A LIFE MORE ORDINARY - Cat One, Gaylen Nothing

(11/23/2003)

By Gaylen Duskey

A few years back a rock group called the Bobby Fuller Four had a song out titled "I Fought the Law," which turned out to be the only hit the group had since the lead singer died before they recorded another one.

The lyrics went something like this: "breaking rocks in the hot sun, I fought the law and the law won." It goes something like this "limping around the house on one leg, I fought the cat and the cat won."

Unlike Bobby Fuller I did not die. I thought I might, but I did not.

Let me give you some of the scenario of the Wednesday Night Massacre.

I was helping Linda get the dining room ready for our annual Christmas extravaganza. That's where we put up something like half a dozen Christmas trees and a full-blown two-table village with all the lights, whistles and bells, or at least all the ski slopes, skating ponds and Ferris wheels.

We worked at that for most of the evening and Linda had gone into the living room to lie down on the couch for a while. I was finishing off cleaning some stuff out of the hallway, taking it to the front porch.

That's when the Grey Ghost - Max The Cat - struck causing the aforementioned Wednesday Night Massacre.

I was on my last load. as a matter of fact I had just carried the last load out and was headed back into the house when Max went darting out the door. Since Linda does not like him being out at night - "other cats attack him," she says - I tried to keep him from getting away.

But as he went whizzing by me, my left ankle gave way causing me to lose my balance and begin a rapid descent toward the porch floor.

I tried, heavens knows I tried to maintain my balance by landing on my right foot.

It didn't work. Instead I "maintained my balance" with my hand, elbow, knee and chin. I "balanced" myself real well on the floor with a huge thud.

Linda and Elizabeth came running to the door wanting to know if I was hurt.

Uh, yes, I hurt all over.

They helped me up and I came inside to survey the damage. Max, I am sure, was looking in the window grinning at his lopsided victory. My elbow was scraped. My knee was scraped. My hands hurt and my chin was sore.

But the thing that bothered me the most was one of my toes. It didn't feel right and when I moved it the pain shot through my foot.

"Linda," I said, "we'd better get as much done tonight as we can."

She wanted to know why.

"Because I am not so sure I will be able to walk too good tomorrow," I said.

Sure enough when I got up Thursday morning my right foot was swollen and I was unable to put any weight on the ball of it.

A trip to Minnie Hamilton confirmed my fears. Small fracture, they think. They can't do anything about it, but they will get me some painkillers and refer me to an orthopedic doctor at the VA center in Clarksburg.

So tonight as I hobble around the house and look at the Grey Ghost sitting there on the arm of the couch, I swear he is smiling at me.

Cat one. Gaylen nothing.


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