THROUGH MY LENS: feet first

My cat Louis, when he was a kitten. He still loves my slippers.

This shot I took just over a year ago of my cat Louis was full of foreshadowing. He has a bit of a thing about my feet and hence, my slippers. He always seems to know when I take my shoes and socks off- hearing the telltale swishing sounds from across the house- and comes rushing in to find me.

Early in life he developed this odd foot fetish. Other cat owners at the time suggested he might have a nutritional deficiency; my vet reassured me it was probably just behavioral, seeing as how he was otherwise extremely healthy. I tried to scold and discourage him, but Louis is a member of the ‘negative attention is better than no attention’ club, and so he persisted.

And it was rather cute at first. He was so small and adorable, and I took it as a sign of his genuine affection for me. I’m embarrassed to admit he will sit and lick my feet for as long as I can tolerate it, at his happiest when he gets down in between my toes.

Now that he’s older and much bigger, he usually has to break out the claws to hold my foot in place when I squirm. And when I finally can’t stand it anymore, he gives up pretty amiably. Undoubtably full of sweaty foot smell, he consoles himself with a pair of my slippers (of which I have a few) or my dogs’ paws, which he enjoys almost as much. Since he’s still the (mostly) sweet cat he always was, I indulge him. And just grin and ‘bare’ it.