La patte de Dieu

Oh, Louis Catorze: how DO you do it? 

La France have played all 3 group matches, and the little sod seems to have been startlingly accurate with his predictions. In case you missed the excitement, here is a brief summary (you’re welcome): 

Match 1 (la France et l’Australie): Sa Majesté refused both pieces of food. Outcome: La France beat l’Australie (but the VAR revealed that one of the French goals should not have been a goal, so technically the referee was wrong but Catorze was right).

Match 2 (la France et le Pérou): Sa Majesté ate the French food. Outcome: La France beat le Pérou. 

Match 3 (la France et le Danemark): Sa Majesté refused both foods, screamed, then ran to hide. Outcome: A dull, goalless draw in which both teams were booed and jeered for their strategic time wasting; clearly Catorze had picked up on the poor, ungentlemanly play and decided that such mediocrity was not fitting for a Sun King. 

Cat Daddy: “This is absolute effing nonsense. People must be getting bored of it. I certainly am.”

So that I can embarrass Cat Daddy even further, we are having a football barbecue later today, with Louis Catorze as the star attraction. This means MORE BOYS COMING TO LE CHATEAU, so, bien sûr, Sa Majesté will be in his element. 

We couldn’t* get hold of any proper grass-fed Argentinian beef, so we had to make do with a sliver of supermarket fillet steak on l’Assiette de Prophétie. And the Argentinian representative was the only living soul who has had more drugs in him than Louis Catorze: Diego Maradona, pictured below with the same look that Catorze has after a steroid shot:

*I wasn’t allowed to

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This is what happened: 

  1. Sa Majesté licked the beef, then pitter-pattered away with his tail up 
  2. Cat Daddy: “When the octopus did his predictions, just one touch determined the winner. Maybe this means Argentina will win on penalties?”
  3. Cat Daddy again: “Oh my God, I can’t believe I just said that. Don’t put that in your blog!”

Let’s hope that God will be regretting THAT helping hand in 1986, and that he will swing the result Francewards to redress the balance. Allez les Bleus! 

La mort rampante

It’s a football day again! Well, most days are football days at the moment, but we are perfectly happy with that. And Louis Catorze is riding high on the success of his last prediction. The only thing is, having told my friends that he was rubbish and that they should put money on the opposite of whatever he did, a couple of them followed that advice and now aren’t too happy. Oh dear.

Anyway, today’s opponents: le Danemark. Today’s food: Danish bacon (and there was a LONG discussion about whether or not the sample should be cooked or raw, but I ended up keeping it raw to maintain consistency and keep it a fair contest). And today’s Danish representative: Lars Ulrich of Metallica, who is quite an apt choice as Louis Catorze happily spends many late night Boys’ Club hours listening to rock music with his daddy. 

Catorze was brushed to smarten him up for the prediction, and this was the outcome of his most recent Assiette de Prophétie: 

  1. Sa Majesté sniffed first the bacon, then the jambon de Bayonne, then screamed as if alarmed and ran away
  2. I went after him to try one more time, he continued to run, screaming, then he hid in the tiny gap between the shed and the Forbidden Greenhouse, which is impenetrable to humans
  3. I gave up 

Me: “What does this mean?”

Cat Daddy: “It means he doesn’t like raw bacon. Or maybe it means the apocalypse.”

We repeated the experiment again with cooked bacon, just in case a few minutes under the grill was all that stood between us and doomsday. Le Roi sniffed both meats and pitter-pattered off, screaming. 

Conclusion: inconclusive. The end of the world? France and Denmark to draw? A protest against the Putin regime? Any ideas, Mesdames et Messieurs? 

Le Syndrome de Münchhausen

Cat Daddy and I had lots to do yesterday, with an event going on in our town and the pair of us having offered to help. So, naturellement, Louis Catorze thought this would be a good time to get a mysterious, tick-like foreign body attached to la personne royale. 

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Whatever it was was stuck fast to him and wouldn’t budge, despite his efforts to groom it off and my efforts to restrain him (you can guess how THAT went) and pick it off. Eventually I managed to sneak a couple of photos whilst he slept and I e-mailed them to the vet, who asked me to bring in the little sod just to be sure. Cat Daddy, having wound himself up at the thought of Catorze contracting Lyme disease (no idea what this is) and passing it onto us (no idea if this is even possible), agreed. 

Whilst he shopped for the things we needed for the town event, I took the screaming bag of fur to the vet. And, oh my goodness: the screaming on the journey was off the scale, with each note held for longer than the last and my eardrums throbbing and bleeding by the time we got there.

After all that, the vet told me that it was not a tick but some sort of clingy crud stuck to Catorze’s fur. And he was able to pick it off in a few seconds, with Catorze being noisy but relatively compliant throughout (whereas he had screamed and fought like an exorcism gone badly wrong when I had tried to just LOOK). The vet very kindly didn’t charge me for the consultation, obviously realising that the embarrassment was quite enough without me having to also lose money, and I skulked home, red-faced and ashamed. This time, c’était le silence total from the once-screaming bag of fur. 

So, to conclude: 

  1. Louis Catorze has neither ticks nor Lyme disease
  2. Somehow *I* have come out of this looking like the time-wasting, over-reactive cat freak, despite Cat Daddy being the one who started the whole Lyme disease thing
  3. I have a new “I can never face the vet again” story to add to my already-extensive list 

Cat Daddy: “I KNEW it wasn’t a tick. And, besides, Lyme disease attacks the brain, so Louis would have been pretty safe.”

Le match est fichu?

Phase Quatre is now under way; Louis Catorze is happily munching a 50:50 mix of Acana Pacifica and Lily’s Kitchen, and there have been no further puke incidents (that we know of).

His football predictions, however, have been somewhat offish, with France actually beating Australia (contrary to Catorze’s indication that it would be a draw). That said, given that France’s penalty really shouldn’t have been a penalty at all – and with the Video Assistant Referee, rather like autocorrect, managing to stuff up the very thing that it’s supposed to fix – morally I’d say Sa Maj got it right.  (If I’m honest, though, it’s more likely that he refused both foods because I accidentally served them fridge-cold, forgetting that he favours room-temperature. This is very poor servantry on my part.)

He actually watched the match, too, meowing encouragement at Les Bleus all the way and pretending not to notice his countrymen’s cheating, diving and handballing. However, rather than watching from the comfort of our laps, he decided to sit outside and watch through the window. Yes, he could have come in had he chosen to do so. And, no, we have no idea why he didn’t. 

La France’s opponents today are Le Pérou and, to represent them, l’Assiette de Prophétie bore Peruvian ceviche and a picture of the only Peruvian that we know: Paddington Bear. Cat Daddy got all cross with me for buying good fish just for this, but he felt much better when I told him that we would be having Louis Catorze’s leftovers for dinner. 

Anyway, this is what happened: 

  1. The fish was sniffed, then Catorze walked away
  2. He approached the jambon de Bayonne from a completely different angle, as he did with the previous prediction, thus ruining the aesthetics of the sequence of photos
  3. The jambon de Bayonne was consumed with enthusiasm 

The third photo is pretty conclusive, n’est-ce pas? 

Cat Daddy: “Oh. I wanted Peru to win.”

On verra. 

On devrait être si chanceux

Louis Catorze is a huge football fan, and, whilst he was happier 2 years ago when the Euro tournament took place in his fatherland of France, he is still content to follow this year’s World Cup. And, naturellement, he will be firmly supporting France and hoping that they fare better than they did in the Euro 2 years ago, when they were devastatingly defeated à la dernière minute par le Portugal. 

A new football tournament means the return of Louis Catorze’s results predictions! Hurrah! And we shall be ignoring cynical Cat Daddy’s joyless cries of, “But he didn’t get a single one correct last time” and his visible cringing when I tell people that he did (twice) manage to correctly predict Brexit.

To mark France’s opening match against Australia we lined up a serving of French jambon de Bayonne versus probably-unauthentic-yet-more-accessible-than-witchetty-grubs Australian shrimp, with Catorze’s taste buds set at “winner is eaten first”. Each nation, as you see below, was represented on the plate by their respective diminutive yet charismatic figureheads (the human Sun King for la France and Kylie Minogue for l’Australie). 

The results were as follows: 

  1. The jambon de Bayonne was licked once, then Catorze walked away
  2. The shrimp was licked once, then Catorze walked away
  3. Both foods still remained at the time of writing this 

We can only assume that this means a draw, which, given each team’s track record, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Kick-off is at 11am, so we shall soon see whether the little sod has managed to fine-tune his extra-sensory powers since the summer of 2016, or whether this is all just a(nother) pile of merde.

Cat Daddy: “Seriously? Nobody cares.”

C’est mieux dehors que dedans

*WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS GRAPHIC REFERENCES TO CAT PUKE*

The puke switch has been activated. I should have known I had spoken too soon in my last post, and no doubt this is because Louis Catorze has been outside chewing grass and not because of the food change, but that doesn’t make it any less foul. And, sadly, the combination of cat puke the same colour as our floorboards plus a tiring day spelled disaster for me when I stepped into it with bare feet. 

Our floorboards are the original ones dating back to when Le Château was built and, when we had it renovated, the builders put some sort of magical expanding stuffing between the floorboards to plug up the gaps. However, this was almost 3 years ago and, over time, in some areas the stuffing has worn away. And, tragically, by stepping on the puke AND in trying to clean it up, I ended up accidentally pushing some of it between the gaps. 

Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: THERE IS NOW CAT PUKE UNDER OUR FLOORBOARDS. AND I PUT IT THERE.

Cat Daddy is not pleased about this at all. But, as he’s partially-sighted, I can’t imagine he would have spotted it, either. Nor would his clean-up attempts have been much better. 

So now we’re playing a waiting game. And, rather like Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart but with its stomach-churning stench rather than an ominous drumming, the festering cat puke will slowly alert all comers to its horrifying presence beneath the floorboards. Sadly, as Cat Daddy has firmly vetoed taking up the floorboards (“They’ve been here for over a century and have remained intact through 2 World Wars, so we’re not pulling them up just because of HIM”) there isn’t much we can do, apart from hope that it soon passes.

Here is the little sod showing profound regret at the anguish he has caused: 

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Rien ne sert de courir

And behold: Phase Trois is under way!

I never thought this day would come – mainly because I imagined I would have throttled the little sod long before we reached this point – but we have a carefully-calibrated* 6:4** ratio of Acana Pacifica to Lily’s Kitchen Fabulous Fish. AND LOUIS CATORZE IS EATING IT. 

*(Too much Lily’s Kitchen accidentally tipped in)

**(Was meant to be 7:3 – see above)

When I began Phase Une I bought only the smallest pack of Lily’s Kitchen Fabulous Fish, for fear of Catorze rejecting it. But now I have been able to buy the largest and best-value size, safe in the knowledge that it won’t go to waste AND that I can just toss the packaging into our compost. What’s more, we were able to walk to Pets at Home and carry it home (on the hottest afternoon of the week, with poor Cat Daddy as the load-bearing packhorse) rather than ordering online and having it arrive in cardboard, bubble wrap or, worse, those awful polystyrene Wotsit things that won’t be recycled and that spread everywhere like an STD of the parcel world. 

(Cat Daddy wanted to know why I was writing about STDs in a cat blog but, as he hates the polystyrene Wotsits as much as I do, he will understand when he reads this.)

I was also about to say that we have successfully avoided activating the puke switch so far, due to the gradual transition, but things are already going unsettlingly well and I daren’t tempt fate. So I shall avoid any talk of the puke switch. NOBODY MENTION THE PUKE SWITCH.

Phew. I think I just about saved myself there.