Today I had to run an errand and the weather was nice, so I wiped the dust off my old Cannondale hybrid bike. It was the first bike I bought when I rediscovered cycling in 2000, but I have a bunch of other bikes now so I haven't ridden it in a couple of years. Although I have installed clipless pedals (which require shoes with special cleats) on my other bikes, my Cannondale still has trusty old toe clips. I have a pair of cleatless cycling shoes that I use with that bike. After a little digging in my basement clothes pile, I found the shoes and slipped them on. Hey! There was something in the heel of my left shoe, and it felt too big to be merely a stone. I yanked it off and emptied it onto the floor. At first I thought the culprit was an old, dry hairball from one of the cats. Then I got a closer look. It was a shriveled mouse! That freaked me out. We've had mice in the house before, but I never found one in my shoe. When I told my wife about it, she recalled that Fred Astaire said he used to hang his shoes so that mice wouldn't get into them. I wish she had told me that before!
My errand was a trip to the veterinarian's office to pick up x-rays of one of our dogs. He has been hopping around without using his left hind leg lately. The x-rays show that he has a torn ACL (knee ligament). Ouch. The vet referred us to another vet to do the surgery, which will cost $1600-$2700. Double ouch! I said he could just walk around on three legs for the rest of his life, but my wife didn't think that was funny. Just the same, I will ask out of curiosity at tomorrow morning's consultation if it would be cheaper to amputate it instead.
Updated 03/17/05: The vet said it would cost about $2500 to amputate, "But we only do that if there's cancer." And she gave me a dirty look when I asked. Oh well, I guess we'll get the knee fixed. He's probably under anesthesia as I write this.