Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Fundamental Interconnectedness of Everything

Playing on the iPod: David Blonski and Synchestra: "Wind Dance" (their best ever)
Meters swum today: 1600

I had another spooky moment at the pool today. Luckily I didn't gasp in delight and swallow a great big ol' mouthful of water. In fact I was already out of the pool and putting stuff away in my cute little red mesh baggie thing that conveniently holds two fins, two hand paddles, goggles, ear plugs, shampoo and soap, and can be yours for only $11.95 at SwimOutlet.

But I digress. I was standing there, right, and this guy came up to me and said, "You inspired me today, doing butterfly on that stroke swim. So I did some too." "Oh good," I said, having no clue what to say. "I'm glad." Blink. Blink. I mean, this guy, I've seen him swim before, he's very good, and I wouldn't have thought he would need li'l ol' me to inspire him to do anything. Plus, I wasn't exactly trying to inspire anybody. I just like butterfly. It's violent and noisy. I've always had a soft spot for stuff that meets that description.

This just goes to show something or other. You never know who might be watchin'. You also never know, do you, how your actions might affect other people. Like the butterfly that flaps his wings in Thailand and causes Hurricane Katrina. Or the butterfly that Jen does at the pool which causes...seriously, do you know who you might have affected today? That lady you held the train door for? Maybe if she hadn't caught that train she would have, I dunno, been late for work, lost her job, her house, turned to drugs and ended up shooting six people in a robbery. One of whom was your cousin Bob, whom, if he hadn't died in the hypothetical robbery, might have perfected his technique at making slow-burning smoke-free fossil fuel substitutes out of falling leaves, thereby solving the world's energy crisis and making billions of yard apes delerious with joy. Douglas Adams pondered these possibilities quite a bit in his masterpieces, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (solve the whole crime, find the whole person, etc.) Dirk, in particular, maintained that any time you have a problem, anyone you encounter will say something that will bear in some way upon the problem, so that simply by talking to enough people, you will arrive at your solution. He also held that the best way to handle getting lost was to find a car that looked like it knew where it was going and follow it. You might not end up where you wanted to go, but you might end up somewhere you need to be.

All of which is particularly relevant because I killed a cat yesterday. Well, caused it to be killed. Volunteer for a cat related charity long enough and you'll meet dozens of little old ladies with more cats than sense. One of them called to say that one of the feral cats she's been feeding had been hit by a car and was limping around on three legs. Right away, I'm positive that the right thing to do here would be to put the cat to sleep. Feral cats cannot survive with three legs, or with three good legs and one in a cast. And they're wild animals. They're not gonna put up with being caught and hauled in for follow up appointments to have stitches removed. She said she'd talked to the SPCA and that they'd come and get it but she was afraid they'd put it to sleep. I told her I didn't really have any other options for her but I'd come take a look.

Well, that was a mistake. This cat hadn't just been hit by a car, he'd been run over. He was hopping around with the mangled back leg pulled up against his body. He smelled bad, was scrawny and wasn't taking care of his fur. She got all teary-eyed when I mentioned putting him to sleep ("Look, he's hopping around! He wants to live!") and so I finally said I'd take him to our clinic. The clinic only spays and neuters; it doesn't really treat. It does, however, have a vet who will see the cat for free, or the next thing to free. So I went to the clinic and wheedled them into seeing the cat, and they told me to come back that evening and pick him up. Or his empty carrier, whichever was left.

Guess what, it was the empty carrier. I wasn't surprised at all. Not only did the cat have a "shattered" back leg, he had internal damage to his intestines and liver (hence the smell) and wasn't digesting any food (hence the scrawny) even though he'd been eating. Also, he was FIV positive - not a big deal for a house cat but a certain death sentence for a feral. If he had it, some of the other cats in that nabe probably did, too. Anybody who wasn't already vaccinated needed to be, and sooner, not later.

So I had to take the empty carrier back and tell the old lady this. She was not happy, as I suppose you can imagine, but she took it pretty well, I guess. She made me take ten dollars cash for gas money and said she'd tell her neighbors about the FIV thing. Will she ? I dunno. But, if I hadn't gone over there MUCH against my better judgment, if I hadn't taken this cat to the clinic, if it hadn't been see what I mean? You just never know who might be watchin'.

Sucked losing the cat, though. I never get used to that.

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