I didn’t think there was much in life worse than Louis Catorze’s screaming. But, as ever, when I think we have reached rock bottom with the little sod, he hands me a shovel and tells me to dig until I strike the Earth’s core.
He has now begun to scream during phone conversations, especially highly sensitive and/or important ones. There were a few isolated incidents in the past (such as when I got a new job and my now-boss called to discuss terms) but now it’s becoming a much more regular thing. I don’t even have that many people call me. But Catorze actually comes running when the phone rings, as if the sound somehow activates his “Urge To Be A Massive Idiot” switch. And this is embarrassing beyond measure.
He screamed when Cat Daddy was consoling a friend with a sick relative. He screamed when I was offering condolences to another friend who had just lost her dad. And when Catorze’s cat food didn’t arrive, he delivered a fine, Day-Lewis-worth performance during my phone call to Ocado Zoom, in his portrayal of a starving animal who had never been fed.
Each time (apart from the last one because, on that occasion, the screaming actually served me well) we tried to leave the room but Catorze simply followed us, continuing to scream, even jumping onto our laps to get closer to the phone.
More recently, he screamed when the doctor called to arrange an appointment for a steroid injection in my shoulder. Catorze was especially bad during this call, almost as if he knew we were talking about steroid injections and was saying, “This is what they do to you! Proceed à vos propres risques!” During the other phone calls mentioned above, the callers asked, “Do you have a cat with you?” or, if they knew him, “Is that Louis?” Conversely, this actually breaks the ice and makes the situation about 1% less embarrassing. However, the doctor said nothing. NOTHING.
The latter part of the conversation went something like this:
Doctor: “Let me check the availability for later this month.”
Catorze: “Mwah! Mwah!”
Doctor: “How about [whatever date it was – I’m too traumatised to remember now]?”
Catorze: “Mwah! Mwah! Mwah!”
Me: “I’m afraid I can’t make that day. I could do the Monday, though? Sorry about the noise, by the way. That’s just my cat.”
Doctor, without hesitation: “Yes, the Monday looks fine. How about midday?”
I know that doctors are busy, but come on. This was as awkward as having a high-five ignored.
Naturellement I’m not able to video the little sod and talk on the phone at the same time. But below is an old video demonstrating the kind of sound that hapless phone callers can expect to hear.
There really are no winners when it comes to phone calls to Le Château.