Malade? Moi?

“He can’t be that unwell if he’s managing to do THAT” is set to become the third most common refrain here at Le Château, after “What the hell is WRONG with him?” and “If any neighbours ask, just say it must have been some other cat.”

My sister and her daughter came to visit at the weekend and, as you know, Louis Catorze loves kids. However, rather than showing affection to my niece (aged 4) when she was awake, he decided to visit her after she had been put to bed to stir up trouble.

The grown-ups’ chosen horror film for the evening (which was unbelievably rubbish, but that’s not the point) was repeatedly interrupted by “Loooouis!”, then giggling and thumping, then feline screaming, then more “Loooouis!”, more giggling and so on.

After around 90 minutes of this sleep deprivation torture, my niece was so over-tired that she lost her rag and bawled. Catorze’s work here was done, so he left my sister to mop up the carnage and pitter-pattered out to join Storm Dennis in wreaking neighbourhood havoc.

If you have sent him get-well vibes, merci. We could, however, use a few more behave-yourself vibes.

Party all night!

La peau de chagrin

It’s been a tricky week here at Le Château.

Louis Catorze’s scabby facial skin condition, from which he has been free for YEARS, has suddenly returned, turning him from moderately scruffy to FrankenRoi in a matter of days.

Despite our best efforts, we still don’t exactly know why this happens to him. We can only imagine that, this time around, it’s due either to some foul substance with which he has come into contact outside, or to his recent penchant for sleeping in a dusty old gym bag under our bed despite having an extensive selection of anti-allergy beds at his disposal.

We were all set to take him to the vet but, inexplicably, he was dramatically better the next day, so we didn’t. But then, mid-week, he looked worse again, even though we had taken great pains to reinstate the Code Rouge État d’Urgence measures as follows:

1. Daily brushing (for reasons unknown, despite the fact that we only brush his body, it appears to improve his facial skin too)

2. A ban on Catorze entering our bedroom unsupervised (when he is likely to creep under the bed unnoticed)

3. At least an hour a day spent in a room with an air-purifying beeswax candle (and, thanks to Cocoa the babysit cat’s mamma, who makes them, we have a healthy stash)

Anyway, Cat Daddy took him to the vet on Thursday, where he was given a week-long steroid shot and instructions to return for a month-long one if there was no improvement.

Unfortunately steroid shots are known to turn cats absolutely manic and, as you are aware, Catorze’s starting point is already somewhat concerning. I came home that evening to frenetic, up-tailed pitter-pattering around and off-the-scale screaming, and Sa Maj wolfed down his dinner in one sitting without a single crumb to spare. This has never happened before.

Please send him both get-well and behave-yourself vibes, in equal measure, so that he is back to his majestic self in time for his Official 10th Birthday Portrait sittings.

A little poorly, but still a massive pain in the arse

Un peu un phénomène

I couldn’t be more relieved (and grateful) that I did all my stupid stuff back in the 90s when there were no cameras on mobile phones. (Nor were there any mobile phones, come to think of it.)

No such luck for Louis Catorze, whose life is played out on social media for all to see. And, when Cat Daddy was going through old photos on his phone the other day, he discovered one or two of the little sod having an unguarded moment with some, erm, special herbs.

Although Catorze was a regular catnip user whilst at the rescue (for medicinal purposes, I might add) I haven’t given him much since he’s lived here with us, mainly because I don’t really know what to do with it. In this case I stuffed the dried herb into one of Cat Daddy’s socks, which greatly displeased him as they are apparently Special Cycling Socks (?), but it appeared to have the desired effect.

Anyway, here is the least flattering picture of the bunch, with the Special Sock in shot and with visible trails left by his drug-addled eye-shine and his fangs:

🎵 White lines … 🎶

Le pouvoir de la lune

Cat Daddy and I felt miserable and out of sorts the other day after a dreadful night’s sleep. And I expect you can guess the reason for that dreadful night’s sleep.

Cat Daddy [edited version]: “He was absolutely ****ing awful: going out, coming in, jumping on me, screaming, sticking his wet nose in my ears, rubbing his whiskers on my face. He’s a ****ing pest.”

I must admit I was surprised as he’s not usually this bad (Louis Catorze, not Cat Daddy). I am often aware of his presence during the night, but he tends to utter just a few closed-mouth whines and not much more.

My friend: “Are we approaching a full moon, by any chance?”

I checked the date.

Merde.

I don’t dare tell Cat Daddy that this is no one-off, but something that is likely to happen 12-13 times a year. And, yes, most cats of Catorze’s age are winding down, but clearly The Mothership has failed to send him the “All seniors, stand down” memo.

Anyway, Cat Daddy is still livid and says we need to give him to a rescue for a few days’ respite so that we can get some sleep. Is this even a thing? Do rescues or catteries – or does ANYONE – offer this service?

“Réveillez-vous! Aucune raison!”

Le gobelet

One of Louis Catorze’s favourite people in the world – with the exception of, erm, all the men – came to visit us recently.

Sa Maj’s visitors are always very generous with their gifts to us and to him, but this lady is especially kind and thoughtful. Her gifts include his vintage French cat bowl, the like of which we have never seen before, a beautiful cat silhouette picture made up of the most commonly-used words on Le Blog – excluding the swear words – and, of course, his beloved igloo.

Her most recent gift to us is below. And, unbelievably, Cat Daddy – yes, he who complains non-stop that “this house is full of cat shite” – loves it so much that he has claimed it for himself. Even though he is now retired and so isn’t really in the market for a travel mug, unless you count his long journeys from the kitchen to the sofa.

Thank you, Lizzi, for this:

C’est le diable Louis-même

Dieu doit penser que je suis un chat génial

A further addendum to Little Sods’ Law is now in place: a black cat’s attraction to a ball of wool is directly proportional to the cost of the wool.

Louis Catorze showed moderate interest when I was knitting cotton scarves at £2.50 per ball but, now that I have made a start on The Special One (my scarf made of merino wool at £783.99 per ball), his “Urge To Kill” switch has been well and truly activated.

I have learned the hard way that knitting with merino wool is complicated if you are a novice and not following a pattern. It takes several goes with different sizes of needle and various numbers of stitches to get it right. And drink-knitting is an absolute no-no: just a couple of glasses of Crémant give me the dangerous false confidence that I can fix anything that goes wrong, which invariably leads to making everything worse. And there are only so many times that I can message Wife of That Neighbour with Knitting SOS distress signals before she and her husband become even angrier with us than they already are because of Catorze’s disturbances.

In short, my task is arduous enough and I could really do without him attacking both the wool and the needles every few seconds and generally being a shite.

I have to wind the wool around the table leg as I work to stop it from twisting and, as you can see, this is like an injured seal to Catorze’s great white shark. In the last picture he decided to actually SIT ON MY WORK to take a break from his tomfoolery, and I am very unhappy indeed with the position of that needle.

Les chiens ont des maîtres, les chats ont des serviteurs

Not long ago we decided to try a little experiment inspired by this link:

https://honesttopaws.com/dogs-told-theyre-a-good-boy/?bdk=a*undefined&ch=bt

It’s true, Mesdames et Messieurs. Dogs’ faces visibly change when humans say “Good boy” or “Good girl”, because they actually value our opinion. Cats, on the other hand, aren’t even listening to us. And, in the highly unlikely event that they hear what we say, they don’t care.

Anyway, here is Oscar the dog:

Before
“Good boy!”

A hint of a smile from Nala the dog:

Before
“Good girl!”

(We did not conduct this experiment with Gizzy as her weird face-fur conceals any type of facial expression. Plus we’re still not sure what she is.)

Noah the dog:

Before
“Good boy!”

And, erm, Louis Catorze:

Before
“Good boy!”

So … does this prove that dogs are loyal, eager-to-please companions and cats are dastardly villains?

Cat Daddy: “Yeah, because we were all racking our brains over that one.”

Thank you to the Oscar’s Dog Parents, Nala’s Puppy Parents and Noah’s Dog Aunty – and to the doggies themselves, of course – for being such good sports.