My reflexes prove insufficiently cat-like

This situation, briefly, was this: earlier this evening, I went to enter the bathroom, the door of which (for sound architectural reasons I won’t bother you with now) opens outwards. I was also barefoot.

By mischance, I managed to catch the smallest toe on my right foot with the edge of the door as I opened it. No real harm done, but painful and unexpected – and while my brain was fully occupied going “OW”, it seems my reflexes took over, and proved themselves not to be as finely-honed as I’d like them to be.

The first thing they did was move my right foot sharply up and backwards, away from the door, while at the same time moving the door quickly away from my foot. The problem with moving my foot was that it was the one I had my weight on at the time – which meant that the second thing my reflexes did was bring my left leg briskly forwards in an attempt to retain my balance. Directly into the path of the rapidly closing door, as it turned out, resulting in further painful blows to my left big toe and shin.

My reflexive reaction to that (as I’ve reconstructed the events afterwards – I think I became a little distracted at this point) was a repeat of the first reaction: fling the injured limb up and back, and move the door away from it.

If you’ve been keeping track, you’ll immediately see the problem: there are only so many feet you can lift off the floor at any one time before you run out of things to stand on, and since I only have two in total, I fell over.

Perhaps my reflexes are a little cat-like after all, come to think of it, because they actually managed to get both feet under me as I hit the floor, so that I found myself poised, crouching panther-like on my toes, ready to spring in any direction at the next sign of danger. Of course, these were the very toes I’d just cracked with a heavy wood-panel door, so I didn’t spring anywhere; I yelped softly and toppled over on my arse, just as my wife came through to ask me what I was playing at.

For some reason, she didn’t seem happy with my answer.

Ouch! Sorry for your poor squished toes, but a thread title like this just sets me to grinning before I even start reading. Now, if you promise to keep practicing, I promise your catlike reflexes will improve with practice. :smiley:

It’s a kind thought, but after fifty years of practice, they still can’t cope with a simple thing like opening a door. You wouldn’t know where I can get carpet slippers with steel toe-caps, would you?

Would bubble-wrap help?


Swear to Og this will work if you control your reflexes next time you smush a toe. Immediately press the toe firmly back against the offending surface and hold it there for 10 or 20 seconds. You may have noticed that the pain from a stubbed toe is not instantaneous – it ramps up over a few seconds due to a phenomena called “rebound tenderness”, and it’s caused by blood rushing back into traumatized tissue. Control it and you eliminate most of the pain.

But it’s very counter-intuitive.

People don’t appreciate just how tricky doors can be.

As a cat, you’d make a good walrus.

If it makes you feel any better, I’m giggling like a madwoman over here, and it’s impossible to relay to my husband just how funny I found your writing.

I mean, it probably won’t make you feel any better. But I now suddenly feel a little better than I did 2 minutes ago, so there’s that… :smiley:

I worry the neighbours might complain about the constant popping.

QFT. And they fight dirty.

If I were a walrus I’d have 100% fewer toes, so there’s that.

Thanks, Sis… it does make me feel better, actually. I mean, it is funny. I thought it was funny myself once I’d pulled myself together. Funny was what I was going for (when I wrote the post, I mean. When I got tangled in the door, I was just going for the bathroom).

I don’t want anyone to run away with the idea this is normal behaviour for me, mind. Granted, I’m not the most deft and graceful of people, but I can generally move from room to room without serious injury. Getting taken to the canvas by the household fixtures and fittings is a new low for me.

In all seriousness, I’m blaming lack of sleep for my current clumsiness (I burned my finger on the hob this afternoon, as well). I had a virus, and it seems to have knocked my sleep patterns all to cock – the last few nights have been particularly bad. And of course, my wife’s had exactly the same problem, so we’re not only both sleeping badly, but keeping each other awake to boot.