Huis clos


Louis Catorze and his big brother Luther come from very different schools of thought as regards being imprisoned against their will. Luther tended to think like Jack Bauer from 24: “If you won’t let me out, I’ll find my own way out somehow. Chloe, I need co-ordinates and a detailed architectural plan of Le Château and all its exit routes NOW.” Louis Catorze, on the other hand, is more like Hannibal Lecter, politely requesting to be released and, if you don’t comply, he will say stuff to mess with your head. And then he will say it again. And again. AND AGAIN. His way is like slow, insidious torture.

I decided to physically block off the cat flap by leaning a marble cheese board against it, to prevent him from constantly walloping his sore face against it to try and open it, but his response to this was to headbutt the blockade instead. So, because I was scared of the heavy cheese board toppling and crushing him, I’ve had to add a cushioned tray and a step ladder into the mix. I’m fully aware of how ridiculous it looks, but the alternative is him snorting outdoor dust and cobwebs, ending up with infected wounds on his face and having to play the Game of Cônes again.

Whereas Luther would have demolished woodwork, brickwork and metalwork by chewing a way out if he’d had to, luckily Louis Catorze has largely accepted his fate with good grace. And I must admit I really enjoy seeing more of him, even though it’s enforced togetherness. His litter tray has seen a ridiculous amount of action since his incarceration – I don’t recall his toilette habits being so prolific when he had his open air latrine – but, given that it’s in the attic en suite and therefore as far away from the garden as can possibly be, I suppose I should just be grateful that he’s going there and not on the sofa. Or on the kitchen worktop. Or on my face as I sleep.

I’m happy to say that 3 days under house arrest, whether he likes it or not, seems to be helping his wounds to heal. Please keep sending him your good wishes, so that his healing may continue.

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