This experience happened two years ago and I did not get the chance to pour it out into black and white until now.
Showing foreclosed homes can be most aptly described as “cruising for bruising.” Or shall I say, “It is like a box of chocolates. You never know what we are going to get.”
In one of the houses I looked at with my clients, I saw photographs and memorabilias scattered around in the living room and bedrooms. I could not stop from exhaling guttural glottal breaths while my senses tried to visualize and fathom why would the people who once lived in this house left priceless family treasures behind.
Portraits are very personal. You can never reproduce them unless saved in a hard drive or computer. But what about the photographs in sepia.The pile of personal belongings was reminiscent of the rubbles from a tornado-hit property. It was unbelievably disheartening.
Anguish and empathy filled the house as my clients and I scoured the room. We wanted to get out of the house quickly as we can as staying there for a time longer than one minute could lodge a stigma in our system. We were about to drag our feet out of the house when we heard a faint yelp emanating from the basement. I searched for my flashlight inside my bag and headed towards the underground after opening the door going to the basement. When we landed on the concrete slab, our shoes partly got soaked from the water which seemed stagnant for days.
The light darting from the window gave us a better visual of the source of the sound. Our hearts sank when we saw a famished medium-sized brown dog and three cats which looked terribly exhausted as their flail body moved slowly and forlorn eyes stared back at the unfamiliar faces. Their gaze was in deep languor. I went back upstairs to dig into the kitchen cabinets for food. It might not be the best move but it was the right action I felt compelled to do at that moment. In exasperation, I found nothing to ease the poor creatures sorrow.
My clients and I exchanged unpleasant and bitter emotions as we departed the sanctuary of what used to be the previous owners family members. I called the listing agent to notify her of the living animals in the basement in case she did not know. My clients decided to report it to the Animal Humane Society.
What could have happened to the family? Why would they leave in such a hurry? Why were the loving pets left behind to starve. Why didn’t they surrender them to the authorities. These are the questions that only the owners could answer. They left what seemed to be very personal items at the house. Therefore, they could also bear to leave the animals.
How many more of these sightings I could afford to see? I don’t know. I am not sure I am ready to see another one.