La vieillesse est un art


You know when people of a certain age raise their eyebrows at anyone who was born after 1989, and wonder how on earth these babies manage to crawl about the planet on their own? Well, it’s exactly the same with cats. When people post pictures online of their cats aged 1 or 2, I think, “Where did all these YOUNG kitties come from?” And it makes me realise that Louis Catorze is no poulet de l’année.

Sa Majesté is 8 today. Even my mum thought he was only celebrating his 6th birthday. People can scarcely believe the truth because of his diminutive stature and baby face; he is a real-life, feline version of Dorian Gray (well, minus the “romancing the ladies” bit), whose youthful, kittenish looks belie his excessive past of syringes, pills and party powder. 

Bon anniversaire, little sod. We love you beyond words.

Louis Catorze doesn’t know it yet, but he will be donating his birthday treat money – including the kind gift from my mum – to Lilly’s Legacy, a voluntary rescue run by one of his favourite people in the world. If you would like to donate to them, too, you can do so here:

Le petit prince

Louis Catorze isn’t that interested in human babies. In fact, he isn’t interested in much. However, he was delighted to hear that the new royal baby has been named after him. He is confident in his belief that the newborn prince is no threat to his monarchy – despite the little upstart weighing over 1lb more than Sa Majesté – and he concurs that Louis is a good, strong name. 

However, he was more concerned upon learning that some might pronounce it “Lewis”. This is his “SERIOUSLY, Mesdames et Messieurs?” face. 


Catorze might just about forgive the beautician for her mispronunciation, on account of her fearing for her life an’ all, but, as far as he’s concerned, the rest of us have no excuse. 

I am sure you will need no reminder that he was here first. Nor will he need to reiterate that a king trumps a prince. 

Bienvenue en prison


After first sticking his back leg in my tea and then kicking it all over me, Louis Catorze settled down with me to watch one of those maximum security prison documentaries. (We’re more low-brow than one would imagine – it’s not all Balzac and Baudelaire here at Le Château.) And it seems that, in Indiana State maximum security prison, they have a cat adoption scheme. 

I initially had mixed feelings about the idea. My first thought was the safety of the animals: if you’ve killed a human in cold blood and are quite casual and blasé about it, you’re unlikely to have much compassion or empathy for an animal, right? But the cats look happy, glossy and well-fed, pitter-pattering freely between cells but mainly sticking to their one Cat Daddy, whom they clearly love. Even if he happens to be a serial torturer or murderer. 

My second thought: if you’ve killed a human in cold blood and are quite casual and blasé about it, you don’t deserve the pleasure of a cute cat for company. Whilst I don’t think prison conditions ought to be made utterly horrendous just for the sake of it, I don’t think we should fall over ourselves to make them fun, either. However, given the hugely unbalanced ratio of inmates to staff, and given the high pressure nature of working conditions even when things AREN’T kicking off, wouldn’t it be worth a go? If a cat can lower an inmate’s stress levels, reducing the chances of violence, it would make life easier for staff and keep them safe.

I think Louis Catorze would LOVE to be a prison cat, with all those men to play with. And if anyone did anything really, really bad, he would be a most excellent deterrent. The prospect of a week’s solitary confinement with him, having to endure the screaming as well as being forced to pill him, would, surely, be enough to make even the most hardened troublemaker keep his head down and do as he’s told?

Cat Daddy: “Welcome to my world. Except it’s a life sentence without chance of parole, not just a week in solitary.”

Thank you, Jane, for the photo! 

Un oiseau en main

I don’t know whether I feel less alone, or more appalled, to learn that other cats ruin things, too. 

The occasion was Cat Granny’s 90th birthday party, held at Cat Auntie and Cat Uncle’s beautiful house in Somerset, and the culprit was this attractive, slightly boss-eyed chap.


I spotted him in the garden, called him over for a cuddle and he happily obliged, shouting himself silly throughout. When the rest of the party guests joined us outside, he pitter-pattered off to explore other parts of the huge, sprawling garden. 

Moments later there was a huge commotion and we saw the little sod leaping and pouncing at a flock of angry, shrieking blackbirds. Cat Auntie went to investigate, then announced that he had managed to catch one of the birds and asked for a volunteer to do the honourable deed. I think that, at this point, I might have looked down into my cup of tea and muttered something about it being a man’s job but, before any of the men had a chance to intervene, the poor bird flutter-limped to its nest deep inside a thick, impenetrable shrub where nobody could reach it. 

Cat Granny continued to enjoy her champagne and remained happily oblivious to what was going on. And Cat Daddy, whilst a bit cross with me for encouraging the cat with cuddles, was relieved that, for once, it was someone else’s cat and not ours that had made an embarrassing spectacle of himself. 

That said, we have a number of social events planned at Le Château over the next few weeks and months. So, if Catorze decides he fancies creating havoc and showing us up in front of our friends, there’s still time. 

La maison des mille cris

Great news: the beautician is back! 

She peered around cautiously as she entered Le Château, as one would if forced to enter an abandoned asylum where a chainsaw massacre had taken place. “Is Lewis around?” she asked. (Yes, she pronounces his name “Lewis”, but I don’t expect he will care about this at all. Plus he has been called much worse things by Cat Daddy.) I replied that he was outside, but that he would probably come and say hello soon. 

At this point she said either “Oh good” or “Oh God”. I’m pretty sure it must have been the former. 

Anyway, one eyebrow was successfully threaded without mishap. When she started on the other one we heard the ominous sound of pitter-pattering, then screaming. The beautician then lost her grip on the thread because she was laughing so much. 

Little sod jumped up onto the bed and stared at her, then decided that he would settle down, eyes wide, and stay for a chat.

“Hello, Lewis!” 


“How are you?”


“Oh, that’s good.”


“Yes, I’m fine too.”

And, curiously, after that little exchange, any suspicion (on his part) and abject terror (on her part) swiftly dissolved, and the two of them became friends. That was it. No more screaming. And they even had a little cuddle after the treatment.

“You know me now, don’t you, Lewis?” the beautician said, as she left. “So you’ll be a good boy from now on?”

I think Catorze’s last “Mwah” meant “Je ne sais pas: I’ll get back to you on that one.”


Une chance pour tous


It is said to be bad luck when a black cat crosses your path. So what can it mean when one runs at you, screaming, and tries to trip you up as you retreat?

This is what happened to the Conservative party candidate when he came canvassing today. And Cat Daddy is punch-proud that his boy “has finally done something productive”.

Could this be a bad omen for the Conservative party? I will let you know as soon as the results are in on 3rd May.

*EDITED AFTER THE RESULTS CAME IN: the Conservative party were well and truly spanked.

L’amour et le parfum se trahissent toujours


It had to happen sooner or later, Mesdames et Messieurs, and today is the day: Louis Catorze has pitter-pattered in smelling of man-perfume. And it’s not Cat Daddy’s, because he only wears man-perfume very rarely. LITTLE SOD HAS BEEN SNUGGLING ANOTHER MAN.

Cat Daddy: “You mean he’s been snuggling at least one other man, as far as we are aware. It’s like serial killers. There are always more victims than it would initially seem.” Merci.

Whilst this discovery is, in itself, not wholly surprising, what’s bizarre is that Catorze smells of man-perfume RIGHT TO THE TIP OF HIS TAIL. So it seems that Le Snuggleur Mystérieux has been getting quite intense with Catorze, leaving no inch of his fur, erm, unloved.

There is also the possibility that Catorze broke into someone’s house, knocked the bottle of man-perfume to the floor and had a good old roll around in it. So, at some point today, one of our neighbours will, at best, discover a ruined bottle of man-perfume and be quite cross, or, at worst, step in the broken bits of glass and slowly bleed to death.

So, once again, we have that awkward dilemma of whether to ‘fess up or shut up. Do we casually enquire among our neighbours with a view to offloading our guilt quickly? Or do we wait until someone mentions spending their Easter Sunday having their feet stitched up in Accident and Emergency, and then sheepishly offer our apologies?

I don’t think even 40 days of prayer and penance are going to fix this one for us.