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Tuesday, November 9, 2004

When your pet is nearly as old as your children (and your children are grown with children of their own), well, you get to be pretty attached to that pet. And unless that pet is a turtle or something with an extra-long lifespan, youíre probably spending your last years with it.

We lost a family member today. Suzanneís cat Missy was old and had been ill but had been in good spirits and happy until the last couple of days. Today was, in fact, her last day, and it was hard on all of us, but especially on Suzanne. Missy has been around since my nephews were very young, and she has outlived several other family pets. Saying goodbye under those circumstances is painful and emotional.

Tammy phoned me this afternoon to ask if I could stay with her boys while she went with Suzanne and Missy to the vetís office. Nobody knew for sure this was going to be such a sad day, but we didnít want Suzanne to be alone if it did turn out that way. Tammy has a finely tuned sense of what kind of emotional support people close to her might need. Itís one of the reasons weíre glad sheís part of the family.

So I did drop what I was doing (payroll, ugh) and run over to Tammyís house. D.J. and Dakota were glad to see me. Aiden smiled and giggled and even let me hold him for a little while, until he realized he could do better and started making the mommy noise. Suzanne and Tammy were gone for less than an hour, and I knew the worst as soon as they walked back in. We held each other and were sad together. Then Aiden said something funny and we laughed, and I went back to work.

15 December 2001

Missy by the fire, three winters ago.

Missy was more than just a pet cat. She had a big personality, full of mischief as a kitten and full of love as she got older. She wasnít very discriminating about whose lap she sat on. Even John, who sometimes pretends not to like cats, always seemed to have her in his lap whenever he sat down. The memories will stay with us, but Suzanne will no longer have anyone to bring her such wonderful trophies as dead birds and rodents. Thatís one thing sheíll have to do without.

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The Cy Young award in the National League became the Cy Old award this year, with two pitchers in their forties finishing first and second. And guess what. They earned it. Roger Clemens won his seventh Cy Young at age 42, as expected. But Randy Johnson is just as amazing. At 41, he had a winning record even though he pitched for the worst team (by far) in the major leagues, and he was near the top in most statistical categories. I was pushing for the Giantsí Jason Schmidt, but I have to admit that the right two pitchers finished one-two.

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It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
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