Our Easter weekend was supposed to be a time of joy, but Cat Daddy and I spent Saturday in a state of severe anxiety. After being last seen – or rather, felt and heard – at 6am, Louis Catorze vanished and wasn’t seen again.
We looked EVERYWHERE and called his name, searching in all the usual and unusual places in the house and garden, even texting Oscar the dog’s folks to see if he’d wandered into their shed. But there was no sign of him.
I resisted the temptation to turn to social media at the time, partly because I didn’t want to ruin Easter weekend for everyone, but also because a truly honest announcement would have sounded idiotic: “Le Roi is missing. This is absolutely typical of him and he has done it about 758 times before …” and so on. That said, disappearing is quite normal behaviour when he’s unwell … but definitely not when he’s fine. So, as time passed, we became more and more concerned, especially when we went out for the afternoon and he didn’t greet us when we arrived home.
We had no idea what could have happened to him. There are no hazards whatsoever at The Back, so Cat Daddy’s money was on him slipping unseen into someone’s shed or outhouse. I was rather more worried that he might have wandered into the school behind Le Château and hopped into a workman’s van; given that strange men are Louis Catorze’s favourite people, and places where he shouldn’t be are his favourite places, it was more than possible that a workman could have befriended him and driven off, not realising he had a stowaway.
Then, as we were watching a programme about extreme weather conditions and wondering if he’d been picked off by a tornado like Toto from The Wizard of Oz, the little sod pitter-pattered in, tail high. He had been in the house the whole time, although we still don’t know where.
I scooped him up and gave him a huge cuddle. Cat Daddy called him the same rude name that he used when Catorze brought La Souris into our bedroom.
“It’s as if he’s risen from the dead – or from what we believed to be the dead,” Cat Daddy said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. “It’s an Easter miracle!”
But the real miracle was that neither of us kicked Catorze’s arse for ruining our day.