Le téléphone noir

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.

Taking a brief break between screamathons.

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:

Catorze: “Mwah!”

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.

Honestly, just text me instead.

43 thoughts on “Le téléphone noir

  1. He sounds just like Sasha when she thinks someone got something and she didn’t. Fortunately she doesn’t do it when I’m on the phone, just at mealtimes. Oh yes and when I bring out the zoomgroom thingie. And when I sit down and my lap needs a cat and some other cat got there first. Maybe that’s all but maybe not.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have wanted to record her yeowling as I’m preparing breakfast. There are four cats circling but only one is yeowling. She yeowls in a sort of flat key a lot like Louis. And she’s loud.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh poor Louis – he does sound soooooo pathetic ! Mine usually want to listen in on phone calls – sometimes they purr loudly and Peaches makes small comments – but nothing like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is just his normal voice! People often think he’s distressed and we have to tell them, “No, that’s just what he sounds like all the time!”


  3. I was on the phone to my solicitor (nothing exciting, just personal injury) and Boo raced into my bedroom and howled. Like proper screaming/howling. I moved around the room and he jumped on the bed and crossed it several times to be closer. I had to mention it in the end. “I’m sorry my cat is howling. He’s just being a dick.” Luckily this chap saw the funny side and laughed at my horror.

    He’s currently sitting on me, trying to get between my mobile and my body. As I have to take my glasses off to see the screen (I’m too young for varifocals), it’s very, um, intimate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do think it’s weird to say nothing. It doesn’t need to be a long speech; just a few words breaks the ice. I need to train the little sod to scream when those accident people cold-call, don’t I?


  4. Oh… what a heartbreaking video of that poor sweet little guy… How can you not fall in love with this creature from heaven? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t be fooled by his nonsense! There was nothing wrong with him in that video. He just likes the sound of his own voice. 😩

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s unlikely to win a legal battle with this video as evidence. Louis has a very strong case. I rest my case, your honour. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, but his voice doesn’t even sound like a cat. It’s not like any sound known to science. 😩


  5. Oh Catorze my furiend, I don’t know what’s better, the look on your face in the photo (kinda’ says, “Human, I have no idea why you’ve got your whiskers in such a twist!”) or the lovely melody of your dramatic (and quite effective) meow.
    Your feline fans,
    Alberto, Oliver & Lily

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would’ve been the worst opera ever. Whoever wrote it would’ve been pelted with rotten fruit.


            1. I’m sorry but it doesn’t work. I can’t find this account when I search. The link just takes me to my normal Instagram feed.


            2. Somehow it just want coming up in the searches, but then I saw that you’d Liked some Catorze photos so I went from there. Poor outraged KitKat!

              Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, multiple someones do far better than I can. Willow Croft stepped in (in response to a cat-related moan I left on someone else’s blog) and did an impressive job of interpreting our cats’ behavior, and left links to some experts’ online guidance. It’s been both helpful and reassuring. No, the older cat isn’t trying to kill the younger one. He’s just being a cat.

        Still, they do leave me feeling that they’re mysterious creatures who brush up against our lives but don’t open themselves to us.

        Liked by 1 person

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