Dead Animals: The Key to a Girl's Heart

We had something interesting happen a couple of weeks ago that reminded me of an event far more important to me.

As most of you know, I was pretty smitten with Beto upon first sight, and although I had hoped to spend forever with him, I frankly would have been happy just to brag to my neighbors in the nursing home that I once went on a few dates with THAT guy.

I've pretty much always remained amazed that he has had any interest in me whatsoever, and I think I really had a hard time believing it until that one sad night when I left my apartment to go to his house. I looked down at my door mat, and two baby - I mean TINY - birds had fallen to their early death. By the time I traveled the few miles to his house, I was really upset. And before I knew it, he was getting back in the car with me to return to my apartment, where he helped me bury the little birdies and give them the peace they deserved.

It was a really moving moment for me, because not only did he put aside any notion that I was simply nuts, but he did the dirty work too.

Fast forward 6 years or so, to a few weeks ago. Gleefully putting together our new deck furniture (a story for another day), Beto dropped a washer between the deck boards to the great unknown below. Now, we've gazed under our deck from time to time, but we largely try to ignore it because we're pretty sure the arachnids and other slimy, fuzzy creepy crawlies under that thing could give us a serious run for our money. It's the kind of space you see in horror movies where the innocent young professional is taking her cute furball dog for night-night potties, when some oozing deformity from beyond jettisons out from under the deck, steals a vital organ or two and leaves the young professional to be found weeks later when her husband finally returns from his travels.

Beto, the same poor guy who has to crawl under my mom's house to change her air filter, took the lead without complaint and headed into the abyss. What was I doing, you ask? Doing what I do best - testing out our new adirondack chair. SERIOUSLY COMFORTABLE, PEOPLE.

Suddenly, he let out a yell - a very manly, masculine yell, of course - that he had just put his hand in a dead cat. And then... it all came together ... this was the reason for that smell several months ago that elicited our response of "what in the hell died?" And this was the reason Lucy was transfixed by the deep darkness under the deck every time she was supposed to be doing her business in the back yard.

Poor kitty. Once Beto yelled, and I looked hard, I did indeed see the little kitty's eyes staring at me. How sad. How sad that if we had paid better attention, we might have been able to save it. How sad that it died all alone in the dark. And I'm pretty sure it was the little black neighborhood kitty with a docked tail. But unfortunately, it had been gone for so long that it was impossible to tell

I'm getting verklempt just thinking about it.

Beto, being the ridiculous saint of a man that he is, crawled out from under the deck, grabbed a shovel, headed BACK under, and buried the kitty for me, so the kitty could join the birdies up in critter heaven. He did it without complaint and without mentioning once that his wife was a complete and total nut case.