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Kitty Comfort October 22, 2010

Posted by Marc Troeger in cat, humor, pets, stress.
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With my wife away at a medical conference, I returned home from a long business trip to an empty house. And a bald cat.

Coming through the back door, I was greeted by our orange tabby cat, Pumpkin, sitting in the hallway. His entire hindquarters were minus all hair.

I spotted the note on the counter, left by my wife:

“Be back on Friday. The cat’s going bald. He has a vet appointment at 8:00AM tomorrow morning. Fish sticks are in the freezer.”

He looked at me with his big, yellow, pleading eyes wanting to be scratched. I got the heebie-jeebies as I reached down to pet a cat with no hair.

I arose early the next morning, knowing the challenge it would be to squeeze a large (bald) cat into a small travel crate. No disappointments here. As usual, the task resulted in overturned furniture and a bit of (my) blood shed. Arriving ten minutes late to the Vet’s office wasn’t too bad.

“You’ve got a bald cat.” Dr. George stated as he entered the examining room. I’ve learned over our frequent visits that Dr. George was a man of few words who was gentle with pets but a bit less personable to his human counterparts.

“Yes, I do, Dr. George.” I responded.

“Know why?” he asked as he began examining the cat.

“Afraid not. Was hoping you could tell me”

“You didn’t shave him, did you?” he questioned, without looking up.

“I wouldn’t even want to attempt to shave a cat.” I replied, a little irritated.

“Doesn’t look like fleas.” he commented, combing through the cat’s hair.

“Any changes at your house?” he asked.

Thinking, I responded “My step-daughter just went off to her first year of college and my wife’s been traveling a bit more. I travel frequently myself. I guess the cat’s been alone more often these days.”

“Uh, huh.” he replied, finishing up his examination.

He started scribbling something on a pad. “You’re cat’s got a case of the nerves.” He stated as he wrote.

“The nerves?” I questioned, a little puzzled.

“Changes to his environment. New situations in life. Nothing to worry about.” he finished writing, tore the paper from the pad and handed it to me. “Give him one of these each morning and he will be fine. The hair will eventually grow back.”

“This is something to grow his hair back?” I asked, rereading the prescription.

“No.” He stated. “It’s for his nerves. It’s a little kitty comfort.”

“Kitty Comfort?” I looked up at him, puzzled.

“It’s Prozac” He answered flatly.

“Prozac? For a cat?” I asked, staring at the prescription again. “Is this the same Prozac my 78 year-old Aunt Edna was put on to help her with the stress that led to the compulsive shoplifting problem? “

“The same stuff, only smaller dosage.” Dr. George replied.

“So you’re saying stress made him lose his hair and Prozac will help it grow back.” I thought out loud.

“Give it a few weeks and it should do the trick.” He said, easily coaxing Pumpkin back into his travel crate.

I paid my bill, put the cat in the trunk and drove home. Halfway there, I picked up my cell phone and called my dad.

“Hey, Dad.” I asked. “Remember when you told me that you started going bald right about the time I was born?”

“Yeah…” He answered, a little confused.

“Well, I think I might know why and have a cure for you.”

Cochise Rock Climbing Camp… here I come! October 21, 2010

Posted by Marc Troeger in ambition, journey, life, Patience.
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This is where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing in a few days. Come join me on the adventure… there’s still an opening on the trip.

Will be posting from the summit.

And the Adventure Continues… October 9, 2010

Posted by Marc Troeger in aging, humor, journey, life, Uncategorized.
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I posted on my blog, a few years ago, something I wrote titled “Growing Old… NOT!”  I’m reposting it below as a personal tribute to my 48th birthday, but more importantly,  to all those who could care less about how old they are or what condition they are in and continue to do so many amazing things everyday.  I look at my parents, who are in their 70s and continue to travel the world, always looking for their next adventure.  To Holly, who struggles with Freidriech’s Ataxia yet continues to live her life to the fullest (see her postings at:  Hollys Hope).  To my friend Bruce, who has struggled over the years with cancer and is even now awaiting another diagnosis; regardless of his condition, he has and continues to have such an amazing impact on so many peoples lives.  And to the many people you know and admire who continue to amaze you with how they persevere and what what they accomplish.

Living has nothing to do with age, nor your health, nor the obstacles you face.  Living is how you move on with what you have and make the best of it… one adventure at a time.

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[The following was Originally posted at www.mountainblogs.com on December 2, 2008 by Marc Troeger]

I turned forty a few years ago… but it didn’t bother me at the time. A few weeks ago, I innocently mentioned several aches and a few pains to my wife after doing an early morning run. Her response: “That’s what happens when you get older.

My response back her through clenched teeth: “I-am-not-going-to-get-older!”  And that’s the truth.

I refuse to feel my age. I refuse to recognize a little of the spread that’s taking place in my mid-section. I refuse to acknowledge the grays appearing on my top section. And I refuse to give up on the youth that I have always felt within me; the silliness, that care-free attitude toward life… that quest for adventure every waking hour. But, then… how do I ignore the inevitable?
I came up against that question once again, very recently while reading a book by Joe Simpson. Joe is best known for the incredible account of trial and tragedy in the mountains in his book Touching the Void. In his latest book, The Beckoning of Silence, he writes on many topics surrounding his mountaineering adventures, the loss of close friends and an introspective look at the risks he has taken in his life and what that means to him today. In particular, he relies on his insight and wisdom of his age (he is the same age as me!) and writes about youth and old age. In challenging his own advance down the trek of time, he offers this quote by Samuel Ullman :

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. It is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a temper of the Will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions. It is a freshness of the deep springs of life. Youth means a tempermental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of fifty more than in a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin; but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair – these are the long, long years that bow the heart and turn the greening spirit back to dust. Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and at starlike things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing childlike appetite for what next and the joy of the game of living. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt, as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

Yeah… me… that’s me… I-am-not-going-to-get-old!

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