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.



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.

Time to Run a 10K

I’m running a 10K tomorrow morning. I don’t know that I feel like I can run a 10K, but I don’t know that I can’t either, so. Steve keeps saying we should have a memorial 5K for Floyd to raise money to cure FIP — which, as a side note, apparently has almost no funding or research devoted to it, even though it’s a terrible 100% fatal super crazy mysterious viral mutation, because there’s just not the collective will or interest (which is why if you feel so inclined you should donate to the UC Davis research into FIP) — so I guess I can just consider this my memorial 10K.

Physically, this week has been light on workouts. But, my legs still hurt a lot and feel painfully heavy. That’s what ‘stress is stress’ means — your body can’t always tell if the stress is deliberate training load or emotional wreckage. Yesterday, I dragged myself out for a run with some 2′ efforts at goal 10K pace and, though I hated nearly all of it, I was able to do them.

That means, hopefully, tomorrow will end better than the last time I tried to do a race after an emotional shitshow of a week. Summary: that race ended with me sitting down six miles into the half-marathon and crying. Though I made it six miles, which as far as I have to go tomorrow, so I should be good.

Any bets? How will I do?

RIP Floyd

I was wrong. I thought Floyd had another week or so left. I thought I would stay home today with him, since Steve flew to LA last night for a one-day business trip. I thought I would hang out with Floyd, get some work done, and do my hard track workout. But, things can take a sharp turn very quickly.

Yesterday, Floyd seemed fine, as fine as you can be when you have a 100% fatal untreatable virus. He ran to the door to greet me when I got home, ate some food and a little ice cream, wandered out to the patio and back. He seemed fine. And, then after Steve left, around 10:45 last night, suddenly Floyd couldn’t walk. I watched him stand up and fall over. He stumbled and dragged himself halfway across the room before collapsing. I carried him to his bed and tried to give him some water, but he was so upset and confused. He jumped out of my arms, but his legs couldn’t hold his landing and he crashed into the wall.

We thought we’d see how he was in the morning after sleeping, but he never fell asleep. He threw up the first time in my bed around midnight, and after I cleaned it up and put his little bed and some towels on top of our bed for him to lay next to me, it just got rapidly worse. He started shaking and making these little moaning noises as he tried to breathe. He’d still try to get up, but would just fall back over. Sometimes, I’d swear he had actually stopped breathing, but then he’d have a sort seizure fit and let out this terrible wailing noise. Those painful, awful seizure fits got more and more frequent and violent after 5 a.m. I laid in bed next to him, dozed off twice during the night for 20 minutes and each time woke to him trying to struggle to get up. And he just kept looking at me wondering why was I doing this to him.

At times, the look he got as he stared at the floor, with both his front paws splayed out, reminded me of the look I get when I’m really sick. It’s the I can focus and make this go away if I just try hard enough look.

After Steve said good-bye over the phone, I took Floyd to the emergency clinic early this morning so they could put him out of his pain as quickly as possible. With him crying and limp in the front seat, barely able to see consistently anymore, we got caught in the very early commute traffic. The sun was just coming up and blinding both of us. And I’d been laying in bed all night, half reading a magazine article and trying to keep up my tiny cat’s spirits, I’d forgotten it was just a regular Wednesday.

I was the only person at the emergency clinic. I said good-bye and promised they’d make it stop hurting now and they took him away. I could have stayed with him the whole time, but then they want to make it pleasant and not messy for the owner, so they do it by IV drip and it takes much longer. We’d had enough time and he just needed to be done.

This blog will be about sports again soon, but not right now. One last time, it’s about Floyd: