I often write about Louis Catorze’s screaming but, in actual fact, depending on the situation and on his mood, he is a Man of Many Meows, not just one standard scream. Here they are, in order of volume (quietest first):
- Le Miaulement à la Bouche Fermée. This is usually deployed in the middle of the night and is murmured through a closed mouth, which we take to mean, “I don’t want to wake you up, but I’m just checking in to bid you a bonne nuit.” Unfortunately, despite its softness, it DOES wake us up, hence why Cat Daddy finds this meow the most annoying of them all.
- Le Cri Aigu. As the name would suggest, this sounds just like a dog’s toy, and it is the most un-catty sound that one can possibly imagine. It is usually uttered when Le Roi is grabbed or squeezed when not expecting it. And, yes, sometimes we DO do this to him just to make him squeak because we find it so funny.
- Le Cri de Guerre Wah! Wah! Wah!. What it lacks in volume – for it is only moderately loud – it makes up in evil intent. This sequence of short, staccato meows tends to be heard when Le Roi breaks into a sudden sprint, such as when he spots the door open at The Front or when he is in the perfect position for an exquisite photograph and then sees me reach for my phone.
- Le Miaulement Habituel, aka what we hear 60% of the time. This sounds like a spoilt, whiny child who has just been told that there is no more ice cream. Visitors are often concerned that our boy is upset or in pain, and we are forced to shamefacedly admit, “Erm, no. That’s just his normal voice.”
- Le Cri des Cris, the most awful of the lot and, sadly, the second most frequently heard after Le Miaulement Habituel. This indignant holler can mean an assortment of things including, “Let me in/out!” and “Where the heck have you BEEN?” Those who have heard this sound – which, by now, includes most of our street – are unlikely to forget it, and, if you haven’t, today is going to be the day.
Now that my new domain of louiscatorze.com allows me to post videos, you will have the pleasure of hearing all of these meows at some stage (although I expect that, now that I have announced my keenness to capture them on video, Sa Maj will refuse to produce most of them ever again). We were, however, (un)fortunate enough to be greeted by a 5 pointer – Le Cri des Cris – one day after coming home from work, and I do have evidence of that. Turn the volume DOWN.