Des souvenirs dorment dans cette chevelure

Louis Catorze had his steroid shot yesterday. There was the usual Benny Hill-style chase when putting him into his transportation pod and, as I was leaving, Cat Daddy – who was in the middle of a massive DIY session – asked me to pop into the hardware shop on the way back and buy a lightbulb and two little transponder-type things.

Catorze screamed all the way through his examination, but the vet confirmed that all was well and that he was “looking good”. He fell deathly silent as we went into the hardware shop then, as the shopkeeper spoke, the screaming resumed.

The shopkeeper was startled and looked outside, thinking there was some altercation taking place.

Me: “Oh, that’s just my cat.”

Shopkeeper: “Sorry?”

Me: “My cat is in this bag.”

Him: “There’s a cat?”

Me: “Yes.”

Him: “IN THE BAG?”

Me: “Erm, yes.”

Him: “…”

I should have explained that I’d come straight from the vet, instead of just saying “My cat is in this bag”, but I didn’t think of it at the time. So now the shopkeeper thinks I am the kind of weirdo who goes shopping with her screaming cat. And I can never go back to that shop again.

Although Catorze is in good health, his body is still spewing out fur. Clumps of it are drifting around Le Château like tumbleweed rolling through the American west.

A few days before the vet appointment, we had a Code Gris emergency on our hands. And by “on our hands”, I actually mean “on Catorze’s arse”. This (see below) started out as a few tiny strands of grey undercoat sticking out from his fur and I left it, imagining that, at some point, it would just come off by itself.

It didn’t. In fact, over the course of just a couple of days, it grew.

What in the world …?

My sister: “It’s a mat. You can get special mat combs that get them out.”

Me: “Could I not just use scissors?”

Her: “Do you trust him to hold still and not injure you or himself?”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

Narrator: “And so she bought the special mat comb.”

Anyway, the comb arrived the next day, and it seems that someone in the marketing department felt that its appearance wasn’t quite scary enough, so they named it the Dematting Rake. RAKE.


Catorze sat on my lap and, astoundingly, was happy to let me hack away at his arse end with this device, only emitting the occasional squeak when I accidentally pulled too hard. Perhaps he felt uncomfortable and knew that whatever I was doing had to be better than living with the mats? It was quite the feat but, eventually, I managed to loosen and remove the TWO horrible knots:

The mats, alongside my customary £1 coin for scale.

So Le Roi is now a mat-free zone. And I have something fun and unique to tell my students when they ask me what I did during my holidays.

What a time to be alive.

The Catorzian arse, sans mats.

33 thoughts on “Des souvenirs dorment dans cette chevelure

  1. We have that same comb – recommended by the vet – and the cats seem to accept it.
    You never being able to go into the hardware store again just means CD will have to run his own errands, right ?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Miss Penny loses handfuls of hair like that by the hour! I’m always surprised she’s not completely naked by now! The vet says it’s the steroids. Miss Penny doesn’t clean herself well, so her belly and behind and lower back are full of mats like that, which I try to remove gently every now and then with a regular cat brush, but she’s not too happy about it so I don’t insist. Maybe I should try to find your scary instrument!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I’ve never worked out how to put photos in comments. Maybe put one on your next blog post? (Why, yes, I actually AM asking you to change your whole posting schedule just so that I can see a photo of your cat.) 🐈‍⬛


      1. I have four black beasts. Two are long haired and one of those has vampire teeth too. Boo looks like Louis but a bit bigger and no visible teeth.

        I haven’t done a blog post in forever. Hmm… 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, in English slang “in the bag” is completely different. It means a positive outcome is a sure bet and certain to happen, e.g. “Do you think you’ll pass this exam?” “Oh yes, it’s in the bag.” Ironically our mutual friend had just been steroided and was on his way to being kite-high, so your version of “in the bag” would have been very apt!

      Liked by 1 person

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