That ain't no cat tracker

I remember, as a little kid, my dad looking out the window the morning after a light snowfall saying, "Looks like a cat tracker."

"What's a cat tracker?"

He explained to me that it's when you get just enough snow to see the cat's tracks. Now we can see whe
re the cat goes when we let her out, he said. It hadn't occurred to me until then to question where she went, but as I thought about it I realized I never did see her in our yard when she was outside (years later I was at a neighbor's house when I noticed my cat peeking in their patio door and was told she did that every night...our cat was indeed a curious cat - aka A Peeping Fluffy). I also wondered where the term came from. Why would you track a cat? Who, other than our dog, was hunting cats?

But other than that, I never questioned the phrase. Nor did I ever hear it used by anyone other than my father. This morning when I looked out the window and saw the pummeling Mother Nature gave us last night, I thought: That ain't no cat tracker. It's funny how phrases from a long time ago sneak up on you sometimes.

I've heard everything from 13-17 inches of snow. I'm not a good judge so
I can't say which is correct. My classification system of 'cat tracker' and 'ain't a cat tracker' isn't complex enough to include precise measurements, but I think it's safe to say we got more than a foot of snow overnight.

Unlike the majority of the city, I went to work.
As usual, my running schedule lined up with blizzard schedule so I took my running gear with me. People think I'm crazy for running in weather like this, but I don't think it's crazy at all. They plow the bike path so it's typically not that bad, and it's really peaceful out there. Just me and the crunching of the snow under my feet.

I run on the bike path so much I've figured out the plowing schedule. They plow early in the morning, and again around 11 am...maybe again later in the afternoon if needed. So if I head out about 11:30 I get out there right after they plow, and today was no exception. They were still plowing, but it was clear enough to run on.

It was truly a winter wonderland out there. I'm not a big fan of winter - I prefer summer - but I really enjoy my blizzard runs. It's peaceful and ve
ry scenic. I sometimes run with my Ipod, but not on blizzard runs. I just run and enjoy how quiet and empty the city is. And with most people opting to stay home from work today, crossing the roads was easy. I never had to stop for a car.

Near the halfway point of my run, I noticed some people up ahead on the bike path. As I got closer, I realized it was some kids enjoying their snow day with a snowball fight. They
had built forts on either side of the path so I had to run right through the fight. A constant stream of snowballs crossed the path as I drew nearer. This was quite a snowball fight, maybe even a snowball war. I was impressed. I figured I'd get hit with a snowball and was going to do my best not to take one right in the face. Just as I entered the combat zone, one of the kids stood up and yelled, "I hate socialism," as he launched a snowball over my head at the fort on the other side of the path.


And all these people say kids these days do nothing but sit around and play video games. While their parent's were using a few inches of snow as an excuse to stay home from work
and sit on the couch (or shovel), these kids were out on the front lines fighting the good fight, keeping the socialists from taking advantage of a moment of weakness and advancing into enemy territory. I thought about what I might have yelled as a kid in a snowball fight. I couldn't remember, but I suspect I was much more likely to yell, "this ain't no cat tracker" than "I hate socialism!"

Post run. Frosty, but not too bad. I ran in a blizzard two years ago where the snow/ice buildup on my face got so bad the chunks of ice on my eyebrows were bothering me. I pulled one off and it hurt a little and I spent the rest of the run wondering if I just pulled my eyebrow off.

The path where they had just started plowing. This was the worst section so it only got better from here.

Winter Wonderland.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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