John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to email@example.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.
Friday, December 9, 2016
The late Mr. Saunders
We said goodbye to Saunders this morning.
A trip to the veterinarian on Wednesday yielded this
information: He was suffering from a fever, he was seriously anemic, he had
feline leukemia, and the prognosis was not good.
Kathleen and I made the painful decision that we did not
want to prolong his suffering. So we brought him home and spent the day
yesterday giving him treats, stroking him, speaking to him with affection,
indulging his wishes, and saying farewell. This morning we took him to the
Aardmore Veterinary Hospital, where he was gently put beyond the reach of pain.
You may recall from earlier posts that he showed up two
years ago, an abandoned, hungry stray who immediately sized us up as easy
marks. We fed him, we took him in, we got him treated by the vet, and we made
him part of the household.
He remained determinedly indoor-outdoor, patrolling the
neighborhood as if he were its mayor, paying visits to other households and depositing
the occasional mouse (and sometimes a young rat) on our front sidewalk. He went
out in the rain and the cold, and he gamboled
in his first snowfall.
He was a handsome orange cat, quickly growing into those big
paws we noticed on his arrival. And he was ever an affectionate cat, the
sweetest-tempered cat, who purred loudly every time I picked him up. His
presence in the bay window comforted and calmed us, and, like a dog, he came to
greet me when I arrived home at night after work.
But now he is gone, and I will think of him always as serenely
dozing on his chair on the porch, savoring the sunlight and the fragrant
breeze, the sweet, sweet stray who for two all-too-short years with us had
food, shelter, love.
John E. McIntyre, a veteran editor and teacher, is back in harness. He worked for nearly 23 years at The Baltimore Sun, for 14 of those years as head of its copy desk, and, after a one-year hiatus, has returned as night content production editor. He has taught copy editing at Loyola of Maryland since 1995. He was the second president of the American Copy Editors Society, serving two terms, and he has been a consultant on writing and editing at publications in the United States and Canada.