Le Cône est de retour

We have had a stressful few days at Le Château.

The mascara worked like a dream when freshly applied but, when it wore off, we were back to square one again. And, when I came home on Wednesday night, the tail-chasing and throaty yowling were worse than ever, at which point I discovered that Louis Catorze had gnawed the crap out of his tail.

I called the out-of-hours vet, who told me to give him some Metacam and make an appointment for the next day. So Cat Daddy cancelled his morning’s meetings and took him in.

It turns out he had a minor tail injury which was concealed by his fur, and that’s what was troubling him. Unfortunately all his biting has both worsened this AND given him a new injury on a different part of his tail that was fine before.

Obviously this isn’t great, but it certainly beats the previous theories that he might have had a mental disorder (how exactly does one treat such a thing?) or that we were too boring (again, I have no idea how to fix this; 44 years on the planet and I’m not about to suddenly become fun now).

Despite being walloped with the quadruple whammy of antibiotics, painkillers, a shaved tail and Le dreaded Cône, Le Roi is reasonably content and comfortable now and, more importantly, he can no longer bite his tail. And, because he can’t use the cat flap whilst wearing Le Cône, I had the surreal experience of sleeping in the kitchen with him last night, so that I could let him in and out, and throughout the night I had the privilege of constant cuddles. (Cat Daddy had shut the bedroom door and Houseguest Matt was out, but still: CUDDLES! FOR ME!)

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to send messages of support.

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Le maquilleur royal

Houseguest Matt came good with the toxin-free mascara.

And it seems that any old plebby mascara simply wouldn’t do for his cher ami: he spent quite some time in the beauty section of the organic shop trying various brands to find one with the perfect consistency. And, when a curious sales assistant passed by to see if he needed help, he told them, “It’s for a cat.”

“Well, I had to say something,” he later said, “otherwise they would have thought it were for me.”

Right. What a relief to know he saved himself THAT embarrassment.

Anyway … as well as buying the mascara, Houseguest Matt was also kind enough to offer to do the deed, which was a tremendous relief. I warned him of Louis Catorze’s tendency to kick and struggle like a psycho in situations such as these, but he insisted that he was tough enough for the task … and I was left looking really stupid when the little shit purred and rolled for Houseguest Matt and even went to him for cuddles afterwards. (In the last picture you can even see a bit of mascara still on his finger.)

Whether this succeeds in assuaging the tail-chasing is yet to be seen. But it seems that Louis Catorze’s soulmate count has increased by 100%. And, with TWO people in the house who are more adept than I at applying substances to la personne royale, this means I am officially exempt from this horror forever more.

Le maquillage du Roi

Following a few more instances of Louis Catorze thundering through Le Château chasing his tail (and knocking Houseguest Matt’s stuff off his bedside table at 3am – ha), I’ve spent most of the weekend Googling coloured dye for pets. I wish I were joking.

Most of the results of my fact-finding odyssey have been warnings not to dye your pet, and I can’t say I’m surprised; until now I’d have thought it a thoroughly idiotic thing to do. And, had anyone tried to convince me that they needed to do it for medical reasons, I would have kidnapped their pet for its own safety and reported them to animal welfare.

Yet, here I am, declaring to the world that I need to do this to stop my cat from eating himself. Oh dear.

And, should you choose to ignore the warnings and dye your pet regardless, there are a million stipulations to which Louis Catorze would never agree. (Example: “For best results, start with a freshly washed animal.” Non, merci.)

After receiving the vet’s confirmation this morning that a non-toxic dye might be worth a go, and after a good friend and ardent Roi supporter came up with the genius idea of using plant-based, hypo-allergenic mascara, I thought we might have hit upon a cure. Something toxin-free and designed to be splodged around your eyes couldn’t possibly do him any harm, right? Even Cat Daddy is up for this. And, better yet, I already have an organic mascara.

Or, I thought I had. Naturellement, I have no idea where it is, and I fear it might have been lost in the move to Le Château. (I don’t wear mascara often, clearly.) We don’t want to waste time hunting fruitlessly, nor wait for delivery of a new one, nor do we have time during a horrible working week to go out shopping for one.

Merci à Dieu, then, for Houseguest Matt. There aren’t many people who would unflinchingly accept a request of, “Would you mind popping out today and buying an organic black mascara to paint the cat’s tail?”

I’m tempted to ask him to do the painting, too. Is that going too far?

(Le Roi is pictured below on Houseguest Matt’s legs.)

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Le locataire du Château

Cat Daddy and I have a guest staying with us at Le Château. Now, for most cats, a big deal such as a new housemate would need to be brokered with expert skill and precision; however, because this is Louis Catorze, and because our guest is male, we had a feeling everything would work out fine.

Mind you, I wasn’t prepared for Louis Catorze to love Houseguest Matt more than he loves me, nor for Houseguest Matt to be quite so smug about it.

This is how things have gone so far:

– Seconds after Houseguest Matt’s arrival: Catorze runs to welcome him
– Day 1: snuggly selfies on Houseguest Matt’s bed
– Day 6: Catorze steps over my lap to get to Houseguest Matt’s
– Day 7: Catorze starts sleeping on Houseguest Matt’s bed at night instead of ours [although Houseguest Matt has just read this over my shoulder and he informs me that, in actual fact, this began on Day 3]
– Day 11: The pair of them invent their own meowy language that only they understand
– Day 14: Houseguest Matt and I do that thing where you sit at opposite ends of the room and both call the cat’s name at the same time … and it doesn’t go well for me

I feel partly responsible for this as I should have stomped down on it after Day 1. But I was too laissez-faire, and now it’s probably too late.

And, far from feeling bad about stealing our cat, Houseguest Matt finds it hilarious. His standard response is: “He’s MY cat now! Mwahahahaha!”

The upside of all the treachery, of course, is the fact that we could do a lot worse than a guest who dotes on the little sod and looks after him better than we do; it certainly beats those who are neutral (as a couple have been) and those who take one look at him and run away, screaming (yup, this has happened, too). Le Roi has no idea how much he’s lucked out with Houseguest Matt … but, fortunately, we do.

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Peins-la en noir

Cat Daddy and I have spent a disturbing amount of time monitoring Louis Catorze to try and understand his tail-chasing habit. And, yes, this has been just as dull as it sounds, with the exception of the unsettling moment when he actually HISSED at his own tail.

The strange thing is that Catorze doesn’t appear to be going for his tail in response to anything physical. It seems that the SIGHT of the white bony bit – which stands out against his black fur – is what triggers him, perhaps because he thinks something is stuck to his tail, or because he thinks the white blob is a worm or a bug. And this is most odd as he’d surely have had to go for the tail a few times in the first place, in order to thin the fur and expose the white bony bit?

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“Which do you think came first: the tail-chasing or the white bony bit?” I asked Cat Daddy.

“I don’t know,” he replied curtly, not even looking up from his laptop, “but I bet historians and scientists the world over are agonising over it.”

Sigh.

“It’s right up there with all the other ‘Which came first?’ debates: the chicken or the egg, life on earth or a habitable environment …” Cat Daddy’s voice trailed off, his eyes remaining down.

I thanked him for his insightful comment and bade him good day – although I couldn’t resist Googling both the chicken and the egg and the life on earth thing, as soon as I left the room.

The question now is: what do we do about it? Short of colouring the white bony bit with black marker pen – Cat Daddy’s idea, and he wasn’t joking – we can’t think of a single feasible solution.

Are there any historians or scientists out there? A little help, s’il vous plaît?

Tromper, jouer, trahir

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We are still reeling from the vet’s revelation that Louis Catorze has resorted to eating his own body parts because he’s so bored. Cat Daddy, in particular, has taken it quite badly.

“I don’t have a problem with being called boring,” he said, “but … too boring for him? FOR HIM? He’s the dullest cat ever! He does nothing! What does that make us?”

He has a point.

I attempted a play session this morning, as advised, but the little sod just sat with his arms/front legs folded, tail flicking away, and made zero effort to join in. And, in a creepy sort of way, I had the feeling he had the upper hand and that he was playing with me, not vice versa.

I went berserk with the feather on a stick, trying desperately to elicit some sort of reaction, and Louis Catorze just stared back as if to say, “Danse, mon petit singe, danse!” Then, after I gave up and discarded the toys, he went out to chase some leaves. Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: EVEN DEAD LEAVES ARE MORE FUN THAN ME.

I don’t know where we go from here. M’aidez!

Nous sommes trop ennuyeux pour notre chat

It seems I have written a new instruction manual on how to be the worst person on the face of the planet. It goes something like this:

1. If your cat chases his tail, laugh at him.
2. If he keeps doing it, laugh some more.
3. If he does it for several hours through the night, curse him for being such a shit.
4. Don’t bother to actually check his tail unless he bites it so hard that he yelps, at which point you may discover that he has eaten it down to the skin.
5. Make an appointment at the vet’s, then get home late due to an accident on the motorway and miss the appointment.

“Don’t worry,” said Cat Daddy. “I’m sure he still loves you as much as he did before. Mind you, that wasn’t really a lot, was it?”

Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.

Anyway, we finally made it to the vet this evening, and the good news is that she found no sign of injury. “He doesn’t seem to be in pain when I touch the tail,” she said. “He’s yelling a lot, but then he yells a lot when he comes here, anyway, doesn’t he?”

More silence, tumbleweed, crickets.

We were advised to keep an eye on Louis Catorze’s tail over the next few days. The vet then shocked the life out of us by telling us that, in the event of it not deteriorating physically, the tail-chasing was more likely to be boredom-related and that we were to give Catorze more stimulation.

This hit me and Cat Daddy like a punch in the guts. So … we are not interesting enough for Sa Majesté.

To make matters worse, I know that, when I attempt to play with him, he declines in favour of toys that he can use on his own. So it seems that Louis Catorze has been trying to tell us for some time that we’re dull, and now we have just paid £25 for the joy of being told the same thing again.

We’re too boring for our cat. What d’you think about that?

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