Jamal is a regular in the neighborhood - I met him last summer when he was working as Pedicab driver. So, I was surprised to meet him on Bleecker Street in the West Village with a 4-week old kitten in a guitar case. The kitty, which he had rescued from a subway platform, also had an eye infection. Animals in need will certainly get people to rise to the occasion, even from New Yorkers who are frequently stereotyped as unsympathetic. New Yorkers can be cynical, skeptical and leery of scams (which are common), but when a legitimate need is perceived, people here, like anywhere else, will respond. Jamal collected $325 in just a few hours the day before, most of which he said used on a visit to the vet and medications for the cat. At one point, Jamal asked me to help, so I held the cat while Jamal administered the eye drops. It was not difficult at all with such a young cat - he offered little resistance compared to an adult cat, where such a procedure can be a real undertaking - cats are notoriously uncooperative taking meds.
BTW - The sign in the photo had a different message on each side. The message shown is from the previous day used to collect for the vet (he turned the sign over before I shot this to show me the original message used to raise money for the vet. Click here for a photo with the message I saw when I arrived.)