To the Cat Lady That Was Yelled at in the Walmart in Auburn, Maine
Last night, I went to Walmart in Auburn, Maine, to get some Christmas shopping taken care of. I normally wait until the last minute to shop, and when I do that, I always get stuck in the store with the most people that are exactly like me, a procrastinator.
Well, there were about 1,000 procrastinators in Walmart last night along with me, and we were all on our separate Christmas missions. As I was walking through the Christmas aisle, near the Pharmacy, I heard something that made me take out my air pods and pay attention.
There were two grown women, practically yelling at each other, over something ridiculous in my opinion.
The volume was raising and so was the tension. But here's the thing that made this awkward as hell.
Both women had pets with them.
One with a service dog dressed up and the other with an emotional support cat. The cat was orange and gorgeous. The dog was lovely as well.
And that is exactly what they were arguing about. The dog lady was yelling at the cat lady because she disagreed with the whole emotional support cat thing. The cat lady was sticking up for herself and her kitty by saying that when she entered Walmart she got instant approval to continue on shopping with her cat.
The dog lady instigated this argument and was extremely prickly to this cat lady minding her own business. The dog lady said something about how the cat was upsetting her dog just by being there and that there is no way she had "approval or paperwork."
Here's what I witnessed. A woman was verbally attacked for no reason because nothing happened. She treated it responsibly and shut the situation down after sticking up for herself and her kitty cat.
There is a difference between a service dog and an emotional support animal.
Emotional support dogs are not considered service dogs under the ADA. They may be trained for a specific owner, but they are not trained for specific tasks or duties to aid a person with a disability, and this is the main difference between ESAs and service dogs.
No matter if the dog lady was right or not, she was rude and out of hand. There are certain ways to speak to people, especially strangers and that was not the way.
Let us all remember that it is the season of hope, not yelling. No matter what we are all going through and struggling with, kindness matters.
I admire the way the cat lady diffused the situation and am forgiving and loving to the dog lady.