owner comes back. It's amazing the hidey-holes in a house that a kitty can find where NO ONE can find it. Except maybe a dog! But that could stop an 18 year old kitty's heart and is not a good idea.
Now that I have set the stage...
The kitty's owner has been putting off visiting parents who are elderly and are going through some very tough health issues. In fact, this might be their last Holiday Season.
The owner of the kitty struggled with what to do for months and finally decided to board the kitty with her vet. At least she would be in a safe place.
When I went over to my friend's house and heard this tale, I told her that this was not a good idea and that I would stay with the kitty for 10 days. For some reason this kitty let me come close to her, hand feed her, and generally seemed to be comfortable around me without freaking out. When the owner saw this, she was very relieved.
And, yes, for 10 days I was the handmaiden of this kitty while I stayed at my friends house at night. And it worked out great. The kitty just slept all day and stayed up all night! It mostly sat at a window that I kept open and watched the night action out there, stuff that you and I can't see. When it needed company or wanted something, it would come and stare at me and I would hop to. It even came and sat on my lap one evening while we watched a TV show.
Every morning I would send a "proof of life" photo to my friend which was very much appreciated and she could concentrate on helping her parents through this difficult time.
So, yes, I think this act of kindness to a kitty was "paying it forward" to my friend who needed peace of mind to help her parents during their time of need.