Cat Daddy and I went to dinner at Le Manoir last week, after he drunk-bid for it in an online charity auction during the first lockdown. As far as drunken purchases go, I’ve seen worse.
Usually it would have been no problem leaving Louis Catorze alone for just one night. However, now that he insists on a boiling water chaser for his Orijen, and refuses to eat it if it’s been sitting around for more than 0.3 seconds, that makes things more complicated. So we asked our cleaning lady if she would mind feeding him when she stopped by that evening. (Yes, this same cleaning lady. Unbelievably, she is still here.)
Le Manoir was a delight, and Raymond Blanc even more so. However, due to dodgy O2 phone reception, I wasn’t able to read my notifications until the next morning, and I glimpsed one from our cleaning lady saying, “Don’t worry, he’s home now.”
Apparently the Sureflap had been malfunctioning again, with the little sod able to go out but not come in. At the time of messaging the previous night, it had worked. But no doubt he would have gone back out at some point, and we had no idea if he’d made it in again. And it was bucketing down with rain. Not the best start to Le Roi’s Long Hallowe’en weekend, trapped outside, drenched and screaming.
Worse yet, our new neighbours had moved in a couple of days beforehand and we didn’t want him going over and bothering them. (We have met them once and they are lovely people. Regretfully they have also met Catorze, right after he’d had his steroid shot – as in, less than an hour afterwards – when he was manic, bug-eyed and screaming.)
We realised that there wasn’t much we could do if Catorze had, indeed, been outside all night. However, instead of a leisurely countryside route home, taking in the beautiful autumn colours, we thought it wise to go direct via the motorway, and the rain helped us to make our decision. We were about halfway home when I received another message from our cleaning lady, saying “Everything was ok. Sorry for bothering you. It was my mistake.”
We imagine that the little sod had been up to his old tricks, wailing piteously outside the patio doors, rearing up on his hind legs and pawing at the glass, when he knows perfectly well that the Sureflap is there but is too lazy to use it. He wasn’t trapped or distressed. He was just taking the piss.
When we arrived home, he was indoors and perfectly happy apart from the fact that his bowl was empty. And his Sureflap was, and is, functioning as it should.
At least we didn’t receive the notifications in real time, and have to decide whether to leave the company of one fancy French gentleman and dash home to rescue another. But we’re still cross with him.