Life’s most embarrassing moments provide the most wonderful, side-splitting, tears-running-down-your face laughs. But time has to pass before the laughter comes along.
I was a proud new RN, proudly sporting a brand new pair of nurses’ shoes. I can’t tell you just how proud I was when I slipped them on my new nurse feet, striding up and down the hospital aisles, tending to my patients.
I sat at the nurses’ station, next to another young nurse. We were documenting in our patients’ charts, side by side. Sally and I exchanged occasional pleasantries, a reprieve from all that writing. I noticed, after a while, that Sally kept looking down at my feet.
“Hm,” I thought. She liked my new nurses shoes. I smiled.
Sally soon scooted her stool a bit away from me. I thought she just needed more room to spread her files on the desk.
But she kept looking down at my feet, and scooted a bit further away, again.
“Do you have a cat?” she finally asked, a bit shyly.
Big grin on my face. I loved my cat. “Yeah, I do!”
“Hm,” she said, no eye contact.
After she’d eyed my shoes for about the tenth time, and scooted her stool away as many more, I couldn’t stand it.
“Is there something wrong with my shoes?” I asked, puzzled.
She paused, blushed, then said, “Um. I think your cat might have used your shoe.”
I wrinkled my forehead, not getting the meaning of her remark. Suddenly, my mouth dropped open, my face feeling red hot. I sprung off my stool, and removed both of my brand new nurses’ shoes. Nose into each one.
“Yuck!” I exclaimed, with the first, unmistakable whiff of cat urine.
I still had another four hours to go on my shift, so there wasn’t much I could do, except powder my shoes, keep them tied tightly, and stay as far away from people as I could. Which is hard to do when you’re a nurse.
So the moral of the story is: put your shoes away. Away, being in a box, up high, especially if you have a cat. Anyone who owns a cat knows that cat urine is pretty much permanent. No amount of perfume, deodorizers, Nature’s Miracle, washings; etc., will eradicate that potent, distinctive, gaggy smell. And give ‘em the sniff test, just in case, before you go out. Cat’s can be pretty sneaky about getting places you think they can’t get.
©Janet Mitchell, November 2011