If cats could make New Year resolutions, they wouldn’t.
Resolutions are what we humans do to better ourselves, but cats think that they’re great as they are and that it’s the rest of the world who should change its pathetic, inadequate behaviour. We also make resolutions to improve our everyday lives and to make them easier and, again, cats don’t have to concern themselves with all that. That’s why they have us.
Bonne Année to you all, and thank you for your support this year.
Cat Daddy and I have just spent Christmas Day with Louis Catorze’s Cat Uncle and Cat-Cousin Alfie, and we also met up with Nala the dog and her mamma a few days previously. (Gosh, that was a lot of the word “cat” in one sentence.) Nala is lucky enough to live opposite a lovely dog park and, as a result of her time spent there, she has made more same-species friends in the last two months than Sa Maj has made in his entire life. On Sunday there was even a dogs’ Christmas party in the park, with one of the dog mammas distributing home-made, dog-shaped biscuits to all canine guests.
“How was the party?” I asked Puppy Mamma.
“Oh, y’know: much like an office Christmas party,” she replied. “Too much noise, a couple of fights, that kind of thing.”
This kind of event would NEVER have worked for cat owners. But I do wonder what it might be like if there were such things as cat parks and we were able to meet in the same way that dog people do.
Imagine, if you will, rows of park benches filled with ladies, some with bandaged hands due to pilling incidents that turned bad, all discussing the latest device to remove cat hair from furniture and clothes. There would be empty cat carriers at their feet as all the cats happily gambolled about in the park, chasing bugs and chewing grass. Then, when it was time to go home, the ladies would call their cats back and the cats would ignore them.
Puppy Mamma added that she finally understood what I meant when I talked about my cat friends, as she now has dog friends. She explained how dog owners chat in the park about how their dogs have been, vet visits, the most recent embarrassing escapade etc. and generally bond through their mutual love of dogs. I get it – after all, this is what cat owners do, the only difference being that the internet is our “park”.
“I guess it must be easier to suss people out as you’re meeting them in person and not online,” I said to Puppy Mamma, “but how do you avoid the freaks?”
There have to be SOME freaks in Dogsville, right? The whole world knows, of course, about the 60% or so of cat people who are total weirdos, not always in a good way, and I suppose that, as someone who tells people that my cat is French and has his own visitors’ book, I am one of their merry number.
“Easy,” Puppy Mamma told me. “You get to know what time the undesirable people or the undesirable dogs are going to be in the park, and you just avoid going at that time.”
If only it were that easy in the cat world; how wonderful to be able to avoid one particular attention-seeking, punctuation-dodging nutjob – YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE – simply by refraining from logging on at certain times. That said, what a pity if the human were pleasant but one had to steer clear of them because they had an undesirable dog. This is utterly unheard of in cats. Whatever their issue, however naughty or stroppy or psycho they may be, undesirable cats are simply not a thing.
Cat Daddy: “Really? I can think of one.”
If a genie were to grant me three wishes, I would wish for that cat park – yes, even before wishing for a lottery win, world peace or more wishes. And, should you ever see cats pitter-pattering about your local green space and a group of slightly harassed-looking ladies in jaunty scarves, helping themselves from a free Crémant fountain, you will KNOW.
Louis Catorze’s list of winter solstice gift recipients is mercifully short, due to the fact that he doesn’t really have any friends. There are a few characters to whom he likes to spread some festive cheer, although the reality is that he doesn’t mix with most of them or even know them at all. I think anyone who has ever had any kind of social media account can relate to this.
Anyway, Sa Maj’s “friends” are as follows:
Oscar the dog (a Yorkshire terrier and the Flash Gordon to Louis Catorze’s Ming the Merciless)
Cocoa the babysit cat (a larger and rather more photogenic version of Catorze, minus the scary teeth)
Cat-Cousin Alfie (a tabby with a voice like a dog’s squeaky toy)
Cat-Auntie Zelva (a black and white kitty who looks like Mr Potato Head from Toy Story)
Nala the dog (the Cockapoo featured in this year’s Hallowe’en entry of Le Blog)
Noah the dog (a Cavapoo who loves brass bands)
Zoox, my workplace dog (a Hungarian wire-haired Vizsla – no, I had never heard of them before, either – with a knowing, almost-human face)
Cat Daddy: “But, of all these animals, he’s only actually met one. And that one hates him and wants him dead.”
C’est vrai. Zut.
I am the one who takes charge of the buying, because Cat Daddy doesn’t approve of gifts for pets. (“Bloody ridiculous! What the bloody hell is this world coming to?” is, I believe, what he said.) If you are around the same age as me, you will recall that, during our childhood, the only pet gifts available were one generic festive stocking for cats and one for dogs. That was it. Now, of course, things are different. Cat clothing, anyone? Novelty beds? Advent calendars? (I’m not joking: Google them.)
Anyway, as this time of year is all about thinking of others, we will be buying for the little sod’s friends but donating what would have been his gift money to Lilly’s Legacy, one of his favourite rescues. If you would like to do the same, their PayPal address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you all the joys of the winter season, with love from me, Cat Daddy and Louis Catorze.
It has started to feel très festive here at Le Château now that Louis Catorze’s tree is in place. (Yes, you have read that correctly: in addition to our main winter solstice tree, he gets his own mini one.) Decorating it is no mean feat, as the Pine Needles of Death are razor-sharp and, therefore, affixing each bauble is pain. And, yes, I do, indeed, see the tree as a cruel yet accurate metaphor for Catorze’s life, with him sitting atop all smug and loving himself, and me desperately scrambling around trying to adorn it with more and more lovely things, only to have my efforts rewarded with repeated stabbing.
Anyway, now that it’s done, it looks rather splendid. We don’t usually buy him any gifts, though, because he already has so many things – or, as Cat Daddy puts it, “this house is full of his shite”. And, besides, buying a tree AND gifts for a cat might be considered a bit over the top.
We have less than a week to go, and so many things still left to do. Luckily for Catorze, all he has to do is sit around and watch us do it all.
Not long ago, Cat Daddy and I decided to have a Fish Week at Le Château, because we love fish – I always choose it in a restaurant – but don’t eat enough of it. Now, most cats would think this were the best thing on earth and would hover around at cooking time, yowling, sniffing and generally being a pest. However, because Louis Catorze can take or leave food, Fish Week passed him by completely unnoticed.
His big brother Luther would never have let us get off so lightly; Luther loved seafood so much that it was actually listed on his rap sheet at the rescue. I recall wondering at the time why a food preference were important enough to pass onto potential adopters, but I later discovered that they were actually trying to warn us: “Likes prawns” was, in fact, code for “Will kill you to get to them.”
This was proven by The Fish Pie Incident aka HaddockGate, which my sister also witnessed, and about which she can now only talk in a hushed whisper. There were also further incidents, such as the time that I had to leave the house and eat my prawn salad in the car because Luther was harassing me so badly. He had never used a cat flap before but learned in about 0.3 seconds because I stood on the other side, waving a piece of sea bass.
Fish Week would have been all Luther’s dreams come true. No such luck with his petit frère: look at this, quite frankly, FREAKISH non-reaction to a salmon and gruyère fish cake. (The paw, incidentally, was NOT reaching out for the fish cake: Catorze was in this position anyway when I plonked the bowl down in front of him. I even left the room to fetch my cup of tea and, when I returned, both fish cake and cat were as I had left them.) Luther, on the other hand, would have swum through molten lava for this.
We’re not exactly short of evidence that the little sod isn’t normal (reason: #becauseRoi). But this just tops the lot.