It made me think of an experience my wife and I had during my medical school days in Jackson, MS.
One day, my wife came home and discovered a calico cat on the front porch of our house. It was a really beautiful cat with an extremely sweet disposition.
She petted it a bit and then went inside, figuring it belonged to a neighbor and would go home soon.
Well, the cat continued to stick around….for a day or two, so we decided to see if we could track down it’s owners.
It had a collar with a rabies vaccination tag.
So my wife called the veterinary clinic that was listed on the tag to see if they could use the tag number to locate the owner.
The clinic was located in south Jackson in what is essentially a nearly exclusively African American neighborhood.
The receptionist answering the telephone took the tag number from my wife and put her on hold while she looked up the owners name in her records.
A few moments later she came back on the line and my wife heard her say “That’s not yo’ kitty.”
My wife responded “Oh, I know she’s not mine. That’s why I called you. I found her on my porch and I’m trying to locate her owner.”
My wife heard her start giggling and say “No, that’s not yo’ kitty.”
Realizing she was not being understood, my wife responded, speaking a little more slowly “I know it’s not my kitty. I’m trying to find out whose kitty it is.”
They went back and forth like this a few more times with the receptionist getting increasingly giggly and my wife getting increasingly frustrated.
Finally, the receptionist between giggles cleared things up by telling my wife, “You don’t understand. I’m trying to tell you the cat’s name. Her name is ‘Nacho-Kitty.’ If you bring her down to the clinic, we can contact the owner for you and return their cat to them.”
(Maybe you had to be there, but usually when my wife tells this story, people give her a funny look.
I think maybe in our overly-P.C. society they think she is being racist and making it up or something, but my wife is by far the least racist person I have ever known. I honestly know nobody with a more pure, kind, and accepting heart.
She’s just relaying the story as it happened.)