One big difference between me and Cat Daddy, in terms of our attitude and preferences regarding pets, is that he likes show-off animals who do lots of zany things, whereas I just want a quiet one who won’t give me any grief.
Blue the Smoke Bengal’s mamma told us last week that, since quarantine began, Blue had caught a blackbird, a squirrel and some other animal that I can’t remember (possibly a mouse), and Cat Daddy remarked that Louis Catorze was useless, having caught nothing this year. I, on the other hand, was very happy not having to clean up the remains of dead wildlife from my house, and I did not want Cat Daddy to tempt fate by wishing otherwise.
Over the weekend I had some restless nights, and Catorze didn’t help when his energy spike peaked at about 5am on Sunday resulting in abundant screaming and thundering loudly around the house. Later that morning I found a piece of silverware, i.e. a dead rat, in his trophy cabinet, i.e. the area at the bottom of the stairs, strangely the same area that his big brother Luther also used to use as HIS trophy cabinet in our old house. Whilst this is by no means a great place, especially as a sleep-deprived human doesn’t always spot brownish prey placed on the brownish floor and therefore risks stepping on it, Catorze’s previous trophy cabinet used to be our bedroom and, quite frankly, anything is better than that.
As ever, I followed the same standard ritual that I always follow in these circumstances. And I am sure most pet owners can relate:
1. Gasp and retch.
2. Admonish Catorze, who doesn’t understand a word I am saying (and, if he did, he still wouldn’t give a shite).
3. Shut Catorze away in sin bin in case he grabs rat and darts under our bed with it.
4. Find coin and slide it next to rat (very slowly and cautiously in case rat springs back to life and runs up my arm), then take photo for my friend Lizzi, who STILL hasn’t forgiven me for not photographing the curly-haired rat from 4 years ago: https://louiscatorze.com/2016/08/14/a-bon-chat-bon-rat/
5. Place Ocado bag inside another Ocado bag and gingerly scoop up rat with hand inside the double-bag barrier.
6. Knot double-bag very firmly, again in case rat springs back to life.
7. Place bag outside on doorstep so that Cat Daddy can dispose of it in park bin when he wakes up. (Since this is partly his fault for wishing it upon us, it’s only fair that he do his bit.)
8. Gently slide coin away from ratty floor area.
9. Clean both coin and ratty floor area.
10. Release horrid, screaming Catorze from sin bin.
11. Seethe with frustration as Cat Daddy undermines me by lavishing Catorze with praise and cuddles.
I really want this to have been a one-off. But the fact that Catorze has now begun Rodent Duty – sitting motionless for hours outside, eyes fixed on the gap between the Zone Occupée and the Zone Libre – doesn’t fill me with hope.
*EDIT: after I placed the bagged rat on our doorstep, we both forgot about it and didn’t remember until about 3pm, by which time it had sat cooking in the sun for 7 hours. Oh well. Cat Daddy’s problem, not mine.