Not one of Daughter’s Ninja Kittens, but could have been.
Based on second-hand information gleaned from my Significant Other, apparently one of Daughter’s kittens was accidentally stepped on a few days ago. It’s been easy enough stepping on Daughter all these years, so a once-removed skittering feline receiving the same treatment doesn’t seem all that far-fetched to me.
Please note that the photo above is not one of Daughter’s foster kittens, but it is my fanciful representation of what it may have looked like had either Daughter or her roommate actually broken its leg.
They didn’t, and the kitten eventually resumed playing with its sibling within a short while.
Notice, also, that I do not refer to either kitten by name, thus avoiding the predictable lamentation from Daughter about bringing one home from college.
“No, and what kitten are you talking about? I don’t even know their names.”
That kind of thing.
It’s my understanding that Daughter’s period as a foster mom for the Mama Cat and her two kittens ended within the last day or so, as it was time they were returned to the shelter and placement in permanent home(s).
I applaud Daughter for her personal sacrifice in caring for the cats, and I know it’s difficult to return animals that have been in your foster care because you do grow attached, no matter how hard you try not to and no matter how ornery, aggressive, and just plain unpleasant the animals might be.
I know, because we had a German Shepherd like that for over eight months. That story ended happily, however, as she was eventually reunited with her canine brother, and they both spend their days running together to their hearts’ content with a great family with a big yard in the country not too far from here.
But today, for me, was another reminder of why I spend my days now refereeing rather than playing soccer.
Oh, I could play well enough. I just couldn’t walk for several days afterward, not to mention the real and ever-present risk of incurring serious injury.
To be honest, it’s gotten fairly bad for me in terms of physical pain, just as a referee. Parts of me hurt afterwards that I never used to have any trouble with at all.
Beginning with my feet. After completing a couple of games, it’s as if I’ve been hung upside down and beaten with a rubber hose on their soles.
Yep. They hurt a lot. Podiatry appointment in three weeks, by the way, thank you.
Next comes my back; my lower back, specifically. Though I stretch and twist throughout the game in my best Denise Austin impersonation, I can barely bend over by the time the final whistle blows.
And even my eyes hurt, if you can believe it. My vision is already just naturally deteriorating because of age, and after four hours in the sun, my peeps look like someone dribbled a mild acid solution in them.
But all of these aches and pains pale compared to what happened to one of the players this morning.
There was no collision, no fancy footwork. This poor guy was just running down the field, mildly changed direction and suddenly went down in a screaming heap.
Screaming. Really screaming.
Having witnessed someone blow out a knee on the basketball court (several times, actually), I know the pain must be excruciating because the yelling is so loud and persistent (and usually very high-pitched, strangely enough — Note to Self: When in horrific pain, be sure to vocalize in a manly fashion).
But today it was clear this guy hadn’t ruined his knee. Rather, at least his tibia had snapped, and probably his fibula, as well.
How can I make that assessment? Well, the lower leg itself looked bad (I won’t say how bad — just use your imagination), and everyone within about 50 feet of him heard a wicked snap when the bone(s) parted. After attending to his immediate needs and making sure he was somewhat comfortable (I mean, how comfortable could we make him), we all stood around and watched the EMTs work and joke with him.
One of his teammates also snapped a bunch of photos for the league newsletter. It was all rather convivial, in a macabre sort of way.
Turns out this player works in a hospital nearby, which is where the ambulance took him, and he was in good spirits when they carted him off the field in a gurney. Perhaps the massive amounts of morphine had something to do with his improved, non-screaming disposition.
He looked to be in his mid-thirties, maybe older, and I hope he’s not done with soccer forever now, though I can understand why he might want to switch to playing canasta in the future. It’s going to be tough coming back from that injury.
And to be honest, I have seen much, much worse on a soccer pitch, but I won’t describe the details here. I probably wrote too much about this one already.
But even though I walked away today “sore, soaked, and slightly punchy” as the old TV ad used to say, I was thankful that I made it through another couple of matches without feeling too bad physically, without getting physically assaulted, and without leaving via emergency vehicle.
My thoughts tonight are with the injured player, and today’s events just proved to me that all bad trips are relative, after all.