A lion in winter

King Turkish I casts a steely glare across his realm from the battlements of the Fortress of Turkitude.

Everybody got out for a bit of sunshine yesterday, and a good thing, too, because the weather is taking a turn for the worse again today. Snow and big wind are in the forecast for this afternoon, and something wintry is already sliding down Pikes Peak and taking aim at Bibleburg.

Turkish, who lives for the great outdoors, often proves difficult to retrieve. He can dematerialize at will and reappear at a time and place of his own choosing, like Radar on “MASH.” Step out on the porch, you will see nothing. Call the cat, ditto. Turn around to go back inside and poof, there he is. But just try to catch him.

Recent careful observation has led me to two of his hidey-holes. The first is underneath the front porch, where a previous owner overlaid the original concrete stoop with boards for a decklike feel. There’s a Turk’-sized space underneath, camouflaged by shrubbery.

That’s his low sentry post. I found the high one yesterday after watching him stalk a squirrel for practice, in case he needed to bring down something more challenging, like a mule deer or perhaps a moose. Turk’ hopped onto the back fence and then stepped onto the garage, briefly vanishing from sight before reappearing on a perch near the neighbor’s tree, scanning the horizon for the Enemy.

Meanwhile, my friend Hal has weighed in regarding his layoff. We spoke briefly last night, and he’s choosing to look at this as an opportunity rather than a setback. I was laid off in the mid-1980s and was briefly furious before realizing that I should’ve left the paper on my own six months earlier. I spent the next six months hunting work, cashing unemployment checks and riding my bike before something finally popped up on the copy desk at The New Mexican in Santa Fe, two weeks before the public sugar tit was due to run dry.

That would be my last newspaper job. And I think The Chieftain was Hal’s.

6 Responses to “A lion in winter”

  1. Boz Says:

    Hope Hal and all others “W’ed” out of their respective gigs land feet first after this national quagmire is over. Me, I find out if I’ll be gainfully employed this next week, working for Uncle Sam. Strange twist of fate, this may be better than the car biz for me. Also, for those out there having a hard time with the mortgage payment, I have been able to get substantially good terms on a redo of the payment on the current one. Seems the big banks are a bit afraid of what’s going to happen after Obama gets behind the wheel, so they’re fixing things before hand, to some extant.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    A lyin’ in the winter is what a lot of us do when it is too crappy to ride our bikes.

  3. Ben S. Says:

    Seriously Patrick any more cat pictures and I am going to find away to submit photos of a friend’s chocolate Lab and start posting long replies about dog behavior. Believe me it won’t be interesting.

    That said your skills at tracking semi-domesticated predators bodes well for your kitchen larder if things get even worse. Think you can train Turkish to kill but not eat? Should be more fun than riding a trainer.

    I, too, hope Hal and everyone else lands softly on their feet. Having been laid off once, it’s not an experience worth repeating.

    Scored a free 2 hour (torture) session at Vision Quest Coaching this Saturday. Looks like I’ll be riding a trainer after all.

  4. Flahute Says:

    You know, I actually know a girl from Ootumwah, Iowa … Radar O’Reilly’s hometown …

  5. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Boz, good luck with the gig. I think a lot of us are teetering on the edge these days. We’re certainly not assuming any long-term debt, and I’ve already decided what gets tossed overboard if my personal-finance raft springs a serious leak (a 2005 Subaru Forester is lots nicer than an ’83 Toyota truck, but the truck is free and clear and costs $25 a year to plate).

    Khal, at least you have enough snow for skiing. We keep getting these piddly little dustings that barely dampen the grass while dropping the temps into the teens. Bor-ing.

    Ben, I’ll try to spare you the cute kitty pix for a while. It’s clear I need to get out more, someplace where the cats ain’t. I’ll take a camera. How’d the Vision Quest thing go? Me, I went for a half-hour run with Herself and then replaced all the calories I burned and then some during dinner with friends at a Greek place in Old Colorado City.

  6. Khal Spencer Says:

    Skiiing would have been nice today, Patrick. I spent the afternoon spraying Lysol on bike parts and cleaning rat shit out of the garage. Might as well have been working in the White House cleaning up after Junior and “Dick Cheney before he Dicks you”, to resurrect a 1970’s phrase that I suspect we both remember.



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