Suivez le chemin de briques bleues

One of the joys of WordPress is that I can draft posts and save them for later and, for some time now, I have had an entry sitting in my Drafts folder, waiting for the right photograph to accompany it.

The post is about our new front path and how much nicer Louis Catorze looks rolling on tasteful tiles than on the previous ugly concrete. My intention was to publish a concrete-rolling and a tile-rolling photograph side by side, so that we may compare them and gasp in wonderment at the marked difference. However, despite there having been multiple escapes to The Front since Lee the tiler finished the work months ago, Sa Maj hasn’t rolled on the tiles once.

Cat Daddy: “Well, of course he hasn’t. He probably hates the beautiful tiles and liked the ugly concrete better. I don’t know why you are the slightest bit surprised.”

Anyway, if things continue in this fashion – i.e. Catorze doing the exact opposite of what we want him to do – I might have to resort to the secret weapon suggested by a friend: catnip sprinkled on the path.

On verra. Anyway, here is a pointless photo of the path, sans chat:

Trop de choses à faire

The winter solstice is fast approaching and, whilst Louis Catorze is following his natural instincts and burying himself so deeply into his igloo that I fear he might become part of it, Cat Daddy and I are doing the opposite. We have so much to do, including the following:

⁃ Buying, putting up and decorating our main tree, which Cat Daddy put outdoors one year because he didn’t want to disturb his boy’s main sleeping spot (even though he has 849 other sleeping spots) and has remained an outdoor tree ever since:

⁃ Buying and decorating Catorze’s tree (yes, Sa Maj has his own tree, although I don’t suppose he will agree to be pictured next to it)

⁃ Choosing a charity to receive the donation that we make in lieu of sending cards

⁃ Sending cards to the awkward people who don’t know about or understand the charity donation thing, and who would probably never speak to us again if we didn’t send them a card (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE)

⁃ Organising the festive menu for the day (even though we still don’t exactly know who’s coming and for how long)

It’s all a bit manic and although, at times, we wish we could climb into that igloo with Sa Maj and just wait for it to all be over, we know how lucky we are that we are able to do these things. The people who can’t, for whatever reason, are very much on our minds at this time of year.

We hope that your festive planning is going well, and that it’s bringing you more joy than stress. In the meantime, Sa Maj is still in his igloo, and he won’t be budging anytime soon.

J’adore mon igloo

Louis Catorze’s winter igloo has officially been reinstated. Even though I know that, once he’s in, he won’t be coming out unless it’s on fire.

Selfishly, I wanted to delay giving him back his igloo because I like having him on our laps. That said, I know how much he loves it. And it means we can have our blankets back. And, possibly most importantly, if he’s sleeping in it throughout most of the day and night, it’s less likely that he will be bothering the neighbours, howling at dogs / foxes / magpies / parakeets / other cats, or waking us up by bouncing around our bed and screaming in our faces. So, in many ways, it’s a win-win.

If anyone wants him – don’t all rush at once – he’ll be here until next May:

J’ai dégusté ses poils avec des fèves au beurre et un excellent Chianti

On Friday night there was no sign of Louis Catorze, which was rather unusual as he has slept on our bed with us pretty much every night ever since the first day he came to live with us. That said, since the time he hid somewhere in the house (hiding place still unknown) and we made Oscar the dog’s folks go searching in their shed for him in the middle of a storm, we have learned not to panic too much at his disappearances.

When Cat Daddy went downstairs and opened the dining room door the next morning, out shot Catorze, all indignant and screamy. Yes, the little sod had used his Cloak of Invisibility to sneak in and had been shut in there all night.

I heard Cat Daddy say, “Well, it’s your own fault. You should have meowed for help.” Then I heard purring and squeaking, which are the classic signs of Boys’ Club rough play and forgiveness for whatever misdemeanour may have previously occurred.

Luckily Catorze hadn’t turned the dining room into les toilettes, nor had he trashed the place doing parkour trying to get out. However, he had managed to break into the cupboard containing all the good crockery and cutlery and had rolled all over everything. This photo is of one of our napkins:

Now, the cat people that I know fall into one of two camps when it comes to this kind of thing:

1. Disinfect and/or incinerate everything
2. Dust it off and nobody will notice

Dinner guests past and present, you will be relieved to know that Cat Daddy and I are firmly numéro 1. I think it’s safe to say that, given the choice, most people wouldn’t opt to eat from tableware that has been rolled on by a gross cat. And, whilst they wouldn’t necessarily know about it, we would.

The contents of the cupboard are now cleaner than an operating theatre. And, as the festive season approaches, Sa Maj is ready to receive pilgrims, both old and new, for dinner.

Le froid ne m’a jamais dérangé de toute façon

We all know that Louis Catorze isn’t really one for doing what we would expect (or want). In 37-degree heat, he heads for the sun. In thunderstorms, he heads outside. And, if faced with a larger and more ferocious animal who could kill him in an instant, he pitter-patters towards it, up-tailed and screaming.

However, on a cold day, he can’t ignore his natural catty instincts, and that is when he wants ALL THE BLANKETS. One clearly wasn’t sufficient so he actually has a total of three here. We wouldn’t mind a couple for ourselves, but it doesn’t look as if that will be happening. Not today.

His face looks sour as an underripe lime but, trust me, the little sod is very happy indeed.

Ce chat est une chose que je ne peux pas expliquer


After his 729th escape out at The Front this week, Louis Catorze rolled in with his hindquarters looking like this:

No, we have no idea what it was, but it appeared to be something organic rather than artificial. And, although the photo gives the false impression of it being chalky in texture like matt paint, in real life it appeared to be of a consistency similar to that of … dried snot. I cannot – je répète, CANNOT – tell you how much the thought of this repels me to the very core of my being.

For the sake of my own sanity I have decided to assume that he rolled in it, as opposed to someone actually picking him up and using him as a tissue. That said, neither idea is very pleasant – although Cat Daddy found the second one hilariously funny – and I don’t like the idea of any individual releasing snot into the public domain where others are likely to encounter it. A family member helpfully told me that, in some parts of the world, it is fairly common for people to expel snot directly from the nostrils into a roadside gutter and just let it wash away. Naturellement we stuck-up Brits find this utterly vile yet, if you think about it (not that I recommend it), it’s not much more offensive than blowing our noses into a tissue, carrying that gross tissue about our person all day long and constantly handling it to add progressively more snot. Not that any of this made me feel better, nor did it help me with the problem at hand.

Anyway, what to do about it? I didn’t relish the thought of having to restrain the little sod and wipe him down, but then I didn’t want him pitter-pattering about with suspected snot on his fur, either. I winced and shuddered as I weighed up the options and finally decided that I would clean him … only to discover that he had given me the slip and, by the time I’d found him again, the stain had vanished.

Cat Daddy, without looking up from his laptop: “He’s probably cleaned it off himself [i.e. eaten it]. Or he’s rolled it off somewhere [i.e. it’s on one of our beds]. It’s gone now, so who cares?”

Ugh. If it were possible to bleach Catorze’s mouth, then incinerate the entire Château and rebuild it brick by brick, I would do so with my bare hands. And, if there is any creature in the animal kingdom more revolting than a cat (apart from a dog when it rolls in fox poo), I hope I never meet it.

Des cris aigus

Although I probably give the impression that Louis Catorze only has two settings – Screaming and Asleep – in actual fact he has a number of different voices, as described in this post:

My favourite sound is now numéro 2 on the list and, although we only used to hear it when he was taken by surprise, it is becoming more and more frequent now. It is making an appearance in Boys’ Club rough play and even, from time to time, in normal conversation with the little sod. (Yes, he and I do chat. I don’t always know what he’s saying but I just try to keep him talking because, if he’s talking to me, it keeps him from annoying neighbours or bullying Oscar the dog.)

However, despite becoming more common, this sound remains as elusive as Bigfoot when it comes to capturing it on film. If you hear it once, then grab your phone to try to film a second squeak, it won’t come. And, should you discuss your intention to film it, you can guarantee that you will fail in your mission. But I was able to get lucky just one time, and the evidence is below.

This video is from some time ago, but it captures the squeak perfectly. Turn the volume up: