Monday, January 07, 2013

The Cat Came Back

It was a few weeks before Christmas, can't remember exactly when now, I was working from home, Jenn came back from physio or something and she turned to me (this was at about noon) and she asked me if I had seen the cat.

The cat is curled up asleep on my lap right at this moment. She's not your typical cat in that she acknowledges that we exist and actually shows us (or at least me) some affection. When I am home during the day she is generally around me and at night she generally sleeps in between my legs, in my groinal area or at the crook of my knee, depending on how I am positioned.

So when I was asked if I had seen the cat I knew immediately that she was gone and that she had been gone since dinner the night before when she greeted the kids and I at the door. I also realized that she had disappeared on my watch, likely sneaking out the door as it creaked shut when I was taking out the garbage.

When it comes to cats I'm not exactly at the level of my Dad. When advised that we had a cat his response was:

A cat? A cat. When I was young if you had cats you got yourself a bag and some rocks and took them down to the river.

I always pictured my Dad and his siblings swimming in the river, the bottom littered with bags full of little kitten skeletons.

Me, I'm a dog guy and much like pie and cake (I'm a pie guy) I think you can love one but generally (and I know there are exceptions, I'm looking at you Bruce McCurdy) you can't love both. I tolerate cake. I tolerate cats. I'd a prefer a dog a million times over but Jenn is not a dog person and when Ben died it was understood that he would be the last dog we owned. At the time that was fine with me as I had watched his decline for a month or so and I was exhausted with grief when he passed. There were hints that another dog might happen but that it would be a few years down the road. A couple of months after he passed a friend of ours tweaked us to some kittens and before I knew it we were with cat.

The poor cat. Our youngest loves her dearly but for the rest of us, including Jenn, she is, well, part of the scenery I guess. You know how cats are. I like her but I can't take her to the ravine or the beach or the lake. I can't have adventures with her. And while she is affectionate it pales in comparison to the love that the dog gave to me, a love that burned with the heat of a thousand suns. That's how dogs are. I like that. I get that some people don't. People who are losers. ! ;)

So the cat is gone and both of us look at each other and I know that if it was the dog I would have called in sick the rest of the week and gone mental but its the cat and so I wandered out and walked up and down the street looking for a few minutes and then came home and got back to it while she went shopping. My main concern was the fact that maybe twenty years from now we'll be sitting around at Christmas dinner and my kids will sadly remember about the time 'Dad killed the cat'. I'm not kidding.

I picked up the kids and broke it to them and their reaction as muted. Because its a cat, see. They all agreed that she would be back soon. They're positive thinkers like me, I was of the same mind. Jenn is a pessimist, she was certain that the cat was already a smear up on the Danforth.

And then that evening as I was preparing supper, about 24 hours after the cat had snuck out, my oldest said she could hear a cat on the porch and so I went and opened the door and of course there she was, sauntering by me without barely a look.

I messaged Jenn to let her know that the cat had indeed come back and moments later she replied

Oh that's great. I've been thinking all day that with her gone we might need to get a puppy.

Now please excuse me as I go and open the front door for a while.

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Oh what's that, NHL hockey is back? No kidding.

Do I care? Sure. I've never been one of these 'NOT ANOTHER DOLLAR MORE' guys but that's generally because I spend very little on the NHL anyhow. I watch the games on TV and once a year I go to a game with a pal on his company. So MLSE gets maybe twenty bucks from me for a beer annually.

I've written about it before, the damage the NHL has done over the years in my case is that I have some disposable income that I will not spend on them. Maybe next time we are down south I will take the family to a game but we're not spending hundreds of dollars here to watch bad hockey with the blaring music and all that NBA style in game presentation. For me the damage the NHL has done is that I am less inclined to watch NHL hockey and, unlike when I was growing up, its not part of the fabric of our household. My sister, my Dad, even my Mom, we were all NHL fans of some degree. Today I would say that in our home only I give a damn about it. The league is killing the golden goose. Oh well.

In eight years we are going to go through it all again. The salary cap is going to continue to rise and with it the salary floor and unless they are planning to contract a dozen franchises the zombie clubs are going to be dying off without another concession from the players. It doesn't matter. You need a cap of twenty million to save some of these clubs. The cycle will continue and its the league's own damn fault. Worst run league ever.

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Speaking of worst run how about our Edmonton Oilers? Heyyyyyooooooo!

I'll have another post looking at the specifics of this year's club but for the first time in a long time the possibility of a playoff spot might be in the offing in my opinion.

I don't think they will make it and I think if they do it will be with smoke and mirrors but the reality is that the young talent is growing and now Yakupov and Schultz have been added to the mix.

It would probably be best if they don't because I believe that would be the end of Tambellini and for the longterm that would be the best for this club. He hasn't shown that he has the chops at all, more on this next time. If they do make it I don't know that they can throw him over the side.

Without going into too much detail why do I think this club can make the second season?

1/ A 48 or 50 game season means that a club can get hot / lucky and ride that streak into the playoffs. I don't know what sort of numbers there are across the league but I count seven of the Oilers top nine forwards (Hall, Gagner, Hemsky, Hartikainen, Nugent Hopkins, Eberle, Yakupov) plus Paajarvi, Schultz and Smid as guys who have all played this fall. They are in shape and ready to go. I can't see another team with this many guys being game ready. If they get a jump on everyone for even just a month it may be enough.

2/ Depth up front. Its hard to say how the lines suss out but all of the big boys are healthy, at least until next week when we have to call up Lander and Pitlick to play on the second line. We don't know how they are going to run things, I suspect Hall/Gagner/Hemsky, Yakupov/RNH/Eberle, Smyth/Horcoff/Hartikianen. You might swap Yakupov and Teemu and Paajarvi is in the mix too. Throw in Belanger and the club has eleven legitimate NHL forwards, they would have a dozen if Jones were healthy. They actually have four NHL centres for the first time since 2006. Yeah many of the kids are callow but I don't think there will be an issue scoring goals. And there are actually some options to throw out there against the toughs.

3/ Dubnyk. I think he's pretty good. Good numbers last year on a shit team. I don't think he will be a problem.

So stay healthy and get a bit lucky and they may be there come April. The biggest issue is on the back end, as usual. If Whitney can skate then I actually think they won't need much luck to make the playoffs. (I'm feeling pretty blue sky today) That is an enormous if though and there is really no depth on the blue, consider Teubert is even in the mix. And we have a rookie likely in the top four. Again.

I doubt they will add anyone because they just don't do that which is why they have been out of the playoffs for six years running. I think that this summer is the big one for this franchise. That is when we see the moves to try and get them over the hump. If Tambo is making them then I think we're fucked but again, for another day.

For now though I think playoffs are possible. They will need luck, health and a fast start. Most of all they will need Ryan Whitney to be something more than a shadow of himself. Its possible. Its unlikely but the gap is closing.

7 comments:

EasyOil said...

Jeebus, both you and Tyler expressing optimism?! Pig's must be flying longhaul now :p

Black Dog said...

I've been drinking since last Tuesday

Scarlett said...

Too many positive posts from people today....I might start believing it. Might.

Oh yes, time for a puppy!!

Anonymous said...

I dunno Pat but I don't necessarily share your pessimism about Tambo and the moves that we all hope get made this summer. I take great comfort in my belief that Tambo probably has almost no ability to execute roster moves autonomously without a KLowe and MacT oversight. I could be wrong but I firmly believe the MacT hire was a pretty strong tell that somebody, at some level, didn't fully trust the Tamboloweni combo. I suppose if somebody digs in their heels you could see some paralysis by analysis but I doubt it. Tambo isn't the coldest beer in the fridge but collectively all the hockey ops dept. should be good enough with the core in place to make some deft roster moves that put EDM clearly in the top 4 of the WC. Looking forward to seeing it play out. Love this blog.

-robinthe403

Black Dog said...

Thanks Robin, appreciate it. Yeah we'll see what goes on this summer, rumour is that MacT had a big part in the Yakupov selection. I trust him but not the other two at all. Here's hoping!

Scarlett - I KNOW!!! I think its time too ;) Now just have to convince Jenn.

Loxy said...

Orgle is just waiting for the day with don't live in a 600 square foot apartment.

Then it's dog time.

Black Dog said...

Loxy - woot! or woof!