Susan Hattie Steinsapir


I'll start by telling a Susan Story...

Susan loves cats. She rounds up lost kittens and drops them off with friends "just for the weekend" which usually turns out to be forever. Her mother had Laila, a 23-year old Saimese, who was a beautiful lady cat. Susan had known Laila forever.

One day, her mother called late at night and began talking about odd things. Susan interrupted and said "tell me why you're calling." So her mother said that Laila had died. Susan asked what happened to the body. Her mother said that she had tossed her into the garbage. Susan slammed down the phone. We talked about it, dressed in black, and at 2 am, snuck into her yard to look for Laila. We found her in the garbage, took her home, and cleaned her up.

We figured we'd bury her under her mother's rose bushes that coming weekend when she'd be out of town. Since it was summer and very warm, we curled up the poor girl, put her in a plastic bag, and put her in the freezer. Susan went over and looked at the rosebushes to pick out the one. But her mother stayed in town for the weekend. And the next. And the next.

Well, Laila was in our freezer for about six months. Friends would ask "what kind of cats do you have?" and Susan would say five live ones and one popsicle cat.

Our Japanese housekeeper opened the freezer one day, looked, and shouted "what that?!?" Susan said it's Laila. She shouted "but Laila dead!" The housekeeper couldn't figure out how Laila should show up several months later in our freezer.

So finally, her mother asked Susan's opinion as to whether she should go on a cruise. Great! Susan urged her mother to go on the cruise just so we could bury Laila. So she left and we thawed out Laila.

We went over and while Susan directed, I spread newspapers around so there wouldn't be any tracks and carefully dug up a rose bush and dug down very deep. Susan gave a short talk about Laila's life, sprinkeled at least half a bag of Laila's favorite cat food on her, stripped the rose bushes and added flowers. Laila looked so happy. We covered her up and removed all the evidence.

Several weeks later, the Japanese woman walked into the living room and said to Susan "where Laila? She no in freezer. Maybe you eat her?" Susan told her that we buried her. But we wouldn't tell her where we buried Laila so that her mother wouldn't find out.

Our housekeeper spent Tuesdays at our place and Wednesdays at Susan's mother's place. So of course she talked. One day, we're at her mother's place and she finally says "What's this that I hear that you buried Laila in my garden?" Susan denied everything. Her mother asked if we really kept Laila for six months in our freezer, along with the venison and ice cubes. Susan denied everything.

Her mother still walks around the garden, trying to figure out where we buried Laila.

Now that's a Susan Story: it makes me cry and laugh. What a girl. I hope you've laughed too and makes you feel a bit better.

yrs, andreas

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