Monday, August 21, 2006

A Friendly Game of Catch

Our cat Bubba likes to play catch on the stairs each morning. I have one of those calendars, the kind that has a neat little piece of baseball history on each page; once read you tear it off, that kind of calendar. Last year’s calendar was Larson’s odd humor; bears looking at folks in their sleeping bags and commenting, “Sandwiches!” and things like that.

“On this date in 1979 – The Astros Jeffrey Leonard goes 1-for-3—all in one at bat! Leonard flies out to center, but umpire Doug Harvey says that “time” had been called, and orders Leonard back to the plate. Given a new life, Leonard singles, only to have the hit disallowed because the Mets had no first baseman on the field. The third time is not the charm for the Hack-man, as he flies to left to end a 5-0 Mets win. Following a protest, Leonard’s single will be restored and the Mets are required to get another out the next day.”

It was the weekend and I hadn’t torn off Friday’s or Saturday’s pages as Bubba waited on the stairs. The sound of each page being torn off signaled her that the game was about to begin as she crouched low to the carpet in anticipation. I balled the first page into a tightly bound unit and tossed it high against the wall as Bubba tracked its trajectory and pounced upon it, tumbling down with it trapped in her teeth.

Bubba must watch the highlight reels, gaining pointers as outfielders crash into the fence and then hold the ball up for all to see, “Got it!”. The shortstop running full gate through foul territory, the rolled up tarp against the railing as he plunges into the first row to snag a pop fly, “Got it!”. Bubba launches herself across two steps, the crowd goes wild as she comes down and rolls on her side, the wall thumps loudly but she holds on for the catch. Recapping the inning; Bubba snagged Friday, Saturday and I almost forgot, my arm. Now, a word from our sponsor, “Little Friskies for the life of your best friend…”

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