Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for March, 2010

Published March 2nd, 2010

Four down… nine to go? (gulp)

It’s bonus time in EDRW land — you get THREE race reports in one!

Woolley Trail Marathon, February 20
This was a grief run for me as we had to put our kitty down the day before. Since my darling had a photo shoot in the afternoon we opted for the 6 a.m. early start, which meant we had to leave our house about 4:15 for the hour and a half drive to Sedro-Woolley. We had a rough start to the morning as our kitty’s absence set in; there’d be no strident meowing for breakfast. I broke down in sobs several times, plus I found it hard to concentrate on what I should be packing. As a result we got a late start, but figured the race director would understand. Besides, it wasn’t as if we’d be competing for the top spots.

The early starters took off just as we pulled into the parking lot. We checked in and confirmed with the RD that we could use the time on our Garmins. It was still dark, so my darling decided to run with me for the first few miles until it was light enough to put away the headlamps. Even though it was going to be a sunny day, I fortunately made the wise decision to wear a long-sleeved shirt; however, I forgot to throw on gloves. BRRRR.

This was the inaugural year for the race, which follows the Cascade Trail from Sedro-Woolley to Hamilton and back. It’s a nice wide, flat course that offers great views of the Cascades and local farmland. I started my run listening to a podcast about gastro-intestinal distress in long distance runners, and the eau de cow provided an appropriate olfactory accompaniment.

Although he had intended to start running at his own pace once the sun came up, my darling decided to stick with me. After all, we had another race the next day and there was no need to go fast. Besides, it would only mean he’d have to wait around for me at the end. While we didn’t talk much (I had my iPod, he did not), it was comforting having him close. After my podcast ended the sad songs started (I was in a melancholy mood), as did the tears. We stopped to hug several times. Fortunately the pain in our hearts was the only pain we suffered that day, as the run was quite cathartic. We crossed the finish in 4:51:12, and after an aprés race lunch of chili and hotdogs we headed home, where once again we were overcome with grief from her absence.


Published March 2nd, 2010

Goodbye sweet girl

The past few weeks I’ve been an emotional wreck so blogging has been the last thing on my mind.  As I hinted in my last post, our poor kitty had been ailing (chronic renal failure) and we were having to give her subcutaneous fluids.  While we knew we wouldn’t have her for long, I had hoped it would be a matter of months — not weeks or days — before we had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye.

Unfortunately that day came on February 19.

It’s so tough to know when a pet is ready to go.  She certainly was giving us SOME signs — she had pretty much stopped eating and grooming, plus she spent most of the day burrowed under the covers of our bed — but she still would purr when we pet her and would occasionally venture out to hop up on her kitty tree in the front room.  But our once talkative, Rubanesque cat was down to a mere seven pounds and meowed nary peep.  Things came to a head on the 18th when she awoke in our bed disoriented and proceeded to pee on my darling’s foot.

The next morning we discussed whether it was time, but we decided we’d wait until after the weekend.  Thing was, while I wanted to spend one more weekend with her, we had races on both Saturday and Sunday and therefore we’d be gone much of the time.  Besides, I had been having nightmares about her having seizures and being in pain; I couldn’t live with myself if I had waited until it got to that point.

As my darling headed off to work I started reading stories about people having to make that agonizingly painful decision to put a dear pet down, and one of them really spoke to me.  The woman said she too was unsure if the time was right considering her kitty would still purr.  But she said that’s what cats often will do to calm themselves down; it didn’t mean they were happy nor comfortable.  I texted my darling, asking if we should make the appointment that day.

It was a gloriously sunny day (as was the rest of the weekend), so when my darling came home we took Xanthe outside for one last taste of freedom.  Our neighbor and one of my good friends — both of whom had kitty-sat for us — were there to say goodbye.  In looking through the pictures from that day it’s clear the spark had left her.  She didn’t even protest during the ride to the vet (my darling held her tight in his coat; we didn’t want her to suffer the trauma of carrying case).

The end was peaceful, and we were there petting and comforting her the entire time.  We now have her ashes back home with us, which brings us some comfort.  However, it’s still very, very painful.  We will eventually bring another kitty (or two) into our lives, but we’re not ready yet.

We miss you, sweet girl.