Jul. 3rd, 2016

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Reading an amusing book called The Tribe of Tiger which someone left on my free bookshelf and it keeps crossing the line between journalism and talking to your friend down the street for their opinions on cat behavior, and including many anecdotes of the author's own cats and her son's barn cats. The writing style can get a little pompous (in a way that isn't displeasing)

Yet perhaps the most interesting observation ever made about dog and cat tracks was also made by Sue Morse, and is this: that a dog walking on a soft matrix such as dust, mud, or snow leaves a tiny ridge of the matrix between the toes and the large pad, as if between the tips of the bent fingers and the forward edge of the palm if a similar print were made by a human being. In other words, a dog grasps the earth as he walks, squeezing up some of the matrix if it's soft enough. A cat, in contrast, lays down his foot very smoothly, gently, leaving no mark but the faint dents of his pads and only then if conditions are optimal, such as after a dusting of fresh snow.

Pausing to look up Sue Morse. Cat expert?? or author's friend from down the road?!!!

Behold Sue Morse, naturalist and expert on animal tracking!!

Expect more cat book quotes soon; I'll have to leaf back through the book to find the parts that made me laugh.
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Yesterday I had a very hard day as something had set off persistent spasms in my left leg and back. It started at the opera when the back of my left thigh cramped, then my upper butt/low back area, then up around my neck and by the next day both sides of my sacroiliac were in a bad state, both legs and arms/hands buzzing and tingling. Entire back just felt wrong as hell. A muscle relaxant did nothing. I did lots of little garden tasks being careful not to overstrain muscles on the theory that small bursts of activity and moving around would help. In between, laid in bed reading things, stretching gently, and feeling weepy.

In desperation around 10pm I remembered the time that I had a bite of cannabis cookie and then for 3 or 4 hours was unable to do anything else but lie flat on my back making small micro-relaxations and stretches fully experiencing the heinousness that is my spine, but afterwards I could move my arm and stand up straight. OK.... time to take a somewhat smaller nibble off this powerful prescription cookie, hoping it wouldn't stop me from falling asleep.

For the next few hours I drifted in and out of sleep going through the same "micro-stretch & relax" with deep breathing. The sacroiliac stuff started to feel much better and the leg buzzing improved. Upper back & neck got a little bit more "unstuck" as I was able to expand whatever it is that hunches up in the pectoral muscles (unfixable by the stretches I did all day long). In the night I woke up several times thinking, aha! I can just stretch my whole spine UP..... and somehow did it complete with satisfying pops and the feeling that rubber bands let go and almost the feeling of when I would put head in traction carefully with the thing that hooks onto the top of a door with a water bag the weight of your head. (Which is a little scary as you feel someone might slam the door and take your head off like pulling a tooth, but it works well).

This morning I was able to go up the hill, sit for an hour and translate, then grocery shop. I stuck to one bag of light weight groceries so I wouldn't have to carry any big weight up the stairs. Lying down now carefully keeping neck muscles relaxed as I type and still able to take deep breaths.

Now going to get on the bus to try and replace the bolt that fell off my scooter before the opera. Since Cole's hardware down the street burned down a couple of weeks ago I will go to Cliff's Variety in the castro. It is weird as I keep mentally pictureing how I know exactly where in Cole's the right size and kind of bolt would be, I am so familiar with their shop. But now that geography is only imaginary and historical.

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