We can’t believe that today marks four weeks of Louis Catorze being Côned, when it was only supposed to be a day or two. Nor can we believe how much life has changed because of Le Cône and its limitations. Our usual Catorzian tasks, which used to take seconds, now take considerably longer, or require constant supervision, or both. Plus there are now additional tasks that didn’t exist before.
In order to deal with all this, Cat Daddy and I organised a rota: he manages the Day Shift from whenever he wakes up until 6pm, we both share the Evening Shift from 6pm until around 10:30pm and then I take over the Night Shift.
For the last four weeks, my days have looked like this:
1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual.
2. Trojan Horse pill (for Catorze, I mean).
3. Assisted breakfast at the special height-adjusted feeding station. (I have mixed success when it comes to getting him to eat breakfast, so I often have to leave handover notes for the Day Shift stating that I failed dismally and asking him to reattempt the task.)
4. Water glass is filled to almost-overflowing to accommodate Le Cône. (Again, there is mixed success in actually getting him to drink from it.)
5. Supervised time in the exercise yard.
6. Itch-relieving neck rubs and Aveda Tulasāra facial brushing sessions. (For the first fortnight, Catorze would wake me every 2-3 hours for these.)
7. Eye-cleaning with warm water and one of my nieces’ old baby muslins. Catorze welcomes this about as much as he would appreciate being waterboarded.
8. Ointment application to what’s left of his self-harm facial wounds. Again, the patient is not massively receptive to this.
9. I go to work, leaving handover notes for the Day Shift.
10. Day Shift staff sends me photos of various madcap antics.
11. I go home and we both share the Evening Shift. I often walk into the house to find Catorze on his daddy’s lap and the pair of them rocking out to Pink Floyd or suchlike.
Now, of course, my days will look just as they did above from points 1 to 8 onwards. But point 9 will most likely involve wrestling Catorze off me as he clambers all over my laptop and screams bloody murder, whilst my video-taught students stare in through the screen and giggle.
It has been a testing few weeks, but we hope that normal life can resume soon. Well, as normal as can be in these strange times.
Below are some of the handover messages exchanged with the Day Shift. We have named it “Who wrote it: cat owner or medical professional?”