The other day two men in white hazmat suits and knee pads knocked on my front door. When I answered, they informed me that I was living on top of a pet cemetery and had been for the better part of three years.
You see, my house doesn't have a foundation; instead, it is perched three feet above the earth on stilts. A dwarvish door at the front of the house opens up into the crawl space. The door is locked. Also, there's a tree planted in front of it.
Because my house is surrounded by condos, the men told me that my crawlspace is the most popular spot in the neighborhood for animals to come and die—rats, raccoons, stray cats, you name it. "Junkies even used to nest there," one of them men told me. "I bet we'll find a lot of needles."
What's more, the men had been sent by the city to exhume the place. They wouldn't let me watch or go inside—the didn't have enough hazmat suits and knee pads to go around—and they were camera shy so I didn't get any pictures. When they first opened the door, one of the men said, "Yeesh. I'm surprised she didn't smell that one."
Then they took bags and bags of stuff out of there—three years' worth of accumulated dead pets that I never smelled. It took them two hours to finish. I wasn't sure what to do while they were thumping around but it seemed like I should commemorate somehow, seeing as how I was living atop piles and piles and piles of other people's cats. What tragic insulation, right?
My parents put down my childhood dog when I was in college and I remember my roommate played ABBA's The Winner Takes it All obsessively. Now it plays in my head every time I see roadkill.
But I didn't have that on my computer, so I played Dancing Queen on repeat instead.