J’adore mon igloo

Louis Catorze’s winter igloo has officially been reinstated. Even though I know that, once he’s in, he won’t be coming out unless it’s on fire.

Selfishly, I wanted to delay giving him back his igloo because I like having him on our laps. That said, I know how much he loves it. And it means we can have our blankets back. And, possibly most importantly, if he’s sleeping in it throughout most of the day and night, it’s less likely that he will be bothering the neighbours, howling at dogs / foxes / magpies / parakeets / other cats, or waking us up by bouncing around our bed and screaming in our faces. So, in many ways, it’s a win-win.

If anyone wants him – don’t all rush at once – he’ll be here until next May:

J’ai dégusté ses poils avec des fèves au beurre et un excellent Chianti

On Friday night there was no sign of Louis Catorze, which was rather unusual as he has slept on our bed with us pretty much every night ever since the first day he came to live with us. That said, since the time he hid somewhere in the house (hiding place still unknown) and we made Oscar the dog’s folks go searching in their shed for him in the middle of a storm, we have learned not to panic too much at his disappearances.

When Cat Daddy went downstairs and opened the dining room door the next morning, out shot Catorze, all indignant and screamy. Yes, the little sod had used his Cloak of Invisibility to sneak in and had been shut in there all night.

I heard Cat Daddy say, “Well, it’s your own fault. You should have meowed for help.” Then I heard purring and squeaking, which are the classic signs of Boys’ Club rough play and forgiveness for whatever misdemeanour may have previously occurred.

Luckily Catorze hadn’t turned the dining room into les toilettes, nor had he trashed the place doing parkour trying to get out. However, he had managed to break into the cupboard containing all the good crockery and cutlery and had rolled all over everything. This photo is of one of our napkins:

Now, the cat people that I know fall into one of two camps when it comes to this kind of thing:

1. Disinfect and/or incinerate everything
2. Dust it off and nobody will notice

Dinner guests past and present, you will be relieved to know that Cat Daddy and I are firmly numéro 1. I think it’s safe to say that, given the choice, most people wouldn’t opt to eat from tableware that has been rolled on by a gross cat. And, whilst they wouldn’t necessarily know about it, we would.

The contents of the cupboard are now cleaner than an operating theatre. And, as the festive season approaches, Sa Maj is ready to receive pilgrims, both old and new, for dinner.

Le froid ne m’a jamais dérangé de toute façon

We all know that Louis Catorze isn’t really one for doing what we would expect (or want). In 37-degree heat, he heads for the sun. In thunderstorms, he heads outside. And, if faced with a larger and more ferocious animal who could kill him in an instant, he pitter-patters towards it, up-tailed and screaming.

However, on a cold day, he can’t ignore his natural catty instincts, and that is when he wants ALL THE BLANKETS. One clearly wasn’t sufficient so he actually has a total of three here. We wouldn’t mind a couple for ourselves, but it doesn’t look as if that will be happening. Not today.

His face looks sour as an underripe lime but, trust me, the little sod is very happy indeed.

Ce chat est une chose que je ne peux pas expliquer

*WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC REFERENCES TO NASAL MUCUS. DO NOT READ THIS WHILST EATING OR DRINKING.*

After his 729th escape out at The Front this week, Louis Catorze rolled in with his hindquarters looking like this:

No, we have no idea what it was, but it appeared to be something organic rather than artificial. And, although the photo gives the false impression of it being chalky in texture like matt paint, in real life it appeared to be of a consistency similar to that of … dried snot. I cannot – je répète, CANNOT – tell you how much the thought of this repels me to the very core of my being.

For the sake of my own sanity I have decided to assume that he rolled in it, as opposed to someone actually picking him up and using him as a tissue. That said, neither idea is very pleasant – although Cat Daddy found the second one hilariously funny – and I don’t like the idea of any individual releasing snot into the public domain where others are likely to encounter it. A family member helpfully told me that, in some parts of the world, it is fairly common for people to expel snot directly from the nostrils into a roadside gutter and just let it wash away. Naturellement we stuck-up Brits find this utterly vile yet, if you think about it (not that I recommend it), it’s not much more offensive than blowing our noses into a tissue, carrying that gross tissue about our person all day long and constantly handling it to add progressively more snot. Not that any of this made me feel better, nor did it help me with the problem at hand.

Anyway, what to do about it? I didn’t relish the thought of having to restrain the little sod and wipe him down, but then I didn’t want him pitter-pattering about with suspected snot on his fur, either. I winced and shuddered as I weighed up the options and finally decided that I would clean him … only to discover that he had given me the slip and, by the time I’d found him again, the stain had vanished.

Cat Daddy, without looking up from his laptop: “He’s probably cleaned it off himself [i.e. eaten it]. Or he’s rolled it off somewhere [i.e. it’s on one of our beds]. It’s gone now, so who cares?”

Ugh. If it were possible to bleach Catorze’s mouth, then incinerate the entire Château and rebuild it brick by brick, I would do so with my bare hands. And, if there is any creature in the animal kingdom more revolting than a cat (apart from a dog when it rolls in fox poo), I hope I never meet it.

Des cris aigus

Although I probably give the impression that Louis Catorze only has two settings – Screaming and Asleep – in actual fact he has a number of different voices, as described in this post:

https://louiscatorze.com/2018/11/11/je-gueule-donc-je-suis/

My favourite sound is now numéro 2 on the list and, although we only used to hear it when he was taken by surprise, it is becoming more and more frequent now. It is making an appearance in Boys’ Club rough play and even, from time to time, in normal conversation with the little sod. (Yes, he and I do chat. I don’t always know what he’s saying but I just try to keep him talking because, if he’s talking to me, it keeps him from annoying neighbours or bullying Oscar the dog.)

However, despite becoming more common, this sound remains as elusive as Bigfoot when it comes to capturing it on film. If you hear it once, then grab your phone to try to film a second squeak, it won’t come. And, should you discuss your intention to film it, you can guarantee that you will fail in your mission. But I was able to get lucky just one time, and the evidence is below.

This video is from some time ago, but it captures the squeak perfectly. Turn the volume up:

L’amitié est un trésor

The beautician who does home visits tends to be mysteriously “fully booked” during the days surrounding Hallowe’en. She and Louis Catorze did make their peace** after that unfortunate incident* but I fear that, just to be on the safe side, she avoids him during Peak Psycho Time. And I can’t say that I really blame her; I would if I could.

*The incident: https://louiscatorze.com/2018/03/23/une-vision-de-la-beaute/

**The truce: https://louiscatorze.com/2018/04/12/la-maison-des-mille-cris/

Now that we are safely into November, she is free again and she came over the other day. We heard her talking at the front door long before she actually knocked, and we assumed she was on the phone but it turned out that she was chatting so Sa Maj who, at some point during the day, had escaped yet again. No, we have no idea of when nor how. But he followed her in, chirping and trilling, and then came upstairs to stare at her whilst she did the treatment.

I was relieved and rather thrilled when she told me that another of her clients had a cat. “Ah, what’s the cat like?” I asked, hoping she would say “Deranged and homicidal” so that Catorze wouldn’t seem like the only one.

“Very quiet,” she replied. “He just comes, looks at me for a few minutes and then goes away.”

Oh.

“But I told my client that, one day, her cat would be my best friend,” she continued. “Just like Lewis.”

Awww!

Afterwards I remarked on how well-behaved he had been during the treatment (although “well-behaved” is, of course, relative).

The beautician: “Yes, Lewis, you were! Well, today, at least.”

Le chat hérite de la Terre

Tonight is the biggest firework night of the year. And, as is the case every year, Le Château will be surrounded by bangs, crashes and whoops of all kinds. Most normal pets will be taking cover somewhere safe. However, if his behaviour last weekend – when a scattering of smaller-scale firework displays took place – is any indication of things to come, Louis Catorze will be more desperate than ever to escape out at The Front. Oh dear.

I was out all day on Sunday and drove home to a chorus of firework explosions. And, the moment I put my key in the door, Catorze launched himself at my feet, head down and tail up like an ankylosaurus* going into battle, and I practically had to kick him indoors as I fought my way in.

*Thanks to Jurassic Park, I expect the tyrannosaurus rex and the velociraptor top most people’s scary dinosaur lists, but don’t underestimate the ankylosaurus with its armoured body and flailing, mace-tipped tail. Living with Catorze on Bonfire Night is EXACTLY like having a very small, psychotic ankylosaurus loose in your house. Thank you to my nephew, aged almost 7, for introducing me to this dinosaur.

Le Roi spent the next few hours prowling suspiciously in the hallway, listening to the fizzles and crackles and waiting for that moment when one of us unsuspectingly opened the door to put something in the recycling. And, when our heightened vigilance prevented him from breaking out, he decided instead to go out and enjoy the fireworks from The Back, most likely sitting on the sedum roof for a better view.

Obviously it’s great that the little sod isn’t a petrified, quivering ball of nerves. But it’s not so great that WE are. Not to mention that this behaviour is utterly freakish and abnormal. Thank goodness this only happens once a year.