De bon vouloir servir Le Roi

Cat Daddy and I have just been for a pared-down weekend away. I say “pared-down” because it was supposed to be in a fancy hotel in Manchester, but I’m too ill to fully appreciate fancy and, worse still, Cat Daddy is now starting to cough, so we went for a shorter stay in a Premier Inn instead. We could probably have done with staying at home and resting, but a family member had bought us tickets for a Wrexham AFC* football match, and we didn’t think we’d have another opportunity to go.

*Because of the stardust of Ryan Reynolds and that other guy (watch “Welcome to Wrexham” if you have Disney Plus), the world and his cat wants Wrexham tickets. Even people who aren’t Wrexham fans want tickets. In fact, even people who aren’t FOOTBALL fans want tickets.

As luck would have it, one of Louis Catorze’s favourite people was planning to be in London for the weekend, so she was happy to come and look after the little sod. (He always behaves impeccably for her, which is both a relief and really annoying.)

During our chat-sitteur’s previous stay, Catorze was on dry food only. So we had to advise her of the change.

Us: “By the way, he now has wet food mixed with the dry food.”

Her: “Ok.”

Us: “And you have to cut it up into really small pieces …”

Her: “Ok.”

Us: “… Using his antique Louis XIV silverware.”

Her: “…”

Catorze had an absolute ball, following his chat-sitteur around, cuddling up to her in bed and pretending to be an adorable little kitten. Apart from a few bursts of parkour at reasonable hours (“You weren’t exaggerating about his thundering around the house!”) he was utterly saintly. As soon as we returned he morphed back into his usual self, giving us the full Day-Lewis playing the part of a cat who hadn’t been fed for the entire weekend, creepy-staring, screaming and generally being a shite. The adorable little kittenness was gone in a flash.

Here are some pictures of the fun he had without us. I know that we all want our cats to feel comfortable with their chat-sitteurs, but come on.

Curled up on the chat-sitteur’s lap, about 0.6 seconds after we drove off.
Cavorting around on the chat-sitteur’s bed.
This is what I had to deal with when we returned.
Normal service has now resumed.

Partager les tâches ménagères

We all know how much Louis Catorze enjoys Rodent Duty, but it seems that he has bountifully decided to share the joy with his comrades. Blue the Smoke Bengal – who hasn’t really visited us much since that time Catorze hissed at him in front of the whole street – has decided to join the party.

Catorze was enjoying Boys’ Club one night when he suddenly jumped off his papa’s lap and shot through the Sureflap. However, he didn’t rush fully out and, instead, remained in the wall tunnel in the wall for a few seconds, with his silly tail sticking out from under the Sureflap door, surveying the situation before deciding what to do. We then realised that Blue was in the garden, hovering curiously around the Rodent Duty site.

Catorze flew out of the Sureflap and, for an awful moment, we thought we would have to peel him off poor Blue and shamefacedly confess to his mamma that our little sod had attacked him. But, instead of launching himself upon Blue, he stopped just short of him and the pair of them stared at each other. They remained staring for a minute or two before Catorze obviously said something unpleasant, and poor Blue took off through the gap in the fence to the Zone Libre. (Yes, despite his, erm, superior poundage, Blue still fits through the gap.)

Could the Sun King’s icy heart be thawing in his old age? Or is he just seizing the opportunity to delegate one of his jobs to someone else and pass off their handiwork as his own?

“And, when you find it, bring it to moi so that I can claim la gloire.”

L’apothéose de Louis Catorze

Louis Catorze is pitter-pattering around Le Château looking unspeakably ridiculous, with two baldish arms and a bald spot on his body.

His tattoo sleeves still look like this:

I took this from above whilst TUC, and he looked up to see what the heck I was up to.

And, Mesdames et Messieurs, the solar eclipse has evolved into this:

Not great.

We have utterly exhausted every option in terms of figuring out a cause; he’s not been bitten, he’s not catching himself on something as he crawls through the hole in the fence leading to the Zone Libre, and it’s not an area where stray Broadline has eroded away the fur (I am a poor shot when it comes to applying spot-on treatment, but I’m not THAT bad). And nobody knows what to do about it. Not even the vet knows what to do.

The little sod’s birthday is in a couple of months. Let’s hope he is looking a bit more normal by then, otherwise I will be relying very heavily on the black pen of the iPhone’s Markup tool to make him look presentable. It simply won’t do to have holey fur in one’s Official Birthday Portrait.

Je crache sur ta tombe

I am back at school this week, having spent the whole of half term being ill. And when I say “the whole of half term” I really do mean every bit of it; I started feeling off colour on the evening I came home from school, and I’m still trying to shake the dregs of it right now. Sadly it didn’t tail off after I blogged about it; in fact, it got a whole lot worse first, and I had to cancel most of my half term plans.

During this time Louis Catorze was about as much use as a punch in the eye, and twice as painful. One night he ramped up his parkour by several notches, bouncing all over me and knocking things off my bedside table. Every time I coughed, it was like a dose of amphetamines to him and seemed to buoy him for the next round of madness.

The next night he left me alone until 4:45am, when I decided to go and sleep downstairs because I was worried about my coughing keeping Cat Daddy and our overnight guest awake. That was when Catorze started creepy-staring for food. FOR FOOD. AT 4:45AM.

When I give into the creepy staring, Cat Daddy often makes sarcastic and Unrepeatable Expletive-ridden remarks about me “pandering to him”. But, contrary to what he believes, that’s not what it’s about. I give in because the bone-chilling staring makes me so uncomfortable that I can’t bear it. I think I could have been forgiven for surrendering on this occasion but, luckily, despite being ill, I remained switched-on enough to know that, if I complied this one time, I would be condemning myself to a 4:45am wake-up call for the rest of my life. So I ignored him, lay on the sofa and closed my eyes, at which point the little sod jumped onto my chest and had a good old shake.

Now, when most cats shake, it’s not unheard of for a few stray drops of spit to fly out of their mouths. However, because Catorze can’t fully close his mouth on account of his fangs, his shakes let loose a lot more than a few drops. So, as well as my own copious snot from being ill, my face was then showered with cat spit. Some went into my eye, and I’m pretty sure I ate some, too.

I know that some people out there willingly ingest cat spit, by allowing their cat to lick their faces and their mouths. I am not one of those people. And, if you were to ask anyone whether they would rather swallow cat spit or not swallow cat spit, I know what most of them would say.

At various random intervals throughout that day, Catorze came back to creepy-stare at me some more. Look at his evil face. I’m almost starting to wonder if eating more cat spit would be preferable to this:


L’argenterie royale

Louis Catorze is continuing to enjoy his mix of wet and dry food. However, he still expects the wet food, which is already in small pieces, to be cut up into EVEN SMALLER pieces for him. If we don’t do it he just leaves the food to go dry and gross, and this makes it much harder to clean the bowl.

(And, no, I have no idea how it is that he manages to rip the heads off rodents, yet he can’t bite into a small, soft piece of cooked fish unless humans cut it up for him.)

With this in mind, one of my friends sent Catorze some antique Louis XIV silverware (yes, SILVERWARE, not “cutlery” – merci, Google, for correcting me). What an unbelievably lucky Roi he is.

Oh. Mon. Dieu. Merci, Cathie!

Cat Daddy’s initial reaction: “What the f***? What is wrong with your friends?”

Cat Daddy’s follow-up reaction, upon discovering that Louis XIV silverware is a real thing and not something that I made up: “Ooh. That must be worth a bit!”

Naturellement, being special silverware, we can’t just sling it into the dishwasher alongside our own plebby stainless steel. Care instructions are as follows:

Separate the Metals

Never wash silver-plated flatware with stainless-steel flatware in the same dishwasher load. The silver and stainless steel chemically react in the presence of automatic dish-washing detergent, causing silver ions to disassociate from the silver plate and transfer to the stainless steel. This leaves pits on the silver plate and may cause spotting of the stainless steel, especially if the metals are touching each other.

Safe Way To Clean

Hand washing with a mild dish-washing liquid is the safest way to clean silver-plated flatware. Wash the flatware in hot sudsy water right after the meal is done. Rinse them with cool tap water and immediately dry with a clean, soft cloth.

Oh dear. Cat Daddy was already unhappy about how much hard work it is to wet-feed the little sod, with the cutting of the food and the frequent bowl changes, so he was not pleased at all to learn that we now need to hand-wash Catorze’s antique silverware. The Unrepeatable Expletives rang out through the air on that fine morn like the chimes of Big Ben on New Year’s Eve (except going on for considerably longer).

Sitting in proud admiration of himself, knowing that he deserves decent serving implements.

Here I am (below), having just used antique Louis XIV silverware to mash up already-soft Cool Cat Club cod and salmon pâté on Catorze’s Necoichi tilted stress-free (I’m not joking; it really is called that) cat bowl, adding a garnish of Orijen. Meanwhile, I am eating cheese on toast from a chipped Wilko* plate.

How did it come to this?

*Fancy followers: ask your more downmarket friends.

Marcus Wareing would be so impressed with this presentation.

Des reflets d’égoïsme

There aren’t many things that can drag Louis Catorze’s lazy arse from his igloo, once he’s decided to stay put. However, Reflets de France tuna rillettes is/are (I’m still not sure which is correct; native Frenchies, is it a singular or a plural noun?) one of those precious few things.

After ignoring me for much of Monday, as if by magic he decided to be my friend when I sat down to eat some tuna rillettes on oatcakes. After much creepy staring, aggressive headbutting and general bullying and intimidation, I acquiesced and offered him a few morsels. He gleefully hoovered them down, unable to believe his luck, then settled on my lap, purring so hard that his ears shuddered.

Maybe ear-shuddering during hard purring is a known thing, but it’s not something I have observed before. It’s subtle but nonetheless present, and you can see it in the right ear:

Check out the shudder on those bald, piggy ears.

Sadly an unwanted side effect of this whole escapade is that, in his haste to eat his precious tuna rillettes, Catorze inadvertently shoved one piece with his snout through the gap between the floorboards. Even freshly-opened tuna rillettes smell(s?) like rotting corpses from hell, so I daren’t even think about what it/they might smell like in a week, a year or even longer.

I now have visions of the next occupant of this house, whoever they may be, taking up the floorboards expecting to find evidence of a gruesome murder. If only they knew that it is, in fact, evidence of the life of a greedy, selfish cat and a pathetic human who gave in.

He has the audacity to look at me as if I caused the smell under the floorboards.

Les étranges compagnons de lit

I always go to bed much earlier than Cat Daddy, even during the school holidays. After I have settled down and closed my eyes, we go through this same ritual repeatedly:

1. Louis Catorze lies with/on me for a little while, then leaves.

An actual photo of bedtime with Catorze.

2. When he arrives back downstairs, he discovers that Cat Daddy has shut him out of the living room so he whines to be let in.

3. Cat Daddy either doesn’t hear him or chooses to ignore him.

4. Catorze whines again. And again. AND AGAIN. [At this point may I mention that, however bad Catorzian screaming may be, it doesn’t have the gut-wrenching, fingernails-down-the-blackboard pathos of Catorzian whining. And, no, I have no idea why Cat Daddy cannot hear it from the other side of the door, yet I can hear it all the way upstairs.]

5. I shout, “Please would you let him in?”

6. No response. Whining continues.

7. I repeat my message to Cat Daddy via WhatsApp.

8. No response. Whining continues.

9. I finally phone Cat Daddy and beg him to let the little sod in.

10. I hear living room door open, then, “Well, are you coming in or not, you little f***er?”

11. Door closes again.

12. Pitter-pattering up the stairs, then Catorze, having decided that he no longer wishes to go into the living room, appears back in the bedroom.

13. Cycle restarts from Point 1.

Good grief.

Am I going to have to start sneaking stealthily off to bed, in the same way that people with normal cats have to slide the tin opener silently from the drawer?

Cats are weird. And ours is the weirdest of the lot, most likely because he isn’t even a cat.

Boys’ Club in bed is rather more fun.

Un salon chaud et confortable

It’s half term … and, in typical teacher fashion, I am sick. I’ve been all night with throat pain and, as his new favourite thing appears to be to sleep on top of me, either on my chest or across my stomach like a living belt, Louis Catorze isn’t helping.

Yesterday, after clearing his bowl, Catorze approached me and sat at my feet, creepy-staring at me. I thought he wanted more food. But, instead of assuming his usual position under the breakfast bar when I headed for his food cupboard, he pitter-pattered towards the front room.

He wasn’t hungry. He wanted us to change rooms. And we know this because he’s done it before.

I dutifully followed Catorze to the front room, ignoring the string of Unrepeatable Expletives muttered by Cat Daddy under his breath. When I reached the front room, Saint Jésus: IT WAS WARM! Gloriously so, in fact. The little sod wasn’t just being weird; he’d had enough of being cold and wanted us to join him in the warm room.

Obviously he has done this multiple times when temperature hasn’t been an issue. But I shall just pretend that he was being clever on this occasion, and that he loves me so much that he wanted me to be warm with him.

Here he is, rescuing me from the demon cold. The fact that he then benefits from a warm lap in his favourite room is purely coincidental.

“Follow moi to the warmth, Maman!”

Le Roi poilu

Louis Catorze is now on a combination of Cool Cat Club wet food and dry Orijen. I wasn’t sure when he would be ready for dry food again after his surgery but, since he is well enough to hunt rodents and rip their heads off, he ought to be well enough to crunch a few biscuits.

The little sod is happy. But this is certainly more work as we now have to change his bowl every meal, as opposed to a few times a week (as was possible with dry food). It’s a good thing we have a never-ending supply of bowls, and we have managed to make some of his old ones more user-friendly by kind of piling them in a stack, then putting food in the uppermost one.

Despite eating well, Catorze doesn’t seem to be regaining the weight that he lost when his teeth were giving him trouble. So, earlier this week, Cat Daddy carted him off to his least favourite place in the world. He is back to his December weight of 3.17kg, so he’s gained a tiny amount (40g) since his dental surgery. However, I gave him a mammoth brushing when he returned home, and the extraneous fur (pictured below, with a 50p coin for scale) will amount to at least 40g, so he is probably back down to 3.13kg again.

My first attempt was sabotaged.
Second attempt after hasty rearrangement: success! And this was just Round 1. More fur came off after this.
I discovered by accident that the wonders of technology allow me to copy and share the fur alone, if I want to. Luckily I don’t want to.

The vet told us that, if he didn’t continue to gain weight, a blood test could be conducted, but I would really rather not go down that route because Catorze doesn’t behave for blood tests and would have to be sedated. Cat Daddy also asked about the bald patch, which is continuing to mutate and evolve and will probably be a fully-functioning ecosystem soon. Once again, the vet had no idea what it was and seemed unconcerned since it’s not bothering Catorze. So we will continue to monitor it although, at this rate, it will need its own Twitter account by the end of the week.

Catorze was back outside on Rodent Duty as soon as he returned, showing no indication of stress or trauma. It seems that Cat Daddy and I bear the brunt of all the worry so that Sa Maj won’t have to, although isn’t that what we all do? The little sods have brainwashed us well.

Obsession pour homme

When I am at work, Louis Catorze puts all his efforts into annoying his papa as much as possible. My working day is typically peppered with expletive-ridden complaints from Cat Daddy via WhatsApp, occasionally accompanied by photographic and video evidence. I don’t know what I am expected to do about it, so I usually just reply “Oh dear” or “Aww!” and giggle to myself.

Cat Daddy is retired, but he still has online meetings and work to do for the food bank and for a local charity of which he is a trustee. Catorze does not approve of this work because it takes attention away from the most important thing of all: him. And he does everything within his power to sabotage, from creepy staring to screaming and everything in between.

On one occasion, Cat Daddy was forced to leave the sofa and move to the kitchen worktop because the bullying was so bad. However, Catorze was not prepared to accept defeat and followed him, jumping onto the stool (and, later, onto the worktop itself) for maximum impact:

It’s not all about you. Oh, wait … YES, IT IS.

And, when the creepy staring and headbutting didn’t work, he resorted to this. Turn the volume right up to hear the pathetic sound:

Good grief.

These were taken more recently, after Catorze’s dental, and they show that the trauma suffered chez le vétérinaire haven’t impacted his annoyingness in the slightest:

The preparation.
The mobilisation.
The land grab.
The surprise ambush.
The assertion of power.

I can’t say I have a great deal of sympathy for Cat Daddy; if you’re going to be the favourite human in the household and also be so smug about it, it’s only fair that you should have to take the rough with the smooth. That said, being stalked and tormented in your own house is about as rough as it gets. Bad Roi.

On vit en secret, on existe dans l’ombre


Louis Catorze’s mysterious bald spot has started to reappear. It no longer looks like an eye, which is good news. However, it now looks like a solar eclipse, which isn’t creepy but it’s still weird.

Or … is it?

If you have ever watched the film Men in Black, you will know that the cat, Orion, carries the universe as an adornment on his collar:

Picture from

Now, obviously it would be foolish to trust Catorze with the entire universe; we give him free rein of just one small Château in TW8, and look what’s happened there. But perhaps, since he is the Sun King, he should be given responsibility for the sun? Even if he would just eclipse the hell out of it?

Looking pretty shady for a Sun King.

Le super bol

Remember the headless mouse that Louis Catorze left for his papa during their lads’ weekend? I have since discovered that Cat Daddy didn’t realise it was headless, despite being the one who disposed of it (?). It was only when I told him to zoom in on the photo he’d sent me at the time, that he realised.

Him: “So where’s the head?”

Where, indeed? The popular opinion is that Catorze ate it, but this would be the first time in his life that he’s ever done such a thing. He’s a mutilator, not an eater; think Buffalo Bill rather than Hannibal Lecter.

The other incongruous part of the story is that the mouse had a clump of Catorzian fur attached to one of its front paws (which Cat Daddy also didn’t notice until reviewing the photo). Is this the rodent equivalent of skin scrapings under the victim’s fingernails … or a creepy serial killer calling card, the way that The Night Stalker drew pentagrams or BTK wrote those weird poems?

In what we desperately hope is unrelated news, since Catorze decided that he does, after all, like wet food (is prey “wet food”?) after a lifetime of telling everyone that he didn’t, it seems that his 9,073 existing bowls will no longer do. He seems to have problems eating pieces of wet food from the edges, either because his snout is too fat get to them or because he is too thick to see that they’re there. Even the tilted bowl that I bought for him a couple of years ago seems problematic.

I have no idea what on earth prevents him from eating wet food from his bowls when he was perfectly able to eat dry food from the same bowls, but then nothing about him has ever made sense. Therefore, in many ways, this is no surprise.

So I bought another bowl. Yes, ANOTHER one. I had hoped to sneak it past Cat Daddy without him noticing but, as bad luck would have it, he was here when it arrived.

Him: “What’s in that parcel?”

Me: “Erm … promise you won’t be angry?”

Him: “It had better not be anything to do with cats.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.]

“Open mon cadeau, salope!”

Him: “So what is it, then?”

Me: “It’s a bowl for Louis.”

Him: “[Unrepeatable Expletives.]”

Me: “But he’s struggling to eat out of his existing bowls.”

Him: “HE HAS SO MANY BOWLS. What are we going to do with the others?”

Me: “Erm … ahem … we could use them for ourselves?”

Him: “[Unrepeatable Expletives of the Worst Kind.]”

Luckily the little sod loves this bowl. Because it’s raised, tilted and curved, it places less stress on his creaky old bones and no bits can get stuck anywhere. However, after one feed, he still likes all the bits scooped back together into a pile in the middle. (Lizzi, if you are reading this, this is your fault.) And he also likes the pieces of fish cut up small. It seems he is not able to eat widely-strewn food pieces, nor can he chew pieces larger than 0.6cm², yet he can catch mice and rip their heads off. I know.

It even has a crown on it!

So all is now well with the world. Or, at least, it will be until I buy more bowls.

We bought this bowl from the wonderful Katzenworld. If your cat would like one, have a look here.

Étranger en terre étrange

Mon Dieu: and who might you be, meaty Chat Noir?


We recently spotted this large gentleman – easily 6kg, most likely more – making his way across our garden and that of Family Next Door, finally alighting at Blue the Smoke Bengal’s place. Cat Daddy and I have never seen him before, and neither has Blue’s mamma. We haven’t yet asked That Neighbour but we are saving this photo to show him at some future time, when there is Black Cat Trouble and we wish to shift the blame elsewhere.

Cat Daddy: “He’s huge. He would absolutely finish Louis if they ever met.”

Now, this is where we disagree. He may be half the size of the visitor, but I would bet Le Château on Louis Catorze coming out on top. We’ve had too much evidence of his absolute supremacy for this to be in any doubt; he has asserted himself over Blue, Beefy Tabby Tigger, Goliath and some other cat that we haven’t yet identified, all of whom are bigger, and various dogs, plus Cat Daddy has seen foxes run away from him. Catorze may be small, but those who annoy him (and those who mind their own business and steer clear) soon regret it.

I’m hoping that, for his own sake, the new boy won’t come by again, because I would rather not have any trouble. However, Catorze says, “Bring it on, mon gars”.

“Don’t mess with moi.”