La place d’un chat est au sommet (Partie 2)

Louis Catorze is positively ebullient with springtime joy.

Usually, when I have my morning tea and he lies on my lap, he sleeps. But, on the morning of the equinox, it was as if a switch had flipped and he knew something was in the air; he was upright and alert as he lay, ears twitching, eyes darting back and forth and tail swishing. And he’s been like that ever since.

Catorze’s favourite outdoor place to be is next door’s shed roof. He likes it much better than our shed roof because theirs is just plain wood, whereas ours has plants on it that must be less comfortable for the derrière royale. They have a second mini-shed next to their main one, which he has also claimed as his.

When Disco the dog’s folks still lived there, and they came over one December for our annual “Mince Pies and Apology for Catorze’s Behaviour” evening, we learned that they often observed Catorze up on his viewing platform. However, they pointed out that Catorze wasn’t going there just to relax. Mais non. He was going there to catch birds.

Dog Mamma and Dog Sister recounted how they had seen Catorze swiping at birds. On one occasion it seems he actually managed to catch one, although we never found a body (so we imagine Blue the Smoke Bengal took the rap for that one).

We didn’t give it too much thought back then, since it was the middle of winter. But, now that we are into CST and almost starting BST, and therefore Catorze is likely to spend more time on the shed roof, we are hoping that, in his advancing years, he will tend more towards watching the world go by, like an old man sitting on his veranda. However, the fact that the little sod brought Cat Daddy a headless rat the other day, doesn’t bode well.

Here he is, photographed by Cat Daddy earlier this week … and, worryingly, the body language suggests that he’d spotted something of interest:

Don’t even THINK about it. Whatever “it” might be.

Et l’Oscar va à …

What movies or TV series have you watched more than 5 times?

I can think of one show in particular that I have seen countless times, although I still haven’t figured out whether it’s a film on repeat, a horror-themed Groundhog Day-style soap opera, or something Trumanesque whose participants don’t know that they’re part of a reality show and you’re torn between laughing at them and feeling really sorry for them.

I think its name is “Qu’est-ce qui se passe?” and it stars Louis Catorze, playing the part of a cat who is outraged or alarmed about something. His skills at portraying this, when in actual fact there is nothing whatsoever the matter, are quite extraordinary.

The pilot series aired in 2014 and, nine years on, it is still running. The content is very much the same as it was at the beginning, but it is clear to see that the leading actor has evolved; whereas, originally, there was just screaming – well, I say “just” screaming as if that were unworthy of note, but we all know that his voice is enough to make us tear at our own ears with our fingernails – but further dramatic techniques that he has developed over the years include, although are not limited to, creepy staring, whining and 3am parkour.

“Qu’est-ce qui se passe?” is aired multiple times each day and night, whether or not we want to see/hear it. And Catorze gives us the full Day-Lewis every time, repeatedly convincing us pathetic humans that something really is amiss, irrespective of how many times we have been duped in the past. Sometimes this has led to vet visits, only to find out that there’s absolutely jacques merde wrong with him.

This show is worthy of many Academy Awards, aside from Best Actor in a Leading Role: it deserves Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film (subtitles not available) and Best Sound Mixing, to name but a few. If you haven’t seen it, hopefully Catorze’s misadventures in Le Blog will bring the experience alive and help you to feel as if you have. You’re welcome.

Method acting.

Malades comme des chiens

The spring equinox is here, and this year I am especially happy to see this day because the winter has been utter merde. The sore throat which plagued me throughout February and much of March, is now back. Even Cat Daddy, who is never sick, is suffering, and he can’t seem to shake it.

Usually, whilst we peasants languish, the French monarchy would be flourishing. However, on this occasion, Louis Catorze is below par. He’s still eating, drinking and bothering the local wildlife, and he even put his internal clock forward to CST* a little early. But, one morning last week, Cat Daddy remarked that the little sod had lost his voice, with just a breathy rasp remaining where an almighty siren used to be.

*Catorzian Summer Time is exactly as it sounds: sleeping late, breakfast at 4pm and nocturnal gaddings-about at The Front.

On Wednesday Cat Daddy took Catorze to the vet for his steroid shot, with the intention of also mentioning the croaky voice. Naturellement, on the day of the appointment, the croak disappeared and his normal paint-stripping scream resumed. Luckily I had taken the precaution of videoing him earlier in the week and sending the video to the vet, because I knew full well that he would pull a stunt like this. Here is the piece of evidence which proved that Cat Daddy wasn’t a liar, a fantasist, a drama queen or a factitious disorder imposer:

The chain-smoking drag queen voice.

The good news is that there’s nothing to worry about; apparently croaky voices sometimes just appear and disappear of their own accord. The slightly more disquieting news is that Catorze is now at his lowest weight since this time last year (3.06kg) although hopefully the Steroid Hungries will chub him up.

The day after the vet appointment, the croak came back. It would be implausible, if it weren’t so utterly Catorzian.

Joyeux Printemps. Wishing you and your furry overlords the best springtime.

In his happy place.

Faire flotter le drapeau bleu

Where would you go on a shopping spree?

Does it count if the spree wasn’t supposed to be a spree? If so, Louis Catorze would – and did – go to, erm, Kitbag, the sports equipment supplier.

We had a Code Bleu situation recently, when Boots – usurper stepbrother of Louis Catorze’s frère-from-another-mère, Antoine – lost his collar again. Catorze visited the Kitbag site and bought three new collars which bore the name of Boots’ favourite football team. However, the delivery didn’t arrive.

Catorze is usually very firmly Team Antoine, since Antoine is a fellow Chat Noir. However, Boots has a shady past and his collar performs the function of an electronic tag, with the bell informing his household of his whereabouts. So, whilst Catorze might appear to be betraying the cause, in actual fact he is doing his frérot a service. And the fact that Boots supports Chelsea gives a clear indication of the kind of cat he is and why he needs a tag.

Très chic.

Because Boots has previous when it comes to losing collars, his mamma has a stash of them in various snazzy styles. However, when she picked one from her supply and tried to put it on Boots, it wouldn’t fully open. Now, ALL collars open … don’t they? Anyone designing a cat collar that requires pulling down over the head, surely can’t ever have seen a cat before?

Poor Cat Mamma tried it anyway, but the spanner in the works was Boots’ fat head (see below). And, since Catorze’s gift had gone missing, this meant that miscreant Boots was collarless and on the rampage. This simply would not do.

Nope – not gonna happen.

I contacted Kitbag to explain the situation and received a lovely reply from Bailey, who said, “I can certainly understand.”

Excusez-moi? So … Kitbag are FAMILIAR with queries regarding fat-headed, Chelsea-supporting cats and their missing collars?

Further investigation revealed that the failed delivery was due to, erm, user error. The collars had been sent to entirely the wrong post code, and I don’t just mean a couple of letters/numbers off; I mean that, of the six characters required, four were wrong. I shamefacedly confessed this to Bailey, who informed me that it would not be possible to redirect or cancel the order.

Catorze then placed a second order and, happily, Boots now has his Chelsea collars, so all is well in his world. The original order, I imagine, will keep going to the made-up post code (which is actually a real post code, just not the one where Boots lives) until someone accepts it.

If you live in the CR0 area, look out for random cats wearing Chelsea collars. None of them will be Boots, since he doesn’t live there, but tant pis.

EDIT: By some miracle, the lost delivery somehow made it to Boots despite the wrong post code, so he now has SIX Chelsea collars. Photographing him in one is something of a challenge as his fluff splays out and covers it, so his mamma needs two hands to separate the fluff, and a third to take the picture:

There really is a collar under there somewhere.
Snoozing happily whilst his mamma manhandles him.
Smart boy.

La Géorgie dans mon esprit

I recently visited an old school friend for lunch, and he and his wife have a cat. I love meeting fellow cat freaks, not only because we always have plenty to talk about but because there is a chance that their freakishness is greater than mine, making me feel a bit better about how much we indulge Louis Catorze.

It’s better still when said cat freaks weren’t cat freaks when we first met, but have become so over time. I love seeing Cat Daddy’s look of horror when I tell him that someone used to be very cool but now follows a cat around and obeys its instructions. I also love reminding him that he was the one who asked our builders to create a pillar in our kitchen, so that Catorze would have a designated feeding station.

Georgia is one of the few cats that I know who, at fourteen, is older than Catorze, although she looks a hell of a lot better (but then most cats do). She is one of the prettiest cats I have ever seen, with coppery fur that appears to glow from within, like the embers of a dying fire. The household very much revolves around her, and she strides purposefully about the place as if she knows this.

She is the princess.

Georgia has a cat flap in the patio door, but I noticed – and commented on – the fact that her Cat Daddy opened the door for her.

“Oh, she won’t use the cat flap.”

If you are not a cat person, and you are rolling your eyes at the princessiness of this, trust me, this is nothing. Opening doors for cats, when they have a perfectly adequate cat flap that they choose not to use because we humans open the door for them, is but a MINIMUM REQUIREMENT in most cat households.

When Georgia is ready for her nap in her favourite spot in the upstairs study, she insists that her Cat Daddy accompany her there. And, when her nap is over, he must accompany her back down. This is a new one, even for me. At first, I heard this, I thought it meant he had to carry her. But, frankly, having to escort her each way isn’t much less princessy than that. And it’s only a matter of time before Georgia WILL expect to be carried. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if Catorze were to teleport his way to her and say, “Ma chérie, you’re missing a très bonne opportunité ici!”

Waiting for her Cat Daddy to hurry up.
A perfect oval.

My only regret of the day is that I didn’t follow them and video the pre-nap procession up the stairs, because now I will be forever wondering whether my once-cool friend walked alongside or in front of his boss lady, or a few paces behind like the servile serf that he has become. Then I remembered our guest book … and our Louis XIV antique silverware … and our beeswax candles … and the jambon de Bayonne … and the organic aged Comté from the cheese deli (NOT plebby standard Comté from Marks and Spencer) …and the John Lewis cocktail coupes that I bought for Catorze’s birthday celebrations … and everything else that we lay on for our ungrateful cat who treats us like dirt.

Oh dear. People who live in glass Châteaux, and all that.

Here are some more Georgia photos, to take my mind off how pathetic and self-abasing I have become:

Cooling off on a hot day.
The grass really makes her fiery colours pop.
Looking beautiful in her garden.
Guarding her domain like a proud lioness.

Dis mon nom

What is your middle name? Does it carry any special meaning/significance?

Louis Catorze doesn’t have a middle name. To be honest, his full title – Sa Majesté Louis Catorze, Le Roi Soleil – is already long enough. If we were to do as our parents did and call our kid by his full name to tell him off, by the time we got to the end, we would have forgotten why he was in trouble (and given him enough time to make a swift getaway).

Outwardly, Catorze is more Prince of Darkness than Sun King. However, the human Sun King’s middle name was Dieudonné, meaning “gift of God”, which is very appropriate as that’s exactly what Catorze thinks he is. If he were to choose his own middle name, I’m pretty sure he would choose that.

Most people assume that we named him Louis, but he was already called that when he came to us. The lady who found him had thought he was a girl and named him Louise (her own middle name), and the rescue subsequently changed it to Louis. We added the “Catorze” just to be funny, and this has since led to a number of derivatives such as Le Roi, Seigneur (technically a demotion from a royal title but he doesn’t appear to have noticed) and Sa Maj. For a while I even referred to him as LXIV when writing about him online, just because it was short. However, I am not good with numbers, and discovering that LXIV was Roman for sixty-four just made things confusing.

Cat Daddy also has multiple different names for Catorze. None of them are repeatable here (nor anywhere, come to think of it), but here is a hint of the very worst one (yes, THAT one).

He hears us. He’ll come when he’s good and ready.

Les chatteries en pensent quoi?

A few nights ago, I was listening to Sky Sports news. (Well, I say “listening” but I was zoning in and out whilst sending cat photos to my friend on WhatsApp.) One thing, however, did make me sit up and take notice, and that was when the reporter said, whilst discussing French football, “And what do the catteries think of this?”

Excusez-moi? What do catteries have to do with football … unless we’re back to the topic of Kurt Zouma again? And I imagine the catteries would be as disgusted as the cat households, non?

The British public haven’t seen a great deal of Kurt Zouma lately because he’s been out of action with an injury, but I am delighted to report that, one year on from That Incident, his team, West Ham, are on a disastrous downwards slide. At the time of writing this, they are only a couple of points away from the dreaded bottom three of the table:

Oh dear.

Obviously I can’t prove that West Ham’s misfortunes are because one of their number was mean to a cat. But I can’t prove that they’re not, either. And, had Kurt Zouma’s cat been a Chat Noir, there would have been no doubt in my mind whatsoever.

Here is Louis Catorze, so unimpressed with the West Ham performance against Brighton that he can’t even bear to look:

“C’est scandaleux.”

He feels sorry for them. But in an “I pity you” kind of way, not in an empathetic way.

EDIT: after replaying Sky Sports news, it turned out that they were saying “Qataris” but, unusually, they had rhymed it with “batteries” and not with “safaris”. I think I like this pronunciation better.

La fatigue des moustaches

Remember when Louis Catorze was a messy eater? Yeah, well, he still is, only in a different way. He no longer makes a mess with crunched-up pieces of dry food, indicating that his teeth are doing ok, but, when he eats his wet food, he spreads it all over his bowl. And, once he’s done that, he won’t eat those bits unless they’re all pushed back to the centre of his bowl.

This never used to be a thing for Catorze. However, when one of my friends* visited and insisted on pushing all the spread-out bits of food together several times a day, she condemned us to an eternity of it. Thanks to her, Catorze now demands this all the time, and nothing triggers Cat Daddy’s Unrepeatable Expletives faster than me saying, “Could you push his food together for him?”

*Yes, she was well aware of what she was starting. No, she didn’t – and still doesn’t – care. Are you happy now, Lizzi?

Now, before you start yelling “Whisker stress” at me, hang on a second. Whisker stress is, apparently, a genuine thing; cats feel uncomfortable when pressing their heads into small places such as narrow cat flaps or high-sided bowls, because their whiskers get squished. (And, hilariously, it’s called “la fatigue des moustaches” in French.)

All right, no need to stress yer whiskers.

However, Catorze has a special Necoichi tilted stress-free cat bowl which was designed to avoid the need for this. It has no high sides and no hard edges. Yet, even when he uses this, Catorze spreads food all over it and then creepy-stares at us until we push it back to the middle.

As a result we are now putting more effort into the presentation of Sa Maj’s food than we ever have into our own. Either the world has gone mad, or we have.

An actual photo of me serving up Catorze’s food. (Picture from

Croyez-vous au destin?

The new WordPress Jetpack app gives a new prompt every day, to inspire anyone who might be in the midst of a creative dearth. Obviously I don’t need it because Louis Catorze’s misadventures always give me plenty of content, but the prompts are, nevertheless, food for thought; not only do I think about how I would respond, but I also consider how I might give each one a Catorzian feel.

Occasionally I even wonder how the little sod would answer them, although they would largely involve merde and the non-giving of it.

Last week, one of the prompts was as follows:

Do you believe in fate/destiny?

In general, maybe. But, when it comes to cats and how they come to be in our lives, most likely.

Obviously timing plays its part regarding which ones come our way, because much depends upon when the last cat leaves us, when we feel ready to start looking for the next, and which ones happen to be available when we do look. But, when the new one starts doing things that the previous one did, you start to wonder whether each might somehow be responsible for sending us the next.

I like to think that Luther enjoyed his time with us so much that he saw this sickly fellow Chat Noir and decided, “This cat deserves some good people”. However, it’s far more likely that he knew what a shite Catorze was, and thought, “Right … this will be funny!”

Here they are, pictured several months apart, sitting in our old house on the same step, in the same pose:

Luther: “Just hold still and let them take a photo. That’s it. Now watch their faces!”

La crise d’argenterie

Oh. Mon. Dieu. We have a Code Argent situation here at Le Château: Cat Daddy got drunk the other night and put Louis Catorze’s Louis XIV antique silverware in the dishwasher, and now there is a mark on the fork. I had a feeling that one of us would do this sooner or later. And I had a feeling it would be him and not me.


Cat Daddy: “Well, how was I supposed to know? It looks just the same as any other cutlery.” (It really doesn’t. We have a grand total of zero pieces of cutlery that look like this one.)

Now, should I continue to use the fork and hope that Catorze’s creepy kitty sixth sense doesn’t detect the imperfect silverware and cause him to reject any food tainted by it? Or should I … fix it? Is this a thing? How does one fix these things without use of a toxic liquid metal that would poison la personne royale?

Whilst we figure out what to do, Catorze is weighing up alternative food options:

A nice bit of écureil cru for dinner, maybe?

Vivre la vie sans excuses, voyager sans regret

Some people believe that the vernal equinox denotes the true start of spring. Others think spring starts on 1st March, the first day of meteorological spring. We at Le Château, however, know that it’s when Louis Catorze starts requesting to go out at The Front, and he does this by creepy-staring, pawing at the shutters and generally being a nuisance.

He isn’t allowed out at The Front, unless we are sitting in the living room and can easily intervene if he ends up accosting some poor passer-by. However, this doesn’t stop him from going out there, and we have no idea how he does it.

In the past, some of Catorze’s followers have suggested that we buy a tracker for him. For those who aren’t familiar with this item, it’s essentially an electronic tag for valuable and/or attractive cats who are likely to be stolen, or for miscreants who can’t be trusted. I imagine you can guess to which group Sa Maj belongs.

Regretfully, I think a tracker will make our life harder, not easier, as I shall endeavour to explain.

Although trackers can tell you if your cat is in an undesirable location, once they’re on their way you can’t stop them from going, unless you follow them and haul their sorry arse back. Do we really want to be trawling through gutters, park bins and neighbours’ gardens trying to recapture an errant Catorze? Plus we know from bitter experience that trying to retrieve him when he doesn’t want to be retrieved is a pointless exercise, and that we’re far better off just waiting for him to return of his own accord.

As well as telling you where your cat is, another function of the tracker is to be able to “share your cat’s location with your family and friends”. Now, I am the sort of weirdo who is interested in the whereabouts of other people’s cats, but most normal people only really care about their own. So I can’t imagine that any of our friends or family would be particularly bothered. And what gets the little sod off the hook every time he causes trouble in our local area is the lack of solid evidence; the last thing we want is neighbours being able to pinpoint his exact location, invalidating our “It must have been some other black cat” defence.

In short, it doesn’t look as if a tracker would work for us. Furthermore, Catorze doesn’t, erm, meet the minimum weight requirement (3.5kg) to qualify for the models I’ve looked at.

Do you know what your furry overlords get up to when you let them out? And would you WANT to know?

If the tracker looked like this, I bet he’d wear it. (Photo from