We recently added a new furry freeloader and she is a hoot. Like a slip of air, this leggy critter seems to defy gravity as she explores with no fear and little common sense. Watching her slip, slide and tumble from various viewpoints, I feared for the breaking of tiny bones. It was a smart cautionary concern, but more for me than her. I finally stopped trying to catch her, but not until I had broken my own toe.

As usual I was multi-tasking. On speaker phone with our college gal, who was clear she was going to claim this furry wisp for her very own come Thanksgiving, I saw the little darling about to lose her grip. I rushed to snatch her before she landed and discovered some smart furniture designer added a third set of legs to our patio chair.

No doubt this extra, central leg design provides better support and increases the longevity of our patio investment, but holy moly people, my baby toe did not know it was there. As my body surged forward to rescue our free-falling feline, instead of going wee, wee, wee right along with me, my littlest toe slipped itself around that formerly unnoticed chair leg and held fast.

When the sharp snap of reality hit, it was audible even over the yowl of pain I let lose. My daughter questioned what was going on but all I could do is gasp as I rubbed my cracked little piggy. Whether I have truly snapped the distal, middle or proximal phalanx of my phalanges is unknown, but the words spooling in my brain were just about as colorful as I went down. You’ll be glad to hear “Tumblina,” — a.k.a. Fern — did an aerial flip and landed with all toes intact. I was not so lucky.

I haven’t popped a toe this hard in about two decades and was genuinely surprised by how much it hurt. Sure enough this one looked reminiscent of the former. Back then an EMS friend shrugged, taped it to the neighbor and told me to suck it up. Apparently there wasn’t much you could do for a broken toe.

I took some ibuprofen and iced it until the throb became a dull ache. Then I did what everyone does. I Googled to see if major advances had been made in broken toe treatment. Sadly it’s still grin and bear it.

The lovely purple hue indicates damage is contained to just the wee toe. It aches at night, but I’m hobbling through the day pretty well. Fern however continues to jump, leap and explore with wild abandon and limited concern for bodily harm. I no longer rush to ensure her safety, mostly because I can’t move that fast anymore.

In the evening, I elevate and ice my foot, watching our female cat, Pippin, observe the offending little bugger. She chatters when approached as Fern burbles in response and bolts off again. Apparently they have much to discuss, but Fern’s too busy to listen.

I’m glad they are now getting along. My dusky toe is a good reminder to me to slow down and savor the moments of life. It’s good to laugh and enjoy their antics and it just might save me from another purple piggy.

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