Friday, February 23, 2007

Cat Hunting

Rico, my 14 year old cat, died last week. He'd been ailing a while and naturally I was really sad to see him go. I adopted him as a kitten when I was single and living in San Diego. I don't know much about animal to human bonding but he probably saw me as his mom. We have another cat and were afraid of her suffering from loneliness so we're looking to adopt another.

I clicked the banner ad for Felines, Inc. from and saw they were at Devon and Paulina, about a block off my route home. So I decided to pay them a visit this afternoon. They close at 6:00 pm but said they usually don't take new visitors after 5:00 pm. So I wanted to make sure I left myself plenty of time to bike the fifteen or so miles there.

I left work early to make it there by 5:00 pm but the stiff east northeasterly winds had other plans for me. On top of that it was much colder than I thought it would be so I didn't layer as much as I normally would have.

I set the cat shelter as the destination in my GPS so I'd be able to track my estimated time of arrival. Early in my ride it seemed I'd get there right at 5:00pm. But as I headed into the stiff winds my ETA kept getting later and later. So I pounded the pedals more. I think my eardrums were getting frost bite. Weird.

I started to hear my chain start to squeak. I guess the White Lightning chain lubricant was starting to wear off after three salty and wet rides. Not bad considering I usually lube my chain about that much anyway.

By the time I got to the Lakefront Trail my ETA was now 5:33pm; not good. Fortunately the path was completely clear for bike riding. Even the Oak Street curve was passable. Once I reached North Avenue Beach I saw I made up a little time. My ETA was now 5:18pm; a little late but not screamingly rude. I already filled out an application, had a list of cats I liked and ones my wife might tolerate so I could save even more time. I was still really pushing myself hard to get there by 5:00pm though. I was in such a hurry to leave work that I didn't refill my water bottle. So I was going to be very thirsty when I got home.

Once off the trail and on the city streets I biked a little more aggressively (but not rudely) than usual to make up more time. When I finally arrived I was bushed. I didn't make the 5:00 pm cut off but they let me take a look around anyway. One of two young ladies there even allowed me to stash my bike in their basement away from avaricious eyes (what a saint!). I looked around, took about a dozen photos for my wife and then I was off again to return at a later date.

It is my brother's birthday so I called him and asked if I could stop by. He lives about a mile up my route. I was glad to sit a while and visit with my brother and his roommate. In fact I really didn't feel like hitting the road again. It was below freezing and I just wanted to continue relaxing. But my wife was expecting me and I hit the road again.

The short siesta did me a bit of good. I biked with a new found energy and made it home without really thinking about it.

Distance Traveled: 24.4 miles
Distance to date: 1969.9 miles
Price of gas: $2.53

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