By my estimation, Roscoe and I have invested some sixty Gs in his medical education, most of the time I don’t see the benefit to this expenditure. As a med student he works long hours at the hospital for no pay, brings in loads of debt and when he has practical exams, insists on testing the range of motion in my knees. Not terribly exciting.
Around the beginning of his second year of med school Roscoe developed his “Doctor Voice”. It’s a very confident but stern sounding voice. Entirely different from his husband voice which is the one that tells me I look pretty and asks whether it’s past my bedtime.
See if you didn’t know the two of us, that last sentence would sound like a come on “That’s what SHE said”. I badly misused that saying, teenage boys everywhere are hanging their heads in shame at me.
Roscoe sometimes attempts to use his doctor voice at home, generally when he wants to prove that he’s right about something. “Put that away!” I’ll yell when I hear those soft but reassuring tones.
So a month or so ago I was running my first road race in three years, my first ten kilometer race in goodness knows how long. The event was in Toronto, so Roscoe and I were staying overnight at my parent’s house rather than driving the two plus hours from our home to the start.
Everything was going smoothly. Well for me at least. Some kids grew up with mothers who cut the crusts off their sandwiches, moms who dropped them off at university and then returned many, many times for visits, mums who really cared about important things like jewelry, and whether your purse matched your shoes.
My mother is a sports mom. She leaves crusts on sandwiches, she visited me once at university after dropping me off and I’ve frequently left the house wearing both stripes and floral print at the same time.
However come race day, get out of her way, she’s a tiger mom, up at five am with coffee and strategies for how to cut your time. She stashes extra safety pins for your bib in her coat and has water and chocolate milk sitting in the car to rehydrate. You’ll recognize her at the finish line because she’ll be the one jumping so high that she might as well be attached to a pogo stick.
So despite the fact that I didn’t train, had no idea where the race was, and had not packed the appropriate gear, I wasn’t terribly worried about the ten kilometer race I had to run the next day.
That was until I was mauled by a Bear.
Bear is the newest addition to my parent’s house. She is the only cat they’ve ever had who has not lived with me. The cats that I grew up with understood that I moved like a Sherman tank, crushing everything in my path. They stayed out of my way, and I lived up to my end of the bargain by not being too upset when they loved my mother more than me.
Bear has never lived with me. Bear also moves like a Sherman tank. One with claws.
Which is how the night before my race I got these.
Essentially Bear and I played a very dangerous, painful and ultimately bloody, game of chicken.
Bear was racing up the stairs, across the landing and heading for my bedroom at top speed. Watching her shoot straight at me like some sort of ginger cheetah, I stood my ground. And Bear also stood her ground. Until at the last second we both moved the same direction. Which caused Bear to run half into the door frame, as she attempted to stop herself with her claws on my foot. I felt pain, heard a loud thud and watched a starry eyed Bear wobbly make her way under my bed.
“Bear!” I cried, “Bear! Come here, I’m sorry.” I pleaded bending down to lift up the bed skirt, the extent of my wounds disguised by my body’s beautiful shock reflex. Still woozy but expecting me to somehow cause her to run into more door frames Bear darted past me. And that’s when I looked down and realized blood was pooling on my foot.
Roscoe took one look at it and thought “Infection and cat scratch fever”. Immediately he put his doctor voice into action. Overwhelmed by my feelings of guilt and the blood about to stain my parent’s beige carpet, I blindly followed my husband into the kitchen. There he cleaned the lacerations and then set about neatly taping a napkin to my foot. Power gels are on my mother’s grocery list, not gauze. The gory blood now covered up and the new carpet no longer in danger I returned to my senses. “That doesn’t look dramatic enough! You need to wrap it!”
Roscoe stopped ripping the masking tape into neat sections and instead began haphazardly wrapping my foot with tape. “There” he said “happy now?”
“No, take a photo of it.”
For the record I ran a fifty-four minute ten km, for my American readers out there I ran a fifty four minute six mile race. Pretty good considering the perfectly straight blood stains I found in my sock afterwards.