My feet in particular are a source of great fascination for Ginger. She licks them; she tries to bite them, and she falls asleep on top of them several times a day. Despite their being supremely unattractive, Ginger loves my feet. Bunions, spider veins, cracked heels, and ugly toenails notwithstanding, she fixates on them.
Is it possible that Ginger is trying to teach me something? Perhaps, I should begin celebrating my feet like other women by wearing strappy sandals and decorative toe rings. Rather than burying them in the sand at the beach, I’ll grace my tootsies with bright pink polish in expensive flip-flops. At work I’ll brave four-inch sling-backs with no stockings. After twenty years of hiding my feet, is it time to release them from their sensible shoe prisons?
Of course, she is also rather interested in the other feet in the house, and I don’t think that she’s trying to persuade my husband to wear designer Italian shoes to this week’s scientific conference or my daughter to sport Manolo Blahniks to her next Zumba workout.
So does her obsession with feet stem from her disadvantaged viewpoint? I must admit upon first bringing her home, I was somewhat underwhelmed by Ginger’s diminutive stature. She is a tiny thing that I fear I will step on and maim. I walk through the house with downcast eyes to ensure that I am not about to crush her fragile puppy body. On the other hand, from Ginger’s perspective, our bodies tower over her world, dominating the landscape like enormous redwoods. To make matters worse, the house is full of potentially insurmountable obstacles. An eight-inch threshold is a bluff requiring grappling hooks and a rope to scale. A stool is not a boost, but something to hide under. She is a pocket-sized being in a world of giants.
Are our feet reassuring and reeking (see “It’s a Smelly, Smelly World”) comforts in a still alien environment? After all, they are on her level and smell strongly of us. Even when they are only passing through the room, perhaps our feet are the most heartening aspects of her surroundings.
I suppose we have to abide her foot fetish for the time being, knowing that eventually, she will outgrow her need to hover around our ankles. In the meantime, we’ll step gingerly around Ginger.