Torvald is doing better. I was a little afraid that I would have to use Aggie-The-Tortie’s checkup and vaccine appointment on him, but lo, this morning when it rolled around, he first whizzed copiously in the cellar litter-box, then ate with some gusto from a succession of dishes I had left around to tempt him through a long anorexic weekend, then capped the performance by lapping vigorously at his cat fountain. (The person who decided that a submersible motor and a pet’s water dish belonged together is a hero of mine, whomever he or she may be.)
I am only just realizing how crazed his predicament made me. After he returned from his visit to the cardiologist, he crashed, and mostly stayed in the bowl chair, and didn’t eat or drink. I dug up an unused ear syringe from somewhere (I can’t remember why I ever bought an ear syringe) and dissolved some Himalayan salt, laden with trace minerals, in hot water then diluted it with cooler water, and drenched him every few hours through Saturday and Sunday. Each evening he would amble up and act more lively, and each morning he looked shrunken and sunken in the bowl chair. Finally Sunday night he ate some kibble. It was like a Cecil B. DeMille movie with an orchestra and chorus underlining a visual effect of light breaking through clouds.
Meanwhile I was trying to stay sane. The Engineer and I had to hit the gym early Sunday and I was really not awake and not happy about it. There was this jackass in a sleeve tat, okay? Who seemed to be on every piece of equipment I needed. Culminating in a numb-nuts monopolization of the leg extension machine, an essential resource for my busted and finally recuperating left leg, yeah, don’t you love people who sit and blockade something you need while they diddle and twiddle on their goddam phone? After several attempts to find something else to do I finally said “Can someone else work in while you’re resting?”
“I have just one more set,” he said. And. Sat. There.
I can’t remember how I ended up in the “functional fitness” room, where they keep the stretch bands, kettlebells and medicine balls. There are a half dozen soft medicine balls, ranging from six to about eighteen pounds I guess, and I had never played with them before, but I seized them up one by one with total random disregard to stamped weight and hurled each one two-handed over my head across the empty room, a distance of fifteen feet or so I guess, and then went over and hurled them back, repeat until I had flung all of them six times. It was the cardiopulmonary buzz of the decade. At the end of it I was just on the near, barely manageable side of homicidal rage. Sleeve Tat never knew how close he came to becoming a headline on the local Patch site. I just didn’t want to get thrown out of the gym — the only critical, essential issue that penetrated through the red haze.
Maybe I need what my Panamanian boxer client once called “angry management.” Or maybe sometimes enough is just goddam enough. Or maybe I was channeling Torvald Einar Magnussen, the Berserker Viking of cats.
Tonight he leapt up on the back of the couch and let us pet him in turn while we watched old Star Trek episodes. Domestic bliss.