Toute blessure guérit, sauf les blessures du chat

It’s official: Louis Catorze is bad for our health. Three weeks ago, whilst Cat Daddy was away, I sat with Catorze on my legs and my my feet outstretched and resting on the coffee table. We spent the day fixed in that position watching back-to-back X Files together, including that episode where Agent Scully has to deal with a barking, snarling dog infected with an alien virus. (And, no, Sa Maj didn’t even flick a whisker at the barking and snarling. This is no doubt because he carries the same alien virus and therefore he knows his own kind, in the same way that zombies never attack other zombies.)

Anyway, at the end of our 10-hour fairly lengthy spook-marathon, I tried to get up but I couldn’t. My left leg (upper calf, lower thigh and behind the knee) had completely seized up, and it has been painful ever since. I don’t suppose sitting at length with my legs in an over-flexed position, and with a 3kg weight on them, was the best thing to do, but it’s too late now.

As a result, I am struggling to walk and my daily routine now includes the attractiveness of a limp and a thigh-to-ankle TubiGrip. Naturellement people have been asking what happened, and I have been too embarrassed to admit that it was a Laziness With Cat injury but I have lost track of which lie I have told to which person. (I know, I know, I should have just told the same lie to everyone instead of telling some people that I tripped on a wonky paving slab and others that it was a half-marathon training injury, but I didn’t think this through.)

These last few weeks of the school year have felt like months. And this picture of Sa Maj just about sums up my place in it all; I am like a portrait cat trying to fit into a landscape sun puddle:

La propreté est proche de la sainteté

Hurrah! Someone has FINALLY acknowledged what I have been saying for years: hay fever sufferers, wipe down your cats!

And, somehow, I can’t help singing that mantra in my head to the tune of “Spice Up Your Life” by the Spice Girls (younger followers, ask your parents):

"Pollen in the air


In your nose and in your hair


People everywhere

WIPE DOWN YOUR CATS ..." and so on

Wiping down is easier said than done if your pet goes in and out about 738 times a day, as Louis Catorze does. So we try and grab him just before we go to bed as he usually comes up with us and settles across our stomachs like a two-person, living belt, no doubt shedding pollen with every movement. Naturellement he isn’t the greatest fan of being wiped down but, because of the difference it makes to my itchy eyes and to Cat Daddy’s scratchy throat, the little sod is just going to have to suck it up. Plus it’s preferable to bathing him, which would require sedatives (for us as well as for Catorze). 

Thank you to both Spa de Sal and Hen Corner for their hay fever advice and for their fight against the evil pollen of TW8. Details of their wonderful products – a health-boosting salt spa experience (no, I haven’t taken Sa Maj there, but I would if I could) and lovely London honey – can be found here: (scroll down for the honey)


Quel ange me réveille sur mon lit de fleurs?

The summer solstice is here, and that can mean only one thing: Louis Catorze’s summer bed has been deployed.

The rest of us, of course, have to put up with just one bed all year round, but Sa Maj has his winter bed (the igloo), his spring and autumn bed (the igloo converted into a bowl) and his summer bed (the chaise longue). And, when he feels like it, he also has our bed, any of two guest beds, any of two laps (but usually Cat Daddy’s), any of THREE sofas, Cat Daddy’s overnight holdall, Cat Daddy’s work rucksack, the shed roof, Oscar the dog’s shed roof and probably a whole host of other locations that we don’t know about.

Here he is, staring evilly (looks wrong but spellcheck confirms that it is, indeed, an actual word) from the chaise longue, probably mentally totting up his total number of beds and cursing us for providing so pathetically few.

Happy Midsummer to you all from the Sun King.

Creuser sa propre tombe

We have a Code Rouge situation at Le Château: SOMEONE HAS BEEN DIGGING AROUND AMONG THE SEDUMS. Although we have no actual proof, a certain suspect ticks all the boxes in terms of past history (he did the same thing to Cat Daddy’s chilli and strawberry plants), motive (generally being a shite) and opportunity (multiple escapes at The Front since we installed the planter).

I suppose we should be trying to find a solution, but the truth is that we’re utterly defenceless against the little sod’s sorcery, i.e. Cloak of Invisibility, teleportation, astral projection or whatever the heck he does to get past us and breach the security perimeters of Le Château.

The one thing saving Louis Catorze’s royal arse at the moment is the fact that this is only a Code Rouge and not a Code Brun. (At least we hope not; we daren’t poke around in the soil to find out.)

Please see below for the evidence discovered by Cat Daddy. Any advice on how to deal with the Dark Lord and his forces of evil would be much appreciated.

L’épée tue beaucoup de monde, mais le chat tue d’avantage

Louis Catorze’s hours and hours spent outside, presumably on Rodent Duty, have finally paid off: the little sod delivered a mouse to me at 4:30 yesterday morning. I awoke to the sound of pitter-pattering and squeaking, then turned on the light just in time to see my sweet boy not only deliver the killer blow but also, erm, lick the dead mouse thoroughly and meticulously from head to tail. Then he flipped it over onto its back and licked the other side from head to tail, too.

I would never have believed this had I not seen it myself. The little sod’s prey is often wet and I have always assumed this to be because of the rain – and it happened to be raining on this occasion, too – but now I know that it’s MAINLY because he takes great pains to lick it thoroughly after killing it.

So … reasons for this peculiar behaviour?

1. All cats do it?

2. A last-ditch attempt to extract the tasty mousey flavour before the dead beast is confiscated?

3. Some sort of elaborate death ritual, like the Ancient Egyptians used to do? (Not that they used to lick their dead. You know what I mean.)

4. Some sort of creepy serial killer calling card?

Cat Daddy (who slept through the whole thing) when I told him: “He did what? Ewww! Just like a serial killer!”

Oh dear. Numéro 4 it is, then. And, yes, after Googling “Why does my cat lick its prey after killing?” (which yielded zero results) I also Googled “Serial killer calling cards”. It turns out that, whilst people do some highly disturbing things, no murderer in criminal history has ever done anything as freakish as licking their dead victim from head to toe, then flipping them over and licking the other side.

Cat Daddy: “Don’t worry, it’s not as if he’s going to do this to us. Mind you, that’s probably only because he’s not big enough or we’re not small enough.”

La douce flamme

As if Mother Nature flips a switch the moment the calendar changes from May to June, hay fever season is now upon us and I have gone from having zero symptoms to moderate ones. Cat Daddy doesn’t know it yet but we have invested in a ton of allergen-busting beeswax candles, because we had used up the ones left over from the time that we thought Louis Catorze had hay fever when, in fact, he had a blade of grass stuck up his nose. (If you missed out on that joyous tale, here it is:)

We have also bought of those electric rechargeable lighter things for our beeswax candles. It’s much nicer to use than the old-style, nail-splitting, blister-giving, butane-filled monstrosities and (we hope) less wasteful than wooden matches. And poor Catorze is terrified of it.

Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: he won’t even flinch at loud rock music, other cats, dogs, foxes, marauding youths in Hallowe’en costumes and (we imagine) masked men wielding bolt cutters, but he is scared stiff of the rather pleasant, gentle fizzing emitted by this device. He can hear it from wherever he is in the house and runs for the hills.

I now turn on the kitchen taps to drown out the sound. And, as I am using both electricity AND water when lighting each candle, the electric lighter is no longer the eco option that I had hoped, even if I do catch all the water and make use of it. 

But you know, don’t you, that you would do exactly the same, if not more, for your feline overlords’ comfort? So, for now, both the candles and the water-bearing shall continue. And, with any luck, the purifying powers of the beeswax candles will benefit Sa Maj as well as us.

Here is the little sod after the last candle-lighting, having fled upstairs and taken refuge in, erm, a bag:

Vieux chien fait bonne chasse

We are so lucky to have Oscar the dog’s family as friends, especially given the havoc caused by our feuding animals. They are even kind enough to take Louis Catorze’s side in any unfortunate disputes, despite the fact that it is always his fault for wandering onto Oscar’s territory. If he stuck to his own patch and minded his own business, there would be no problems.

The four of us have occasionally wondered whether a controlled meet-up on our territory – rather than Oscar’s – would improve relations between the pair. And now, it seems, we don’t need to wonder anymore. Last weekend – 48 hours after the Dog Family’s move back home – our peace was shattered by the sound of barking. I opened the front door to check that Sa Maj wasn’t causing trouble (even though I had that sinking feeling in my gut and just KNEW) and the little sod shot past me, hotly pursued by Oscar.

It turned out that Catorze, having teleported out at The Front again, had decided to take a nap in Oscar’s garden, and Oscar, unsurprisingly, was not too happy about this. Catorze stood his ground, bared his fangs and hissed, terrifying all onlookers* and even stopping Oscar in his tracks for a few seconds. Then, as Catorze decided to head back towards Le Château, Oscar followed.

*Oh yes: the embarrassing incident was witnessed by a mortified Dog Mamma and Dog Sister, the visiting Dog Grandparents and the wife of THAT neighbour who is always having to escort Catorze back when he escapes and screams bloody murder.

The pair of them raced through the house, dodging both me and Cat Daddy, and Catorze shot through the cat flap and out at The Back like a speeding bullet. Oscar wasn’t able to fit through, so he gave up the chase at that point and decided instead to turn his attention to Catorze’s food bowl. Dog Mamma then intervened and, for once, it was Oscar being escorted back to his rightful place.

Both dog and cat spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping off the excitement and, in fact, Catorze appeared to forget entirely about it within a minute. This is good, because he is clearly as untraumatised as can possibly be. But it’s also bad because he probably won’t learn his lesson, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he were heading back over the fence right now to cause more problems.

Bâtir des châteaux à Londres

Oscar the dog’s folks recently had some work done on their house, and they moved out during the renovation process. Naturellement, the triple draw of workmen + dust in which to roll around + free run of enemy territory meant we didn’t see a great deal of Louis Catorze whilst it was going on. And, when we did, he was usually covered in all manner of building waste but, by the time we picked up a brush, he had pitter-pattered off to roll in more.

Now that it’s all complete and the Dog Family are home again, life should go back to normal. However, we have some concerns: where there was just a roof before, there are now two glass skylights. And, where there was just brick before, there is now a whole wall of glass bifold doors. In short, the renovation has hugely increased Sa Maj’s opportunities to eyeball Oscar, scream at him and whip him into a frenzy. This is not good.

Here is the little sod (pictured before the work was finished) inspecting the quality of the workmanship and figuring out the best vantage points for his bullying. Both Cat Daddy and I would love to think he will have a sudden crise de moralité and behave, but we have a really bad feeling about this.