La vie serait tragique si elle n’était pas drôle

There are two main schools of thought regarding a black cat crossing one’s path: either good luck is on its way, or everything is about to turn to merde.

I was of the former but, since various misfortunes befell us during our weekend away, I am less sure. And the fact that it was also a full moon, no doubt, made everything worse.

Not actually that well hidden. Whatever.

After an excruciating journey full of traffic jams and detours, we arrived at our destination just in time to catch the pub before 9pm, when it stopped serving food. As we walked there we met a plushy little black cat, not much bigger than Louis Catorze, who squeaked at me and let me stroke her.

Cat Daddy: “A black cat crossing our path. Not good.”

Me: “Don’t be silly. They’re good luck.”

The pub had decided to stop serving food half an hour earlier than usual, so we missed out. We returned to our rental apartment and ordered a takeaway but Driver Christian didn’t deliver it, despite the app’s claim that he did, and Deliveroo have now conveniently suspended Cat Daddy’s account due to “suspicious activity” (?).

During the wait for our third attempt at food, Cat Daddy consumed what my niece would call “a non-reasonable amount” of Pinot Grigio, and that was when things seriously nosedived.

I asked Cat Daddy to make me a cup of tea, and he thought the kettle was one of those stove-top whistling ones. It wasn’t; it was just a normal one that you switch on. He put it on the hob, left it unattended for a couple of minutes and it caught fire, splattering molten plastic everywhere.

Me: “We’re going to have to tell [the owners of the flat] what happened.”

Cat Daddy: “WHAT? You’d be a useless criminal. You’d be the first one running to the police to confess.”

Me: “But if they notice anything, which they will, we’ll need to say SOMETHING.”

Cat Daddy: “It’ll be fine. I’ll just tell them that nothing happened and that we didn’t burn the kettle.”

Me: “…”

Cat Daddy: “It’s that ****ing black cat, I’m telling you.”

Me: “…”

Cat Daddy: “And it’s your fault, too, because you’re the one who wanted tea.”

Me: “…”

Thanks to the impressive clean-up job by two of our family members, involving scraping dripping plastic off the surfaces with a spoon, we managed to make the place look passably presentable. The next day, instead of having a relaxed brunch, Cat Daddy and I drove around a town that we didn’t know, looking for a kettle identical to the one he’d torched and also a washing-up bowl to replace the one that didn’t survive the molten plastic attack.

This time luck was on our side and, unbelievably, we found them.

The apartment now has a new kettle and washing-up bowl, the old ones have been wiped of fingerprints and are sleeping with the fishes, and, after some nifty work with an emery board (in lieu of sandpaper) on the wooden surface splodges, nobody would know that there had been a mishap.

Meanwhile, back in TW8, Louis Catorze was perfectly angelic for Blue the Smoke Bengal’s mamma, draping himself all over her during her visits, eating all his food and refraining from escaping out at The Front. Was our chain of disasters the fault of the squeaky holiday cat … or did Catorze cause some sort of butterfly-effect space-time fabric warp by behaving impeccably elsewhere?

Two lessons have been learned from this calamitous saga:

1. Cat Daddy knows that he can trust us to bury bodies for him. Not that he’s planning to murder anyone. But, y’know, just in case.

2. If you try to escape from one bastard black cat, its or another’s bullshittery will still find you.

“Don’t blame moi. Not ma faute.”

40 thoughts on “La vie serait tragique si elle n’était pas drôle

    1. Everything has been cleaned or replaced so technically we don’t need to tell them as such, but I would far rather have said something! Cat Daddy wasn’t having it, though. Well, in the event that they notice that their kettle is brand new (because we didn’t have time to boil it 8,984 times to wear it down a bit), it’s his problem to fix, not mine.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Your stay was epic but Louis is right. He is not the one who has to to accept the blame for your mishaps. Black cats deserve more respect, cornebidouille.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He may not have been the one to put the kettle on the stove and switch on the hob but, just like a latter-day Charles Manson, he had some involvement.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It seems I’m always attracting vicious and mad dogs when I’m walking or taking a ride with my bike. Let me tell you a secret, I don’t like dogs at all… 😉

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I like them. Well, kind of. Ok, not actually that much. If they stay at a distance, fine. But if they come near me, and if they – God forbid – JUMP AT ME, it’s a nope.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. I remember walking through a park and a dog WAYYY in the distance started running towards us. Cat Daddy said, “No need to panic; he’s obviously not running at YOU. He won’t even have seen you.” Wrong on both counts. He ran at me, and jumped up onto me. 😩😩😩

              Liked by 2 people

            2. I have given dog “walkers” a substantial bollocking for letting their dogs run and jump up at me. Every sodding one of them insist that the the dog is under control. They have a weird idea of what under control means.

              Liked by 2 people

            3. “Oh, it’s ok, he’s friendly!” Still don’t want him running at me, though!


  2. Here we say “if you think it’s going to happen, you’re right. And if you think it’s not going to happen, you’re right.” In psychology, it’s called the “self-fulfilled prophecy” 🙂

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  3. “Non-reasonable amount” 😀
    What a series of epic disasters. No doubt really annoying and frustrating at the time but recounted with your usual eloquent self-deprecating humour, so I’m afraid I laughed like a drain while at the same time deeply sympathising.
    We had a couple of minor disasters when we stayed in the cottage in Wales last autumn – and both down to the male of the couple…. He managed to get a dirty oil stain on their very new looking pale beige fabric sofa, which I spent the whole week trying everything natural and chemical to get off and after I managed to finally get it to fade nearly to the colour of the sofa I covered it with a cushion and said nowt. The other wasn’t strictly our fault, just happened on our watch, but the whole wooden side panel of the bath suddenly caved and buckled, damaging the plastic of the bath in the process. Hard to cover that one up. So we fessed up and they were fine about it. Nothing to do with filling the bath almost to overflowing every day, I’m sure…..
    I hope you managed to salvage some enjoyment in between the disasters!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hearing a five-year-old say “There is a non-reasonable amount of crumbs on the car seat” is the funniest thing ever. I asked my niece how many would have been a reasonable amount, and she said “One”. Fair enough.

      Whereabouts on the sofa was the stain? I never quite know how many of these things can be put down to normal wear and tear, and how many would be charged back to the guest. I imagine that, erm, setting a kettle on fire would not constitute normal wear and tear.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My mother and I, moving from a farm house with a gas stove, soldered a number of enameled tea kettles to electric burners set on low,and not glowing hot… but though we rented that house, we owned the stove.
    Sounds more like Cat Daddy and the Pinot Grigio are more of a risk to you than any of the Black Cats. Just sayin;…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, I’m inclined to agree! Cat Daddy isn’t having it, though. He’s laying the blame squarely at the door of the squeaky holiday cat. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it was in the end! I can’t quite believe it, either; I was all ready to get near-replacements and to have to make some sort of excuse (still don’t know what).

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I know! I was all ready to have to buy a different kettle and really didn’t know how we would explain it. Cat Daddy’s genius suggestion was, “Tell them we dropped the kettle and it broke.”

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh yes, “we” dropped it. And immediately afterwards he said “we” would need to get up early the next day to buy another one. 🙄

              Liked by 1 person

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