Wolfe’s Woofer: Empathy

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

“I don’t understand how you could possibly forget my birthday,” Sherry said.
“It’s not that I forgot,” I told her. “I just didn’t remember it.”
She had tracked me down and brought me to the Holiday Hotel where we always celebrate her birthday with lunch on the deck. Now we were having the same argument that we had last year and the year before that. Now that I think of it, we have the same argument every year at about this time.
“You have no empathy,” she said, accusingly. “Empathy is when you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel.”
“Well, I can’t put myself in your shoes because you wear a size 6.”
“See what I mean? Sometimes I think you just have no feelings for other people at all.”
“I don’t think that’s true.”
“Here’s your chance to prove you have empathy,” she said. “Say something to make this poor girl feel better.”
A young lady with tears running down her cheeks had made her way across the deck and took the table next to ours.
“Miss, is there any way I can help you?” I asked her.
“I don’t think so,” she said, between her sobs. “It’s my. . .my. . .my cat.”
“What about your cat?” I asked her, kindly.
“He. . .he. . .died.”
“Oh, that is truly terrible. Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Sir, the only thing that would help is if I could get another cat just like my Tommy.”
“I don’t understand,” I said. “Why would you want another dead cat?”

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