Today is a very special day for Louis Catorze. Whilst we can’t really call it his birthday – he was found as a stray, so nobody knows when he was born – it’s certainly a landmark day that changed his life. On 30th April 2013, the lady who found him took him to the rescue centre, where he was able to receive the care that he needed, and the rest of his life began from there. 30th April is also very significant for being World Veterinary Day, so we’ve just been to drop off a small gift for our vet and a “Sorry for being such a shit” card on behalf of our ami mutuel.
When we adopted Louis Catorze, we were told that he had racked up treatment in excess of £12,000, making him the most expensive cat in their history. (Cat Daddy explodes with laughter whenever we recall this because, let’s face it, Louis Catorze looks more arse-end than high-end.) We don’t know what it was that made them persist with his care beyond £1,000, then £5,000, then £10,000 and so on, but we are very glad that they did.
To mark Catorze’s special day, he has selflessly decided to sacrifice his treat money to help less fortunate kitties* out there. But, if he can gain just 14 more new followers and make it to that magic figure of 100, he will double his donation. So please share Le Blog with fellow cat lovers – especially those with special needs cats – and convince them that they need a little bit of Sun King in their lives.
*Louis Catorze will be donating to the following organisations:
– Lilly’s Legacy, which is run singlehandedly by a wonderful lady who spends a lot of her own money and resources rescuing stray kitties; their PayPal account name is firstname.lastname@example.org
– Project PI, set up by a South African vet to raise funds for the treatment of cats with immune disorders; their PayPal account name is email@example.com
– The Mayhew Animal Home, who saved the little sod’s life; you can donate to them at https://themayhew.org/donate/make-a-one-off-donation/
Ginger Impinger is back!
This time Louis Catorze chased him around the clothes horse a few times, then flopped onto his back and rolled. GI appeared to lose interest and walk away at this point, and that was the end of that.
Yes, that peculiar black shape on the ground is Catorze. And, no, we don’t know which end is which, either.
Is he relaxed and comfortable, or is he doing that grizzly bear thing of fearfully making himself look as large/long as possible to intimidate his foe? Is this pose an offer of friendship or humiliating submission? I’m leaning towards the former, because I imagine submission looking more like Louis Catorze running away, but I would love to hear what you think.
Good news: despite our silly cat’s efforts to distract and interrupt the workmen, the patio area is almost done. Bad news: when choosing the colour of the paving slabs, we completely neglected to take into account Louis Catorze’s disgusting paws. See below for an indication of both the problem and Catorze’s level of contrition, summed up perfectly in a single shot. (The photo is actually a still from a video of the cheeky little sod rolling.)
Le Roi’s footprints have had a curious mind of their own lately, appearing in odd places such as the middle of the bathroom yet with no trail of prints leading up to that point. Of course, those ones can easily be cleaned whereas, sadly, it seems that there’s not much we can do about the patio ones. We went through our options the other day, which appear to be as follows:
1. Ask Cultivate London to take up all the slabs and replace them with darker ones. (Rather princessy and embarrassing, so no.)
2. Spend half an hour a day cleaning the patio. (A pain in the arse, so no.)
3. Ban Catorze from the patio. (He would ignore us and go out there regardless, so no.)
4. Rehome Catorze. (Nobody would have him, so no.)
(The last 2 were Cat Daddy’s idea.)
Cat Daddy spent half the weekend on the Wickes website, looking for some sort of high-pressure water jet thing “to hose down that unsightly, God-awful mess”.
I hope he was talking about the paw prints.
The nice gentlemen from Cultivate London have been working at Le Château for several days now, although I’m surprised they’re getting anything done at all, what with Louis Catorze’s work-halting flirting and rolling. Despite the fact that they’ve had to drag concrete, soil and plant matter through the house to dispose of it, there’s not been a speck of dirt anywhere; every day they leave the place so whistle-clean that we could eat our dinner off the floor if we wanted to. (Luckily we don’t.)
Louis Catorze, however, has had other ideas. Today, we came home from work to find this mess on the arm of the sofa:
There were further grubby paw prints all over the floor, yet no traces of human footprints anywhere in the house. So it looks as if one of the following things has happened:
1. The workmen cleaned their own footprints but inexplicably decided to leave the paw prints intact.
2. Louis Catorze waited until they had scrubbed the place down and THEN did this.
Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: Louis Catorze has finally encountered another feline visitor to Le Château.
We saw the pair of them narrowing their eyes at each other, not quite sure which way things were going to go and feeling anxious as this dude was larger than Le Roi. Then Cat Daddy yelled, “Shit! Louis has gone for him!”
We don’t know whether Louis Catorze lunging at the interloper was an attack or a “Youpi! Let’s play!” But the photo was (hurriedly) taken just as he had chased Ginger Impinger into the greenhouse, and GI was desperately seeking an escape route. He suddenly knew that he was cornered, and Louis Catorze (possibly) realised then that his nouvel ami didn’t want to play. It may also have dawned on Catorze that he was at a major disadvantage, not only in age and size but also in height, with GI having taken an elevated spot high up on a shelf. Neither of them quite knew what to do with themselves, and that was when we decided to intervene and escort the newcomer off the premises.
Whilst this wasn’t the most successful of meetings, we were relieved that our boy had chosen to play/defend instead of scurrying indoors, terrified. In fact, after coming indoors briefly to refuel, he was straight back out there within minutes, demonstrating that he’s either very brave or just plain forgetful.
So Le Château is still the solid royal stronghold that it always was, the monarchy remains intact, and pesky challengers to the crown have been well and truly dealt with. Tout est bien qui finit bien.
Cat Daddy and I have kick-started our garden makeover plans, which fell to the wayside somewhat last summer. Today, some people from Cultivate London – a local social enterprise who train unemployed people to become gardening experts – came to start work on our new patio.
Because Louis Catorze loves strange men, we assumed he would be fine with the workmen. And he was: he greeted them by galloping down the garden, screaming, then he lay across the path, flipping, rolling and getting in their way. The problem, it turns out, was not the workmen, but the cardboard and the dust sheets that were laid down to protect the floors; poor Louis Catorze was utterly freaked out by these and tiptoed gingerly over them as if walking through shards of glass.
Cat Daddy wondered whether he should lock him in a room until the work was done, but Catorze saved him the bother by sneaking into the shed and getting stuck there. Several hours, Cat Daddy – who was working from home – wondered where he was, then followed the sound of the pitiful whining and released the silly sod.
It’s going to be some time before the royal gardens will be fully ready for Le Roi, but we hope he will be as happy in Les Jardins as he is in Le Château. We can’t wait for the warmer weather when we will see him pitter-pattering about, chatting to leaves and generally being a weirdo.
After the joys of the weekend, which included a wonderful visit from some of the Sun King’s pilgrims, today was Steroid Shot Day. And this is how it went:
– Brutal wrestle getting Louis Catorze into La Cage: check
– Yowling throughout the journey: check
– Kicking, hissing and clawing during the injection: check
– Silence all the way home (apart from the odd moment when Cat Daddy muttered, “Disgraceful behaviour”): check
And it seems that Le Roi has lost weight and is down to 3.22kg. We had noticed his appetite reducing in proportion to his increased trips outdoors for Oscar-baiting and suchlike, and we’ve had no reason to be unduly concerned. But we’ve been told to keep an eye on him and not let him get too skinny (which will be a challenge for a cat who doesn’t like food).
Then, when we got home, we realised that we had locked ourselves out of Le Château, so Cat Daddy waited outside our door with La Cage perched on the wall whilst I dashed around retrieving our spare keys from Cocoa the babysit cat’s family. During the wait, Cat Daddy got chatting to a random passer-by who commented on Louis Catorze’s “lovely face” (although, to be fair, it was getting dark outside at this point), and who revealed that all his cats had come from the same rescue as Catorze.
The little sod sat happily and serenely through the key kerfuffle and the compliments. Maybe one day he will do the same with the vet.
(Thank you, Phil, for the fabulous photo showing my dear boy’s tooth impediment in its full glory.)
It’s been a month and 2 days since Louis Catorze’s last steroid shot. Each shot is designed to last 3-4 weeks, but I have good news: it looks as if we may be able to stretch this one out for a little longer. His eye puffiness is minimal, he has barely any scabbiness on his chin and, best of all, the Greta Garbo mood doesn’t seem to have taken hold this time. Le Roi is still happy, dynamic, bothering the local urban wildlife and scenting the air with sweet, tangy lime wherever he goes.
So we have a few days’ reprieve until the next trip to the vet, and Louis Catorze will be spending this time mostly sleeping, chirping and meeting new pilgrims. He is very much looking forward to seeing tomorrow’s guests, who read about him online and thought, “An unphotogenic, itchy, stupid cat who does nothing? Yup, sounds worth a visit.”
4 days have passed since SlugGate and, despite Louis Catorze’s contrite confession being shared multiple times across the internet (see photo), the trauma of the event is as great as it was on that night. I have had recurring nightmares of slugs who mate and spawn more mini-slugs, then those mini-slugs mate and spawn minier slugs, and so on, until the world is waist-deep in slimy, squirming slugs of assorted sizes. And, when I’m not asleep and dreaming of slugs, I’m awake and checking my pillow multiple times throughout the night.
Cat Daddy’s dismissive response was: “Well, that’s what cats do. You shouldn’t have touched it.” Firstly, no, it isn’t. And, secondly, there’s a North African proverb (in French, naturellement) along the lines of, “God sees everything, even a black ant on a black rock on a dark night.” I am not God.
Louis Catorze, in the meantime, remains a remorse-free zone and continues to pitter-patter about Le Château as if nothing happened, wafting his lime fragrance as he goes. If only there were a section in my myriad of cat books and magazines, entitled, “How to tell your cat: NO MORE GIFTS, MERCI.”
In true Catorzian style, despite the happiness of yesterday it seems we have crashed to an all-time low here at Le Château: at around 1am, Louis Catorze decided to bring in a live slug and deposit it on my pillow as I slept. What kind of individual DOES this?
Cat Daddy, waking up and almost rupturing his internal organs as he stifled his laughter, helpfully informed me that “it could have been worse”. NO, IT COULD NOT. Except, perhaps, for a worm falling out of Catorze’s arse – which I actually thought this was at first, until the cold temperature of its body reassured me (if, indeed, one can be “reassured” by such a thing) – there is very little that is worse than touching something cold and jelly-like in the middle of the night, then discovering that it is a pulsing, writhing slug.
I may never recover from this. Here’s Louis Catorze, not really giving a shit whether I do or I don’t:
The vet told us at the last visit that we would no longer need to give Louis Catorze his Atopica regularly. The steroid shot alone, it seems, is sufficient, with occasional use of Atopica only when things are really bad.
Obviously we were delighted at the prospect of no longer having to trap and medicate him, especially as, despite being thick, he was managing to develop a sixth sense about when it was coming. But we weren’t prepared for how quickly, and how dramatically, it would make a difference to the little sod.
Louis Catorze loved us anyway but, within a week or so of stopping the Atopica, he became visibly more affectionate and trusting. Now, when I reach for him to hug him, he no longer runs away. And he will even allow me to scoop him up for cuddles in the kitchen, which used to be the main assault area. (A tip if you’re trying to keep your cats off the kitchen work surfaces: place them on there to give them their medication. Do this just once and I can guarantee that they will stay off forever more.)
Whilst I still struggle inwardly with the fact that we’re giving him scary steroids, Louis Catorze’s quality of life is already clearly better (see tail for proof). And that makes us happier than you can possibly imagine.