La gloire du chasseur

Because Louis Catorze has a patellar luxation in both back legs, exerting himself too much is bad for him. We know this. You know this. However, he doesn’t appear to know this. And, if he does know, he doesn’t care.

First of all, last week, I noticed that he was prowling suspiciously around the kitchen, and this culminated in him diving behind the kitchen bin and emerging with a mouse in his mouth. (And, before you say anything, he was probably the one who brought in the mouse in the first place, so he isn’t a hero by any means.)

Then Blue the Smoke Bengal popped by to say hello the other day. Catorze is friendly to every other cat who comes through our garden but he won’t tolerate Blue, so he shot after him down the garden path, all puff-tailed and offended. He was then up and over the fence and the shed rooftops, chasing poor Blue all the way home. Not content with seeing him off, Catorze then settled on top of Oscar the dog’s shed roof and stared creepily down into Blue’s garden, to intimidate him into staying put.

Cat Daddy went to the shops and, when he came back, Catorze was still in exactly the same spot. And, embarrassingly, Cat Daddy had bumped into Blue’s mamma on his way home and had told her that the two cats were “sort of playing”.

We had no idea what to do. So we, erm, went to the attic for a better look, and to try to take some photos.

By the time we got there, however, things had intensified: Catorze had chased Blue all the way into the Zone Libre and across the school playing field, right up to the houses neighbouring Twiggy the greyhound’s place. After being cornered for a short while underneath one of the outdoor tables, Blue raced back home, pursued by Catorze, except this time Catorze was WALKING. No doubt he was channelling Michael Myers from Halloween, who never fails to catch up with his victims even though they’re always running and he’s always walking.

We are flabbergasted, not only because Catorze is supposed to be ill/injured but also because Blue is considerably larger and could finish him in an instant, if he were so inclined. And we realise that we may have been naive to assume that Catorze would simply rest his ravaged body, instead of – as ever – doing exactly the opposite of what we want.

Here he is, photographed just before the chase moved to the Zone Libre. Is this the face of a sick animal?

Not a merde was giv’n on this fine day.

Elle fait une liste, elle la vérifie deux fois

Lockdown came to an end earlier this week. Cat Daddy, Louis Catorze and I are now in Tier 2*, which is the worst of the lot – yes, even worse than 3 – because it’s not quite normal life, yet not enough is in place to make it worth the bother for our hospitality industry.

*For non-Brits who aren’t familiar with the system, Tier 1 = alcohol, Tier 2 = alcohol but only with a pasty and a side salad, Tier 3 = no alcohol, no pasty, no side salad.

We have been granted five days over the festive season in which we can do what we like (not exactly what’s been instructed, but it’s what will happen) and, as we have seen before, any plan which relies on the common sense of the British public is doomed to fail. So Cat Daddy and I have told our families and friends that we won’t be seeing them. We’ve got this far and we just don’t see the point in chucking it all in now.

I am the one who takes charge of buying the gifts every December. Cat Daddy does so many of the boring chores and errands on a daily basis that it’s only fair I pull my weight just once a year. And, yes, I do realise that the fact that we’re even able to buy gifts makes us very lucky indeed. The other day, Cat Daddy asked me how I was getting along.

Me: “Oh, I’m almost done. I just need to get the animals’ presents.”

Him: “Sorry?”

Me: “Presents for Louis’s friends.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.]

Whilst it’s something of a stretch to suggest that he has any friends, it’s lovely that we are among like-minded animal lovers who understand animal gifts. That said, each pet has very different requirements so it’s not as simple as one would imagine:

1. Cat-Cousin Zelva: not keen on wet food.

2. Cat-Cousin King Ghidorah: likes Sheba (poultry variants) at the moment, but will have changed his mind by the time this post goes live.

3. Cocoa the babysit cat and his sister Chanel: are used to exotic delicacies such as, erm, squirrel and parakeet, and so nothing we could give them would ever feel like a real treat.

4. Blue the Smoke Bengal: is under strict orders to lose some poundage, so food-based gifts are out.

5. Nala the dog and Gizzy the [insert name of species]: sensitive tummies.

In short, festive shopping for pets is COMPLICATED.

Luckily, Louis Catorze is the simplest of the bunch: we don’t buy him anything. Now, before you feel sorry for him, hear me out. He doesn’t know it’s the festive season and, if he did, he wouldn’t give a hoot.

*EDIT: HOOT VERY MUCH GIVEN. After I drafted this post, Cat Daddy went to investigate a commotion in the dining room and discovered that Catorze had broken into the animals’ gift storage and was chasing Blue the Smoke Bengal’s catnip fish around the room. I don’t imagine Blue will want it now that it’s covered in Roi spit so, since the poor little sod hasn’t been well, we’ve decided to buy something else for Blue and let Catorze keep the fish:

Thou shalt have a fishy.

Avaler la pilule sans la mâcher

Two days ago, I posted about Louis Catorze happily eating his medication in Pill Pockets. Naturellement, as soon as that post went live – LITERALLY THAT SAME MORNING – he decided he wasn’t going to do it anymore.

Lately he has had some ravenously hungry moments, clearing serving after serving of food and then circling his empty bowl like a hungry shark with its eyes locked on an injured seal. So we were pretty confident that he would continue take his pills with no problems. But: nope.

Me, after the first pill failure: “This isn’t good. His Gabapentin pills need to be taken 12 hours apart, and we’ve stuffed that up now.”

Cat Daddy, without looking up from his laptop: “You’re going to have to Greco* him.”

Me: “But it’s two pills [the Gabapentin and the Prednisolone]. How do I Greco two pills? It’s bad enough Grecoing one.”

Cat Daddy, still not looking up from his laptop: “Yeah, it’s going to be a tough one for you.”

Well, thanks for that helpful input.

*If you are new to Le Blog, this link fully explains what “Greco” means: https://louiscatorze.com/2017/01/07/la-pilule-est-dure-a-avaler/

Worse yet, Le Roi had sloped off to have a nap under our bed. So not only would l have to go through the worst experience known to mankind, TWICE, but I would have to wriggle under the bed on my belly to drag Catorze’s arse out first.

Anyway, the deed was done in one shot. I think the poor little sod was so taken aback at the rude awakening that all he could manage in response was a little quack, like a duck. I flung both pills into his mouth at once, did the throat rubby thing and – merci à Dieu et à tous ses anges – it worked.

And, as soon as it was over, he decided that he WAS hungry after all and headed for his bowl. Luckily, because I know what a bastard he is, I had taken out the first set of pills just minutes beforehand – and what a good thing, too, because a double-pilled Roi on a full moon would just be too much.

Here he is, recovering from the trauma on his favourite lap:

The drugs don’t work. They just make him worse.