Run. Dog. Cat. Cat. Me.

Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Archive for the tag “Wolf River”

Eenie, Meenie, Munker, Mo

July 19, 2012 – Mo is living on the Greenway in some trees.

One day around the first of June a little black and white kitten with exotic slanted golden eyes and a black goatee somehow ended up by himself on the Wolf River Greenway (a corridor of paved, protected green space paralleling the Wolf River, which, along with the Greater Memphis Greenline, will eventually be a series of paved trails extending 30 miles from downtown Memphis through Collierville).   (I admit:  I plagiarized nearly all of that information.)  (And when I think of having 30 miles of contiguous trails, I momentarily feel bad that I think Memphis is such a small-minded, backward town.)  (But then I read the paper the next morning and realize it is a small-minded, backward town.)

We are going to allow benefit of doubt and assume this shy, quiet, reserved little guy somehow managed to misplace himself from his loving home, and not that someone tossed him into the woods to rid themselves of an … “issue”.

About this time a very nice lady – while not a crazy cat lady like some we could name – was walking the Greenway and saw this little boy.  She spent the next six weeks bringing food, setting up a little bedded area, stringing play toys in the trees and trying to get him to trust her enough to come to her.

A few weeks after he moved into his new “home” in the trees and Sandy took up the cause of rescuing him, I was running the Greenway with one of my BRFF’s, Lisa.  In fact, it was the same day she and I saw the infamous bobcat.  He seemed so happy and friendly, jogging along beside us and scampering about in his little fort of trees.  We stopped and wondered why he was there, obviously being cared for by someone but left to fend for himself in an area we knew has fox, bobcats, snakes – and a very busy 6 lane street about 20 feet behind him.  We both tried enticing him to come to us but as soon as we got within a certain distance (apparently judged solely by him) he quickly darted away, only to turn and come back, following us again.

Lisa has a heart of gold and big as a station wagon and it was bothering her that he was in such an unsafe situation; I knew it was bothering me, I felt I was supposed to have him, rather like seeing Chunk’s little face that day on the post from the infamous Memphis Animal “Shelter”.  Like I should have him.

I immediately realized I was hallucinating – again – so I smacked myself upside the head and Lisa and I continued on our way.

I did still wonder about him and hoped he was OK, but I’m old enough now that I’ve realized the Saving The Whole World thing is unrealistic and you need to let some things go.  Someone appeared to be caring for him, and what did I know?

Happily, a few days later a friend (another crazy nutjob runner who is also a crazy cat lady, there’s not a lot of room left in her life for any more crazy although I think she occasionally tries stuffing a bit more in) was riding her bike on the Greenway and saw Sandy doing her thing with Mo.

Elizabeth immediately jumped off her bike and started trying to help.  She posted a pic of the little dude on FB and announced to all that efforts were underway to rescue him before he became feral or food.  I was so glad to know someone was trying to catch him; Lisa and I did a FB High Five and Shout Out to Elizabeth.  It still took a couple weeks but finally they were successful, as Sandy lured him into a cat carrier with a trail of salmon, the carrier door rigged with string to pull it shut when he got inside.  Someone needed to give him a home, so Elizabeth volunteered.

Elizabeth, however, already had a dog and three cats; within a couple of months it was obvious little Mo needed a new home and Elizabeth and family needed a break from buying pet food by the ton, delivered in a pile on their driveway.

Meanwhile I’d spent a couple of months trying to decide if we needed to get a second cat.  Murphy is very content to entertain himself, he remains ever hopeful that eventually that damn squirrel WILL fall out of the tree and land in front of him (which did happen to Lisa’s dog immediately after she looked at him, sitting under a tree staring up at two juveniles playing above his head, and said, “What do you think, dog?  The squirrel is going to fall out of the tree and land at your feet?”  At which moment, the squirrel did.  And was instantly dispatched by a victorious dog.  Meanwhile his buddy up on the tree limb watched.  “Duuuude.  Mom’s gonna be really pissed.”)

When Murph isn’t expecting squirrel manna to fall from the sky he happily barks like an insane fool at the new dog next door, Barkahoula Sir Rowfer.  (that’s not really the dog’s name.  I made that up.  It’s name is something vapid like Maude, I can’t remember for sure.  But it barks with the volume of a high-end stereo system on steroids with the bass turned all the way up.  BARRRHHK  ROWWHHFFFFF.  I can hear it upstairs on the other side of the house.  “There goes Barkahoula again,” I sigh, and turn the TV louder.)

Chunker, however, seems to be living up to her name a bit more each day and wouldn’t even play with toys any more.  I got a laser light.  She loved it.  For two days.  Then every time I turned it on she just watched my hand, not the red dot.  She’d look at me, look at my hand, look at the dot.  Then she’d look at me again.  “What?  You think I’m an idiot?”

I got one of those clear plastic stick things with the string on the end and what appears to be an intricately tied fishing fly on the end of the string.  You bounce it up and down and the cat thinks “Damn!  A BUG!” and it chases the bug happily for hours.  Or, not.  Maybe the cat just looks at your hand and the end of the stick and sits there, on top of the un-bug.

I’d been mulling for a while whether to get another cat and Chunk could have a friend.  Chunk tried to talk me into never minding about a friend and just letting her outside to chase the squirrels but I DQ’d that since I’ve seen fox and hawks around.  Every once in a while I’d talk to hubs about it, but we just couldn’t decide.

Then about a month ago Mo’s little face popped up on FB and Elizabeth sadly announced she was looking for a home for the little buddy.

The (Happy) End 🙂

Munker and Mo sharing the cat tree for a nap.

Bob-bob-bobbin’ along

Got up this morning at OMG o’clock so I could go run 10 miles with the peeps and maybe ride my bike after.

I love/hate Memphis.  It’s a cringing kind of love – “Oh, no.  He did not.”  “Oh, yes.  He did.”  But so heartrendingly sincere in all its misguided steps that you go along, trying to ignore the broken parts and loving what you can.

The Rendezvous.  Memphis in May. Elvis and Graceland. The River.  Paddleboats.  The lit “M” arch of the bridge.  The Peabody and the ducks.  Mid-town.  St. Jude.  The Greenline, the Farms, the Greenway – and so much more.  The politicians, the leadership, the lingering us-vs.-them-vs.-them-vs.-us racial issues that have to be periodically resurrected by some politician, business man or pastor who didn’t get what they wanted, not so much.

Having grown up in Arizona I feel a kinship with the desert that is soul deep.  Hot summer evenings when it’s still in the upper 90’s after the sun has gone down, sitting outside with friends, the air as soft as kitten breath on your skin, looking up at bright twinkling stars you can see though a sky not laden with a haze of humidity.

So when I get up for a run in July in Memphis and check weather.com with whom I still have a shaky relationship, but noaa.gov doesn’t seem to quit fit either, and it happily announces that it is currently 75 degrees and NINETY-NINE percent humidity all I can do is shake my head and add another bottle of Gatorade to the pile already in the truck.

By mile 7 I’d sweat so much that my feet were squishing in my shoes while my tired legs constantly tried to remind me that it was SUNDAY, for God’s sake, and should we not be home drinking coffee and looking at the crossword, EH??  Lisa O, my running buddy today, was feeling inexplicably chipper which was an excellent foil to my suffering.  After emailing with some of the group yesterday she’d gotten it into her head that she was doing 12 today and by dammit we were doing twelve.  Even when Bill, the 12 mile instigator, showed up late and left early (having recently broken his hand in a bike accident and still casted and pinned, he gets a bye on this one for sure).  Oh, no.  We are doing 12 miles.

“We’re about a half mile from the car and we’ll be at 11, do you think we should just call it?”

“No, we can pass the car, loop the lake and get that last mile.”

“Oh – look!  There’s the rest of the peeps waiting for us!  Probably we should not make them wait any longer!”

“No, they’re fine.”

“I bet we’ll be at 11.5 at the car, 11.5 is good.”

“Fine, if you want to stop go ahead.”

*pause*

“But you’ll regret it later….”

ah, dammit.  And when we hit 11.80 and she surged, I was right there too.  Gonna finish this sucker off with a kick!  Then we pulled out the bikes and covered the length of the Greenway, 16.5 miles.  The last 3-4 miles I was the sweeper as Lisa, hubs and Catherine pulled strongly ahead.  I didn’t care.  Running on tired legs, biking on tired legs – day off tomorrow and they can learn to get stronger, it’s all good.

Despite the dead legs, however, it was a great run and I’m definitely glad we got the miles in.  I know we got the miles in because when I got home and stood next to the desk my Garmin started beeping excitedly.  My Garmin downloads automatically to the computer any time it’s nearby.  My Garmin, in fact, is so enthusiastic about downloading to my computer that any time it’s near my computer it downloads, then downloads, then downloads in a continuous loop of data transfer with its beloved, the Garmin ANT agent, until eventually it dies.  It’s a bit like Romeo and Juliet, only – and fortunately – after the Garmin has essentially sacrificed itself for love the computer does not do the same.  I have to be sure to remember not to leave it on my desk because resurrection takes about 5 hours and I don’t really care to realize, at 7am the next run day, that it’s dead and I will have to wait until noon for it to charge if I want to wear my gadget on the run.

Don’t suggest I run nekked.  Don’t wanna.  Can’t make me.  Love my gadget.  Too much joy.  I love to come home from a tough run, get cleaned up, sit at my desk all fresh and clean and dry with a cup of coffee or an icy Diet Dr. P.  I pull out my running journal.  I scroll the training screen on G. and with my favorite pencil I carefully write in the distance, time, pace, HR, who I ran with, splits – anything that seems important to me.  Then I look at my journal.  Sometimes I just flip the pages and watch them turn.  Half the pages’ ears are notched:  half a year of running.  Half a year of weeks and days and memories of friends, runs, good weather and bad, feeling great and hardly breathing, sighting deer or killdees or bluebirds.  All pieces of me, in there.

Today I think I may print a picture and put it in the journal too.  We were near 6 miles when Lisa and I stopped to look at the Wolf River, which is quite low right now due to the overall lack of rain lately, but, while still low, was running fairly strongly today since we did have rain the past couple days.  It was fun to watch the muddy, stirred up mocha-colored soup of river flow by.  Lisa took a pic while I stared myopically at an upended chunk of tree on the opposite shore.  Oddly, part of the chunk looked like a cat’s face, turned to look over its shoulder at us.

“Lisa, look at that,” I pointed, “what is it?”

At that moment it stood, stretched, leapt upon the log behind it and then loped into the trees.

‘IT’S A BOBCAT!” Lisa exclaimed, “We just saw a BOBCAT!  And no one is going to believe us!”

I don’t know why she thought no one would believe us.  I’m deeply hurt.  I think anyone who is the Queen of England should not be questioned.

We excitedly looked at the pic on her cell phone.  With the glare of the hazy clouds it was difficult to know if we would be able to see the bobcat later, but we could tell she got that part of the river in the frame.

Proof!  🙂  We saw a bobcat!

COOL, Huh?

Then later – AND YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE THIS!!! –

We….

Saw….

ANOTHER ONE!

And this one was so tame, I was able to PET IT!

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