Archived Story

Things you don’t notice and feet eating fish

Published 12:00pm Friday, March 22, 2013

Odd, isn’t it, how you can live with someone for years, and not notice something about their physical body?

“That’s a huge callus on the outside of your big toe!” I exclaimed as Paul was toweling himself off after a shower. “You should get a rasp to file that sucker down, or go to one of those spas where you stick your feet in a tub of water with these tiny fish that eat all that stuff off.”

“Not a fan of feet-eating fish.” Paul remarked, leaning against the sink as he dipped his razor under the tap to begin shaving. “Besides, it’s never bothered you before.”

“I’ve never seen it before.” I countered.

“I’ve always had a callus on that toe and now that I’m running, it’s just bigger, that’s all. I file it down from time to time.”

It’s not that I can recall with any certainty that I’ve peered closely at Paul’s big toes in the last 20 years, but one would think that at some point, this callus, the size of Teddy’s head, would have attracted my attention.

But no.

And even slightly more disturbing is that, while I can’t tell you from memory every physical characteristic of my nearaest and dearest, I can tell you exactly which of our five cats has jumped on our bed, in the middle of the night, in pitch dark, without seeing them at all.

By feel.

You see, Tippy is extraordinarily fluffy and as she approaches, she purrs loudly and deposits her chin, ready for a scratch, into your outstretched hand. Mia has a short, pudgy little tail and easier still, has recently had the underside of her throat shaved from an allergic reaction. Thomas is long and rangy, Duke has both a fluffy tail and pronounced ‘lion’s ruff’ around his neck and Dennis, I explained to Paul, was the easiest.

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