The day I almost lost my toes

Yesterday I lost all my shoes. It could’ve been worse, I suppose – it could’ve been my toes, but it was still a very distressing horrible day. I don’t usually have a whole lot of bad things to say when I write and I apologise for the upcoming vent.
I got up bright and early at 6:30 so I’d have some time to clean my apartment a bit as I knew I was going to be showing it to potential subletees when I got home from work. I swept and mopped and then made myself a nice cup of tea and some breakfast, and sat down and started watching an episode of Casualty. A while in, I hear some scratching coming from by my front door. Rose Kitten is sitting quietly on the couch, so I get up to see what it is. Any early morning chipperness was quickly replaced by an awful sinking feeling in my stomach. Chloe, my usually well-behaved sweetheart of a cat, was wiping her feet just as she does after going to the litter box… on a pile of all my winter shoes . I quickly shoed her away, but the damage was done. There was cat pee all over every pair of shoes I own.

I’ve had cats pee on my stuff before. I’ve had to replace mattresses and duvets in the past because no matter how much you wash it, the smell never goes away. So yesterday morning began with throwing all my shoes into big bin bags, and throwing them all away. I was mortified. Probably about 6-8 pairs in total, including my only pair of running shoes, brand new knee-highs I hadn’t even worn yet, ankle boots, work shoes… and my winter boots I need every day to walk to work in.

Winter boots I’d need in fifteen minutes to walk to work in. I called my dear boyfriend in a panic, realising after he picked up that this wasn’t going to bring my shoes back, but vented anyway. He suggested putting plastic bags over my feet and then putting the boots on – but as much as I love him and as good as his intentions were, I couldn’t bring myself to touch the Cat Pee Shoes let alone walk for 40 minutes in them. So I called my boss, who had a wonderful idea. I still had all my summer shoes – put a pair of those on, and she’d come pick me up on the way in! I’d only be outside for a minute, and could get to work and not arrive smelling of urine. Awesome. I went and grabbed a pair of open-toe sandals from my storage closet and put them over my socks. I still had bags of shoes and rubbish to throw out before my apartment showings, and I was going outside anyway, so I braved the blizzard and ran to the back and threw them out. This took a couple of trips, and then my boss called. She was on my street, but didn’t know exactly whereabouts I lived, so asked me to come wait on the side of the road.

I waited. And waited. Did I mention the blizzard? Finally after what seemed like an eternity of walking pretty much barefoot in snow and ice and minus 25, she called again. “Where are you? I’m at Sobeys”. Blinking back tears from the pain I told her she’d gone too far, and to turn around. “Well come over to the other side of the road so I can see you. I’m at the stop lights, I’ll be a bit. Traffic’s crawling.” I shuffled across Taylor in my sandals and waited on the other side of the road until finally she pulled up. At this point I was crying because my feet hurt so bad.

She figured it was because I had to throw out my shoes, and proceeded to rant about how stupid I was for keeping a cat that had cost me $1000 in the last 6 months and kept peeing all over my stuff. How I needed to put myself first and stop being irrational and that it was just a stupid cat who’s “ruining my life”. I got to work and I knew something was wrong. I went to the bathroom and took off my socks… to find my toes looking like this:

I freaked out a little bit. This is why it’d hurt so bad!! I couldn’t walk, and she had a client waiting for her, who kindly offered to drive me to a clinic or to the drugstore to pick something up… but I said I’d be fine and he rescheduled to come in at 4:00 instead. My boss then started yelling at me again. “You can’t work like this, why does something always happen?? If you’re not here, I can’t make any money because I have to reschedule all my appointments and miss out on making money. And if I don’t make any money then I can’t pay you your vacation pay.”

I sat there and listened to her rant, not once acknowledging how much pain I was in. She agreed to let me go home once her husband arrived with some bandages and polysporin, and to sit in her office until he did. She clocked me out at 10:30 “because I can’t pay someone for sitting here and not working.” He arrived at twelve. I wrapped my feet up, hobbled into the truck, and he gave me a lift home.

I spent the day thinking about what she’d said about my cat, and I got ridiculously upset every time I did. It’s true: I have spent over $1000 in the last six months replacing furniture, bed linen, result-less vet bills and now 8 pairs of shoes – and I am trying to get out of debt. As well, she sheds an insane amount and I have people that no longer come over because it’s impossible to get it off my sofas, and it gets all over their clothes. But at the same time when I adopted her I signed something that said I was responsible for her living a safe and healthy and love-filled life. I couldn’t bear to think of giving her back to a shelter – even if it was a no-kill shelter, just thinking of her in a cage like that not knowing where she is, I just about bawled every time I thought of it yesterday. I’d feel like an awful human being because I love her so much. But I don’t know what to do. Do I keep sacrificing in order to make sure my little cat is safe and loved? Or do I “put myself first for once” and not get all my stuff wrecked, but feel like the worst person ever. I don’t know if I could bring myself to do it. I just don’t know what to do.

What I do know though, is that I’m looking for new jobs. I’m meeting with a recruiter tomorrow morning, and I have an interview at Great West Life on the 23rd. I’m in a huge dilemma about my poor cat. But at least I might be getting a new job… and I got to keep my toes.


  1. Oh my goodness hun! I’m sooo sorry to hear about everything. Your boss doesn’t sound like someone fun to be around when you are legitimately in pain. Ugh. Is that the beginnings of frostbite? Poor girl!

    As for your cat, I think the best thing (and it may be incredibly hard for you) is to try to find her a new home on your own. It might just be a change of environment that she needs for her to stop peeing everywhere. I have been through the most pets of anyone I know (my step-mom is a vet) and can assure you that it would be best if you didn’t put her into a shelter. For one, if you love her so much, you wouldn’t want to not know where she ended up. That, and if you post an ad, you can use your discretion as to who would suit her more.

    It’s just a suggestion, but I don’t think spending $1000 in the past 6 months really helps a complicated money situation.

    Hang in there!

  2. Aw Em – are you really considering getting rid of her?

    I would wait until you get all of the other things in your life straightened out, you’ll have more patience to deal with these stresses then and you can see if she’s making you feel like it’s unmanageable or if it’s just a bunch of other things.

    And finding her a good home, or taking her to a no kill shelter isn’t a cop out. If you can’t afford her or the vet bills that might come in the future, that might be something to consider – but don’t consider it now!!

  3. Hugs to you, your kitty and your toes. Ouch! I’ve been through the cat thing. I would suggest keeping her contained in a bathroom during the day when you are gone – put her litter box, food, water, a snuggly place to sleep and a couple of toys all in there, no matter how small the room, and leave her there. Keep the litter box really clean, and when her choice is to use it or her own snuggly place to sleep, she’ll use it. When you get home, clean the box and give her lots of love and attention (I’m sure you already do that), and if she’s been peeing at night, back into the bathroom she goes at bedtime. This is, of course, based on the fact that you said your vet has found nothing wrong – no bladder or urinary tract infections, yes? We had one dear cat who had that problem and I felt HORRIBLE that he’d been in pain.

    Best of luck to you – and I hope you are thawed!!

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