Sunday, August 22, 2010

Goodbye Mars, hello trouble

After spending most of this spring and summer wondering if I'd forget what it was like to race, I have a free weekend between the Luray and Chicago weekends and it feels weird.

But it's not like I don't know what to do with myself. Indeed, I've got a ton of stuff to do before I can try and get out on the bike. Miles to go before I can go a few miles, so to speak. But the weekend's big task was also the weekend's first. Saturday morning, Patty and I headed back to our veterinarian's office in Lansing to pick up two cats. One was Mars' ashes. The other was the very much alive Sparky.

We met Sparky when we were there to, as it turned out, say goodbye to Mars. She had been left at Dr. Kimble's office with a badly broken leg that couldn't be splinted because of an accompanying skin wound. Nothing will replace Mars, but this cat was in deep need of a good home and suddenly ours had room.

Her broken leg and open sore should have had her in a bargeload of pain, but she somehow hadn't gotten the misery memo. Dr. Kimble's biggest challenge was getting her to quit playing so enthusiastically that it interfered with her healing and risking re-injury. Sparky is her working name - like all pets, she has to go through Name Probation until we're sure it's accurate - but it seems like a safe bet. She is not, my cartoonist friends will be surprised to learn, named after the great Charles Schulz. She's named after former Detroit Tigers manager and legendary English-language mangler Sparky Anderson and his eloquent quote, the one I hold dear, "Pain don't hurt." †

So there you go. Two chronic overtrainers in the household now.

† Pain may not hurt, but picking up Mars' ashes didn't feel too good. He joins four other pets in our linen-closet mausoleum, and the worst part is always the same. Picking up the urn with his ashes, sad but endurable. Holding his collar is that last real dagger of mourning.

* For anyone who lives in Lansing or near it, that's Zeeb Animal Hospital on North Larch between Lake Lansing and Sheridan roads. Best vet ever. Best vet possible.


Liz Palika said...

Collars do carry memories, don't they? I have a special place in a closet with several collars from past pets, complete with name tags. I don't look at them because it hurts yet I can't bear to throw them away!

I'm so sorry for the loss of your Mars cat, yet congratulations are in order for Sparky.

Have a great weekend and thanks for Frazz and your blogs.

La Professora said...

If only Sparky could swim, then you'd have some real competition!

Bes said...

What ARE you s'posed to do with their ashes? We have a similar situation, and the inertia of indecision has rendered our closet a mausoleum, too. But I guess it's better than storing them in the basement freezer, which is where the former parrot lies in repose...

So sorry for your loss, but glad you and Sparky found each other.