I have mentioned several times how Husband is an absolute saint for putting up with my special brand of crazy for going on 12 years. When I start a sentence mid-thought, Husband is on it and usually gives a completely relevant answer. (Me: So, what did they do before? Husband: I don’t know, I think people just wrote everything out and mailed letters. Me: Oh.) When I lapse into Smurf-Ali talk, Husband picks up the ball and runs. (Me: Did you remember to put the thing on the thing? Husband: Yup, took garbage out last night. Me: Nice!)
However, I didn’t come alone. Husband also earns bonus points for blending in seamlessly with my fam. One particular event made me realize just how much he had become one of us.
At the time, Girl #2 was about three months old. I had just taken the bar exam and was waiting to start at my first firm, while Husband was a full-time stay-at-home dad (again, a saint – and don’t think the mommies at storytime didn’t try to work it. Pffft - I’d claw their eyes out before they knew what hit them.) We were in the middle of what we had termed Christening Tour ’03. We had a month and took Girl #2 on the road to visit pretty much everyone.
One leg of CT ’03 had us stopping at my parents’ house before heading out to Long Island. My fam was already up in Long Island and had a pet sitter coming by daily to check up on Frank, our cat.
Frank was the best cat. He was a cream Himalayan with blue eyes, hence the name. I got Frank when I was in high school and he stayed with my parents when I moved on.
Instead of the general “oh, you again?” dismissal you get with cats, Frank would come running when you came home and immediately start twining around your legs. The guy thought he was a dog. He would come when you called him and even let my little sister walk him on a leash. He’d cuddle with you when he knew you weren’t feeling well. Frankie ruined me for all other cats.
Naturally, when we got to my parents’ house, I ran around trying to find Frankie. I looked upstairs, I looked downstairs – no Frank. I figured he was hiding under my parents’ bed or something because he didn’t recognize the baby smell and turned my attention to taking care of Girl #2.
Once we got settled, we called my parents to let them know we had gotten in OK. I talked with Mom about the drive and Girl #2, then a little about how their visit with the Long Island branch of the fam was going.
I finally got around to saying that I couldn’t find Frank. Mom evasively asked to talk with Husband. No problem, my goldfish brain said as I handed the phone over and went back to play with the baby.
Husband listened for a while, said “OK” a couple of times, then came into the family room.
Husband: Ali, I need you to go upstairs for a while with Girl #2.
Husband: I just need you to do this, I have to do something.
Me: (connecting dots) Husband, where’s Frank?
Husband: Al, just go.
Me: (more dots connecting) Frank’s dead, isn’t he???
Husband: (sighs) Al, please.
Me: (dots flying as I realized my cat was not only dead, but still in the house) Ohmigod. Frank’s in the freezer, isn’t he???!??!?!?!
Yes, Frankie was no more. Apparently the middle-school-aged girl my parents had hired to come check up on him had the rare pleasure of finding him dead as a doornail. Every pet sitter’s dream. No cause of death, no sickness, nothing. He just decided he had had enough. Thankfully, the girl’s dad was with her and called Mom to find out what they should do.
And that’s how Frankie came to be wrapped up in a garbage bag in my parents’ garage freezer.
When Husband got on the phone, the conversation went sort of like this:
Mom: Husband, I need you to do me a favor. A big one.
Mom: (deep breath) Frank’s dead and he’s in the freezer.
Mom: I need you to get Alison out of the room and bury Frank in the woods.
Mom: Thanks, Husband, I owe you.
Owe him, indeed. When you marry a girl, I don’t exactly think it’s with visions of burying her dead (frozen) cat in the woods someday. Even if you are a saint on Husband’s level.