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The Fortnight in Review: On Hamstrings and Cat Matters

April 30, 2013


The past couple weeks have been a whirlwind of PT and Graston and massage and yoga and wine – all the things one might associate with an over-managed hamstring rehab. (Woah. I do not like putting “wine” and “rehab” in the same sentence, but it happened, so I’ll let it stand.) For the number of people who’ve touched my thigh in the past month, you’d think I was either a professional athlete or a hooker. At 35, it’s too late to get into either field, so I’ll just ride out this IT thing until the tweens rise up an make me obsolete.

I can’t exactly tell how well it’s going. I’ve gotten a decent range of motion back, as well as some strength, but the remaining intact muscles are clearly compensating for Hammy the Weak, so there’s something missing in the realm of stablity that’s mildly concerning. Like sometimes, I tell the left leg, “Leftie, move in a straight line.” And Lefty is like “Sure, boss!,” but it’s not exactly a straight line, and I know Lefty tried so don’t want to make a big thing about it and hurt Lefty’s self esteem, but between you, me, and the internet, that leg doesn’t move right.


Because it’s mostly pain-free and moves decently and stretches some, I want it to be perfect. I guess my scale doesn’t have a measurement between “gimpy” and “normal.” Patience. It’s not my thing. I like to finish and move on to what’s next.

Speaking of gimpy, here are some things it’s hard to do when your hamstring is in the acute phase of gimpiness those first few days after a tear:
– Bend over.
– Squat down.

Because of this, the floor is off limits to your hands. That doesn’t sound like much of an impediment, but if you’re a clutz or a pet owner, it’s a Big Fucking Deal. I’m both. Remember that: I am a very clumsy cat lady (yet I’m single?! What’s that about?).

When you can’t bend over or squat down, feeding cats goes something like this:
LOLA: MEOWWWWWWW (subtitle: “I haven’t eaten since last night. Step on it, human servile scum.”)
WAHLA: mew (subtitle: “I was on the table last night while you were asleep! It was high up!”)
ME: [airdropping dry food over vicinity of dish, scattering kibble all over corner of kitchen floor] Eat it off the floor, please? I can’t reach the dustbuster.
LOLA: MEOWWWWWWWW (subtitle: “That’s not wet food.”)
WAHLA: mew (subtitle: “Something is happening.”)

ME: [Pouring water all over kitchen floor, leaving several small pools from which the cats may drink, none of which are in the designated bowl]

LOLA: MEOWWWWWWWW (subtitle: “Did your brain explode last night? You want me to walk through water to eat crappy kibble that’s wet and sure to be soggy in T-minus 3 minutes?”)

WAHLA: mew. (subtitle: “I like water. Do you know bathtub? He’s my best friend. We play together all day.”)
ME: [slingshotting wet cat food from waist height, hitting everything except the intended target] Breakfast is served!
LOLA: MEOWWWWWWWW (subtitle: “WTF?”)
WAHLA: mew. (subtitle: “Something is different than usual, and it’s kind of freaking me out. I’ll be hiding behind the bookshelf all day if anyone needs me.”)


About three minutes after a cat eats, it poops approximately 14 times the total volume of food it ate in the previous 24 hours. Like most cat owners, I’ve made a deal with my felines that if they do all this pooping in a designated box on the floor, I’ll keep flinging bits of processed meat scraps around the kitchen every morning.

Cleaning the cat box is a simple but revolting chore. What you do is grab the scoop in your dominant hand, a plastic bag (no holes!) in your non-dominant hand, bend over or squat down, and scoop the poop into the bag. Tie it all up, throw it away, and get on with your life. Dog owners do basically the same thing only in public and without benefit of the scoop. Whether they’re savages or heroes I’ll leave for you to decide.

Anyway, easy peasy, exept for that bend over or squat down part. For the first week or so of my injury, the only way I could do this chore was to gently lift the bum leg and balance on the good one.Do you know what it’s like to balance on one leg bent over with both hands full, having to use those hands in coordination with one another, while the stakes are that high? One false move and you’re face first in feces. It’s the most intense concentraton- the most pure yoga – I have ever known.

And I’m happy to report that we survived the acute phase incident free!

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