The House Cleaner and the Dog
Immigrant Stories, Immigrant Lives
By Marta Luca
My sister and I have a house cleaning business. We have usually five or six regular clients. We have one home where we clean for a woman who has a nice house in a suburb of Boston called Winchester. We have been cleaning her house for more than 3 years.
This house has a dog and a cat, and the lady of the house usually leaves to go shopping when we come, and she comes back after we have finished cleaning and have already left her home. As part of the routine which she gave us, we are to let the dog out to run in the yard, and then before we leave we let the dog back in the house. When we finished the cleaning we would call the dog to come inside the house.
One day, as the house owner reminded us, “I’m leaving, can you put the dog outside and when you finish, can you let him back in?” We said, “Of course. Bye, bye, see you later.”
I called the dog to let him out (usually the dog stayed out until we finished the cleaning).
However, on this day, 10 minutes after the owner had gone, we heard the dog scratching and scratching at the door. My sister opened the door and we saw the dog holding the cat in his mouth — the cat was completely covered in dirt. And the dog walks into the house like this.
Both my sister and I started screaming, “Oh my god!, Oh my God!, Oh my God!” The dog had killed the cat! We looked at each other in horror, and my sister said, “What are we going to do?!”
She called me, “Please, come here, help me…”
My sister had an idea…
“Let’s wash the cat clean, and then put him back inside his cage.” We did this.
The house owner came back early. “Hello, how’s everything?” Then, she saw the cat inside the cage, and she reacted with horror and panic. She puts her hands on her head and screamed, “Oh, my god, oh my God, oh my God!” My sister and I asked her innocently: “What happened? What’s the problem?”
The woman of the house responded: “The cat…. The cat… The cat…”
My sister asked her, “Is the cat dead?”
She said, “Yes… yes… yes… She died yesterday. I buried her yesterday in the back yard… What is she doing here?…How?…”
That happened two months ago. My sister and I never went back to that house.