Saturday, November 6, 2010

Patty on not-so-stupid pet tricks

A couple of months ago, Jef introduced you to Sparky, the cat who needed a new home right when we needed a new cat.

Sparky is named after Sparky Anderson*, the delightful former manager of the Detroit Tigers who was almost as well known as Yogi Berra for his ability to mangle the English language. One of Sparky Anderson's best quotes was "Pain don't hurt," and it was because of that quote that we graced Sparky the cat with her name.

One of our vet's clients found Sparky when she was camping up north. The little cat with the big personality wandered out of the woods on a badly broken leg, and the cat-loving camper couldn't leave her there. She brought her home and delivered her to Dr. Kimball with one question: "You can fix her, can't you?"

Dr. Kimball was in the process of doing just that when we made our last trip to Lansing to see Mars before he died. Fixing her was taking a little longer than expected: Dr. Kimball couldn't splint Sparky's leg because there was a large wound on the surface that needed attending to, and Sparky hadn't gotten the memo about staying off her broken leg so it could heal. Pain don't hurt.

When Mars died a few days later, we let Dr. Kimball know her foundling had a home once she had healed. And a week later, we drove to Lansing to pick up two cats: Mars' ashes, and the five pounds of feline ferocity we named Sparky.

While we were under orders to keep Sparky as quiet as possible, Sparky had other ideas. She turned every object in the house into a cat toy, and she made friends with our dog and cat by jumping on them until she couldn't be ignored. Within a few weeks, she was fully healedand completely unstoppable.

Jef took her back to Dr. Kimball's office on Monday to be spayed, and I picked her up on Tuesday. "What a sweetheart!" Dr. Kimball said to me as I was leaving. "Just bring her back in 7 to 10 days to have the stitches removed." Jef scheduled a return trip for this coming Monday.

Sparkynow six and a half pounds of feline ferocitybarrelled back into our lives at warp speed, not slowed in the slightest by her major abdominal surgery. She had paused long enough for a tummy rub yesterday morning when Jef called to me.

"Is it just me," Jef asked, "or are her stitches gone?"

They were. Sparky removed them herself.

Pain don't hurt.

*Sparky Anderson died November 4 from complications related to dementia. R.I.P., Sparky.


La Professora said...

"she made friends with our dog and cat"

Mr B is back?!

Patty Mallett said...

Alas, no. When we moved here, we had three cats. After Beep disappeared and Mars died, we were down to one: Coach, who is the cat getting jumped on by Sparky. He's been extremely tolerant, and I would bet he actually enjoys our feisty girl.

Ed Rush said...

This isn't related to the cat, but ABC News yesterday had a story about the tons of clothing left behind at the New York marathon race. I'm amazed that runners would just abandon all those coats, jackets, etc., some of which looked rather expensive. The story was about a guy who salvages them before the garbage crews can get to them.

My questions: (1) What does Jef do about warm-up clothing? (2) Why can't the garbage crews just hold off for a few hours to give the runners time to get back and retrieve the clothing? I realize some of it would likely get stolen, but surely that's better than just scooping it all into the dump!

Patty Mallett said...

Hey, Ed. I'm not familiar with how the New York Marathon handles discarded clothing, but at the Detroit Free Press Marathon, a crew picks up the discards, bags them and donates them to charity.

To be fair, I'm sure a few of the runners are caught by surprise when their coat's not waiting for them wherever they dropped it. But I'm sure that just as many of the runners are like Jef, who made a trip to St. Vincent DePaul before the Freep Marathon specifically to buy layers he could drop along the course as he ran.

And honestly. Does anyone leave something expensive unattended in NYC and expect it to still be there 4+ hours later?