Bye Biggie the Cat


We put Biggie down this evening. He was rapidly losing weight, to the point you could feel all his vertebrae, and his stomach was huge from filling with fluid. He still enjoyed eating sushi and Niman Ranch beef, but mostly he didn’t move, just sat and watched TV.

Today I also finally finished all the things I had due the last two weeks. I only cashed in a ton of chips and called in quite a few favors.

So, now, I guess two of the worst weeks in a long time are done, though not really, since it’s still all kinds of depressing. My body has decided it’s done too. I pulled something in my back and haven’t been able to turn my head since Monday. I’m not walking real good either. And two of the lights in our house stopped working, which Pete thought was hilarious this weekend: I’m literally and figuratively living in the dark.

Bye Biggie, you were a good, sweet little guy.



The Different Kinds of Tired

Coach Mario, when he was my coach, used to laugh at the descriptions I gave for different kinds of tired. There was normal tired, my face hurts tired, my legs are so heavy it feels like I’m dragging weights along tired. But, this week, I’ve hit a new kind of tired. It’s a I tried to pick up a barbell and nothing happened tired. I just stared at my arms and couldn’t figure out why the bar wasn’t going up.

It’s not like I’ve never been tired before. There was that time I decided to try sleeping 45 minutes every three hours. There was the year in high school I slept four to five hours every night. There have been some intense periods of training where I just couldn’t move. But, this is the worst tired I’ve been in a while.

I’m a nine hours of sleep person. Usually, I need it. Since Saturday, or maybe Friday, I’m not sure, I’ve been getting five to six hours a night. Last night it was probably less than five.

There are a couple things here.

1. I have lots and lots of work due by Friday/Monday/Tuesday — including a very cool story for Beacon about races and money that you should get excited about.

2. I’m also working at KQED full-time the second half of this week. I’ve been working the early shift, which means getting up at 5:45-6:15 every morning. The BART strike has added a layer of stress to this, not knowing until midnight each night whether they’ll be striking. Ugh.

3. Taking care of a dying cat is not super restful. Biggie is still hanging in there and we decided as long as he seems happy we’ll let him have more days. But, it’s not going to be many more. He’s staying at Steve’s parents, since we don’t want Tupac to get sick too. But, someone needs to stay with him at least most of the time or check on him. That means we’ve been going back and forth. I’m not even sure what I’m going to do this weekend when Steve’s out of town at CAFM.

4. I’ve still been training, which maybe isn’t a great idea.

(5. Also, I haven’t eating great. I did have a steak salad today, but otherwise it’s been strictly Kit Kat Bites and Bud Light Platinum for meals. *hint: Looking for a sponsorship here*)

Tuesday afternoon I ran 800s with the high school kids. Partially, I needed to maximize my time: if I’m going to be at practice might as well run at practice. Partially, I had on the schedule 800s or mile repeats. But, 12 x 800 was hard. Really hard. We did them as a cross-country half-mile loop around the park. We also did two of them tempo — like 3:15-20 — but the rest were 2:52-3:06, with the last two at 2:59. I’m pretty sure, per the Yasso 800s, this means I can run a 2:59-3:04 marathon. Right?

Except, if I can just get a little sleep first…

Dying Kittens, Biking by Myself and Hearing Alarms

McInnis. Sort of.
McInnis. Sort of.

Friday afternoon this is where I rode my road bike (not mountain bike) — this + the Shoreline Trail, which is much more challenging and rutted and rocky and hilly. I get bored of riding my road bike on long rides by myself. Sometimes I love it. But, sometimes I just can’t spend any more time in my own head (not a good sign with 8 more month of training…). So, instead, Friday I took my road bike and hit the trails. This isn’t aerobically challenging, but it’s technically hard, because your road bike simply isn’t designed for the trails. You have to focus to not fall over or get a flat or accidentally stick your skinny tire in a rut. And, the whole thing shakes your body constantly, every bump, shattering your boredom.

This is actually about three miles from our condo. You just ride past the mall, under the freeway and beyond the water treatment plant. And, then you keep going until you’ve gone far past all the recreational bird-watchers. The trail goes all the way out into the middle of the marsh that covers the blurry line between land and the Bay. You go until suddenly you’re standing on top of a marsh, surrounded by nothing, all by yourself.

I didn’t ride as far or as long as I wanted. I could say it’s because I had to take Biggie to the vet, but I was just bored. I just didn’t want to.

I did take Biggie to the vet, though. And, they said the problem wasn’t just stress from Tupac or the new situation. They said he has the same 100% fatal illness Floyd had (F.I.P) and he’s going to die just like Floyd did. Yes, it’s an extremely rare disease. Yes, it’s weird they both got the same mutation. Yes, it sucks.

I want to have a better way to say that. I want to make it mean something and have a point or a lesson. Isn’t that what writers are supposed to do? Take our own small pains and make them bigger, make them matter to other people, make them something. Instead, I cleaned. I cleaned the whole house Friday night. Because the only thing that’d be worse than having two cats die would be having the third one get sick too from a kitten that we only got to keep him company. If this was literature, there’d be a word for that.

We had to leave for a wedding Friday, after I finished cleaning. What do you do with a dying kitten when you’re leaving? One who has an infectious disease? We brought him with us. He’s not moving much, so it wasn’t hard. He just slept on the bed, walked around the room a little, enjoyed Carmel. And, we went to a wedding. We danced and partied and drank and then came back to the room and sat with the sick kitten. Then, we took him to the beach.

I tried to take a video of him running with Steve across the sand, but I accidentally took a video of what I thought I wasn’t taking a video of and didn’t record what I thought I was recording. Of course.

When we got home I went for my two hour run, barely beating the sun setting. It was ok, in that I never felt worse than I already felt. But, near the beginning, as I ran through a neighborhood and into the woods, an alarm inside one of the houses was going off. And, for ten second I wondered if it was my alarm, if I was asleep and I’d just been dreaming all this. I didn’t feel very awake; it seemed possible. I actually did a whole body check, tried to feel my pillow under my head if I was really in bed dreaming. But, I wasn’t. This was all real and that wasn’t what my alarm sounds like anyway.

Fun at the beach.
Fun at the beach.

Meet Biggie the Cat

Instead of working out today, which I probably wasn’t going to do anyway after yesterday’s wreck of a race, or doing any work, I got Tupac a new kitten friend from the Pet Fair.

Biggie the Cat is not very big.
Biggie the Cat is also very hard to photograph.

Biggie the Cat (yes, grandma it’s a hip-hop thing) is three months old and very cute and playful. I thought they’d get along. Apparently I did not think about this at all.

I’ve basically created a turf fight. Tupac is not happy about some other guy in his room, which is where we had to put him because we don’t have very many rooms with doors, and is making sure we all know that. Biggie seems unfazed, but has to stay in his room because he is small and I don’t want Tupac to kill him.

It’s made for a stressful day. And not a particularly restful rest day.

Tupac is pissed with me.