Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


"What greater gift than the love of a cat?" ~ Charles Dickens

Scrappy is on the right; Earl is on the left
2017 has not started off on a good foot. In the photos, you can see me and two cats that live with us. I say "live with us" because, unlike dogs, cats are still a bit wild and certainly not beholden to no human being. These cats lived with our neighbor when Eileen and I moved in.
Me and Scrappy

Me, Scrappy, and Earl
A few years after we moved into our house here in Silver City, our neighbor moved and asked me if I would take over feeding the cats. I agreed, since they were outdoor cats, despite that Earl and Scrappy had discovered our couch. As you can see by these photos, we became close friends. Scrappy was the boss cat and dominated three other cats, one of which was Earl. Now, Earl is three times heavier than Scrappy and twice as big, but Scrappy was boss. No doubt about that...

Over the past year, Scrappy had begun to lose weight, which, never having had an animal live to old age before, I assumed was age related muscle loss and weight loss. These cats are at least 11 years old. Not much had changed until recently, when the muscle mass loss on Scrappy became much more pronounced. He was vomiting and not getting outside in time for a bowel movement. I took Scrappy to the vet on Martin Luther King day and he prescribed an antibiotic for what he thought was inflamed intestines. Well, a week went by and he wasn't improving. Yesterday, he was very weak, with unstable gait, and would not eat. I called the vet and made an appointment. I wanted to have a blood test done to see if anything was treatable or if we would have to "put him down"...a euphemism for killing him. Eileen and I spoke at lunch and she decided to come with me, so I wouldn't be alone. I love that woman. So, blood test showed that Scrappy's kidneys weren't functioning well, but the vet thought he probably had cancer since he looked worse than the blood test results would indicate. After a short discussion with the vet and Eileen, we decided to end Scrappy's life. So easy to say; so very hard to do.

When it was all said and done, we brought Scrappy's body home and Eileen and I dug a grave for him in our backyard, which was the turf he reigned over for over a decade. Seemed fitting. In the Spring, I will plant a tree over Scrappy's grave and put a little marker there for him. I realize that every pet owner thinks their pet is the best, like every parent thinks their kid is the best. To be honest, Scrappy was tender and tough with the other cats that he dominated. As you can see, however, he was very tender, too. That's why I love/d that guy so much. Scrappy had a presence about him and he made sure that anyone who sat on the couch in our living room got to know that presence.

I miss him terribly and I'm sure Earl does, too. He and Earl were buddies and Scrappy never missed an opportunity to get Earl to groom him. So, Eileen, me, and Earl are moving along, but we won't forget Scrappy.

Now, a tune to close out this post..Memory from CATS  We love you, Scrappy. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us, for choosing us to live with...