January began poorly, as we had to say goodbye to our cat Simon. In late December he hurt himself somehow and couldn’t put weight on his left hind leg. The veterinarian at the emergency clinic took X-rays, which were negative, and suggested it was a soft tissue injury. We took Simon home but his condition did not improve. He stopped eating and spent most of his time curled up under the bed. Our own vet put Simon on an antibiotic and an appetite stimulant. But the next morning he was worse, lurching and stumbling and unable to hold his head straight. We went back to the vet. Given Simon was 14, had multiple and worsening issues, and was in pain, the right decision was obvious but still difficult.
The next week we visited my parents in the New Hampshire mountains and saw their cats, who are becoming much more tolerant of new people in the house.
I continued working on the maple sugar project, reading secondary sources on the 1790s attempts at commoditization: Taylor, William Cooper’s Town; Evans, The Holland Land Purchase; and Maxey, “The Union Farm.” There is also a very nice recent MA thesis by Mary Donchez, “A Sweet Legacy? Thomas Jefferson and the Development of the Maple Sugar Industry in Vermont”.
I went running 15 times, totalling 127 km. That’s much less than I was running during the fall. The February fitness challenge on Apple Watch is to walk or run a total of 390 km, which averages out to 14 km/day. I’ll have to boost my mileage again if I want to meet that goal. I don’t know how Apple figures out how to set monthly challenges but it seems to strike a good balance: tough but achievable.
And the spring semester began this week. I was back at the reference desk after a semester off. I’m also teaching information literacy classes and Zotero workshops, which will take up most of my time through February.