My cat Penelope wears socks. Yes, you heard correctly, socks. She’s a little over 15 years old now and has arthritis in her back legs. This causes her to be a little unsteady when using the litter box. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes after she tinkles she looses her balance and steps in the clump of wet litter.
Before we discovered the “sock solution” she would get the clumping litter stuck on her foot, her fur, and between her toes. Of course we were worried that she might lick the wet litter to clean herself and it would get clumped up in her stomach, but miraculously we did not see her do that. She cleans herself everywhere else, but she did not seem to want to mess with that wet litter on her foot.
But of course we were also worried that the tinkle would infect her foot if we didn’t get it off right away. So under the water spigot she would go, at least her foot would go, and of course she did not like that. It was a two person job, myself and my husband, but if he wasn’t around, it was a real tough job to get that foot clean, but somehow we always prevailed.
One day an idea came to me to get baby socks and put them on her feet. That way when a sock got soiled (she usually only soiled one at a time) we simply slipped it off and replaced it with a clean sock. I measured her foot from toe to ankle, and then up her leg. As luck would have it, Walmart had a package of cotton baby socks with the exact measurement! A third of the package were white with little purple hearts, one third with purple stripes, and one third all purple. It’s interesting that the heart socks fit perfectly, and the striped and purple socks seemed to be a bit larger, so they slip sometimes. Therefore I try to keep the heart ones washed and ready to go.
Penelope took to them right away. They didn’t seem to bother her, she didn’t try to shake them off, and she walks just the way she always has with them on. Of course her walk is a little funny with that arthritis situation going on.
As I mentioned before, I try to use the heart ones, so after washing them I started to loose one at a time. I knew how many I put in the washing machine, but when I took them out, one would be missing. This happened 3 times. I looked and looked, both in the washer and the dryer (they are both front loaders) and I couldn’t find where they could have been swallowed up by the washer.
After the loss of the 3rd sock, I realized that putting them loose in the washer was not going to work, and I didn’t want to loose any more of the heart socks because those are the ones that fit Penelope best. Then I came across a small mesh zipper bag that I had in my hosiery drawer. Since I don’t wear pantyhose very often anymore, I had completely forgotten about that little mesh bag. Well, that did the trick. By putting the little socks in the mesh bag, they would no longer get loose in the washer. This is something ladies with babies might want to try also with their small washables, as I am sure you have probably found missing socks and so forth when they were put in loose into the washer.
One day a week or two back when I was pulling out the wash to put in the dryer, one of the socks fell on the floor, mingled in with the fresh wash. Well it was totally gray with mold/mildew and we threw it in the trash. But I looked again and the only place where there was an opening was where the water came out, and I couldn’t imagine how it would have gone in there.
Then today, after doing a load of towels, another sock fell to the floor, all grey with mold/mildew again. This time I was determined to find where that missing sock came from. I looked and looked then I leaned against the rubber casing that went around the outer rim of the door opening to the front loader. I thought that rubber was attached to the metal housing that the drum fit into. But it is NOT. Upon pushing down further on the rubber gasket, I could see inside a rim that went around the drum housing, and there was the third sock! Just lying there in all its glory! Upon further inspection, I realize this must be some type of lint filter for the washer, as there was other fragments of lint mashed in along the side, which was easy to clean out, now that I know the rubber gasket opens up! Of course we threw these two socks away also, since washing all the mildew might not all come out, and we wouldn’t want that to go onto Penelope’s feet.
So the moral of this story is, if you loose a small article of clothing in your front loading washer, then push down the rubber gasket around the door opening and look for that cavity below it, you might be surprised what you find.