L’alpha et l’oméga (Plan B Partie 2)

Since that time Louis Catorze came home caked in dust, his fur has been unbelievably soft and beautiful. Even Cat Daddy has noticed and commented.

In seemingly-related but, in fact, completely separate news, we decided, a few weeks ago, to ditch Catorze’s beauty oil.

The reasons for this were as follows:

1. We couldn’t cope with the smell; although the new product was moderately less pungent than the previous one, it was still pretty awful.

2. Because he was so useless at grooming it off, all manner of crud stuck to the residue, making him permanently gross to look at and to touch.

3. The stickiness meant that, when we brushed him, the excess fur wouldn’t come off.

So, all in all, not really enough net gains to make it worthwhile.

It’s a bit of a shame as we had just discovered an improved application technique: piercing the capsule with a cocktail stick, waiting with Satan’s lollipop (see below) within easy reach, then whipping out the stick and pouncing as soon as Catorze approached. The stick served the dual purpose of reminding me where the hole was and also preventing him from smelling it too quickly and then doing a runner.

Mmm … fish!

However, all this is irrelevant now, since we know that we can achieve the desired effect by letting him hang out with builders and roll around in their dust.

In fact, if they were to use him as both the dustpan and the brush at the end of their working day, it could be a win-win for all, non?

He’s a creep. He’s a weirdo.

J’adore la valériane

Louis Catorze has had his post-op follow-up and all appears to be going well, although he needed an antibiotic shot because his gum is still a little inflamed. This is most likely because he insists on leaving the softened Orijen pellets, and just eating the hard ones around the edges of his bowl which escape the water.

Since I have no idea how to make a cat who doesn’t like wet food eat wet food, I have been giving the little sod the one soft food that I know he will eat: Reflets de France tuna rillettes. I know that Cat Daddy won’t approve, but by the time he finds out I’ll already have done it, so he can’t do much about it.

We do have some good news: the little sod has started to use his new bed. However, comme d’habitude this is accompanied by bad news: it seems it’s actually a bath tub, not a bed.

Silly sod.

He has also rubbed his Gabapentin onto the bed and, of course, being cardboard, it has soaked up every drop. So now the bed has unsightly, meaty stains on it. (Yes, the Gabapentin smells of meat, for whatever reason.)

Bed is ruined. Bastard cat.

On a not-really-a-great-deal-better note: cats and valerian. Who knew? Well, ok, I knew, but I had completely forgotten until I was woken at 3am by Catorze playing with the opened blister pack on my bedside table. The little sod then flicked it under the bed and had a fine old time trying to grab it among the shoes, boxes and old gym bags, which meant no more sleep for me until one or other of us had successfully retrieved it.

Sharing a house with Catorze means that calm and sleep are distinctly lacking, hence why I use valerian. It smells pretty foul to us humans – in fact, I once put some into my shopping basket whilst in a health food shop and spent the rest of my shopping trip checking under my shoes because I thought I’d stepped in something unpleasant – but it is the crystal meth of the cat world. The little sods go nuts for it.

Obviously it would have suited me better had Catorze decided to play around with my valerian blister pack during the day instead of at 3am. But then he has never done what we want him to do, when we want him to do it, and I don’t suppose he’s about to start now.

I have now switched to a brand of sleeping aid that comes in a glass jar with an aluminium lid, so Catorze can no longer smell the herb through the packaging. Restful sleep shall be mine once more.

Well, as restful as it can be when you’re living with this horror show:

I can’t get no sleep …

Le repas à l’eau

Louis Catorze is on liquid Gabapentin for his post-op recovery. I put the first dose on his fur, expecting him to groom it off, but he didn’t; he just let it air-dry on his body, then rubbed it back onto me. The second dose was spat into my face. So … going well so far.

Despite the fact that only 0.3% of his pain relief has been ingested, he is on astonishingly good form and has the energy of a ninja on amphetamines. In fact, we can’t believe he’s just had surgery.

I managed to cut off his bandage at the weekend, after the mother of all Greco-style fights. As it loosened, he appeared to understand that I was trying to help him – it’s only taken him seven years – and he relaxed slightly. When it finally fell away, he purred, rolled and repeatedly headbutted my leg as if he were saying thank you. I know: Catorze, being GRATEFUL! Whatever next? (Armageddon, I imagine.)

Photo taken before the assault with a bladed weapon.

When the bandage came off, I saw that his paw was enormous, twice the size of the others. Luckily it was able to bear weight and, other than giving it a good wash, he wasn’t remotely concerned. And, better yet, the giant paw has now reduced in size.

Not a great photo, but look at that paw!

He is also happily guzzling the dampened-down Orijen. However – and you knew there would be a “however”, didn’t you? – the little sod has started to reject it if it’s TOO damp.

Given that he’s recovering from dental surgery, I’d have imagined too damp to be better than not damp enough. Mais non: if the food has been left to soak up water for too long – even though this is his own fault for not eating it promptly – he will sit at our feet and do the creepy staring thing, the way he does when his plate is empty. As a result I have had to throw away uneaten Orijen, and Cat Daddy is not happy about this at all.

Anyway, this means we can no longer put food into Catorze’s bowl at our convenience, and instead we have to be responsive to when HE wants feeding. As anyone with a cat will know, as ever, it’s all about them.

La chirurgie dentaire

Louis Catorze’s dental surgery went well. Because the procedure took longer than expected, he missed the Animal Bus back and so we had to collect him from TW3. Whilst there, a little boy in the waiting room pointed to me and said, “Wow! Look at that lady’s cat bag!” (great) and a manic, disobedient puppy called Duke, who dragged his poor human into the practice with unbelievable force, licked my elbow as he passed me (not so great).

During our very long wait, Cat Daddy was bored so he, erm, photographed the Animal Bus.

Le Roi had to have THREE teeth out, all from his lower jaw. There is a fourth one – also from his lower jaw – which will need to come out later but which couldn’t be removed this time, because that many deep extractions in one go would have been too much. He will have a follow-up consultation next week, and X-rays in six months or so to determine the right time to remove that pesky fourth tooth.

Luckily none of these teeth are his trademark vampire fangs. Obviously had he needed them removed we would have done it, but it would have been very upsetting indeed. A vampire cat without fangs is, erm, not really a vampire cat.

Catorze was very disorientated when he returned home, sniffing everything as if it were his first visit here, but this was nowhere near as unnerving as his silence. He didn’t make a sound from the moment we collected him and, at the time of writing this, he is still mute (with the exception of one yowl when I stabbed him in the arm with my nail scissors – see below). As you are very much aware, noise is what he does, so the lack of screaming is deeply, deeply uncomfortable.

We had been told to remove Catorze’s bandage when we arrived home, but he defiantly resisted all attempts to do this. The vet had said it would be easy. It wasn’t. It was just like trying to find the edge on a dodgy roll of cheap cling film, except that the roll of cling film fought back. So I am going to have to either take him in again on Monday to have the bandage removed, or keep trying over the weekend and risk further stabbings to le bras royal.

Catorze will, apparently, “look rather sorry and horrible for a while” (Cat Daddy: “So what’s new?”) but, in actual fact, apart from being a little drooly, and apart from sporting a new stab wound on the arm, he’s doing much better than we expected. All we need is for his voice to return, and he will be fully back to normal*.

*His normal is not like most people’s normal.

Poor spitty Roi.

Les dents du Roi

Louis Catorze is due to have his tooth extraction today.

I don’t feel great about this. I am an anxious person by nature and I am particularly anxious when it comes to his health issues, which just seem to keep coming (although, to be fair, we were warned about this). And this week is my first full week of the new school year, so the timing really couldn’t be worse.

Catorze is also ageing faster than Dorian Gray’s portrait. His white hairs are becoming more and more numerous and, when we compare him to pictures from two or three years ago, the difference is startling. The fact that he’s an old man with the constitution of a swatted gnat doesn’t make him an ideal candidate for surgery, regardless of how common the procedure.

As ever, the one positive in this situation is the fact that he doesn’t appear to know or care that he’s not well. He is still carrying on with life as he did before, and loving every bit of it. If his health were half as robust as his sass, I know that he would get through the surgery with no problem whatsoever.

Please keep your fingers crossed for the little sod. Cat Daddy and I will be awaiting his return with ample Orijen (and water to dampen it).

Old man white hairs … plus a scratched nose and a chipped ear, most likely from scrapping with Goliath.

Je n’aime pas mon lit

It’s been a couple of weeks since we (Cat Daddy: “What do you mean, “we”?”) bought Louis Catorze his new bed, and he still hasn’t slept in it.

In fact, as if to try and spite us, he has been making a special effort to sleep in as many places as possible that are not his new bed. Mind you, this is not unusual, because he once spent about half an hour trying to make himself comfortable on a surface that would never have been comfortable even if he had spent the rest of his life trying. Despite the fact that he has human beds and sofas galore, it seems there’s nothing quite like … a paper bag containing plugs and wires:

Seriously?

I even found him sleeping on a pile of Cat Daddy’s clothes in the bath* last week. I know that this kind of behaviour would usually be an indication that all is not well with poor kitty but, trust me, there’s nothing wrong with him. He’s just being an idiot.

*Before Cat Daddy goes to bed at night, he puts his clothes in the bath. I know. Nobody understands it.

Right now, on an uncharacteristically hot September day, I would bet my savings on him having rejected his cool cardboard bed in favour of being in the attic, which is the hottest room in the house. In fact, no, I would bet HIS savings on that, since the little sod has more money in his account than I do.

As we roll on towards the autumn equinox, which is when we would ordinarily swap from his open spring-summer bed to his enclosed autumn-winter igloo, we are running out of time. But I know that there’s no point in trying to force it, and that he will just inexplicably start using the new bed at some arbitrary moment. In fact, he will most likely do this on the morning of the planned changeover.

I would usually end such a post by saying something about so-called cat logic. But I am starting to have my doubts that Catorze is even a cat.

Mon lit, c’est ma drogue

I have unleashed the special party herbs and, although I was warned that the stuff sold with cat beds isn’t usually top-notch gear, Louis Catorze didn’t care.

The good news is that he now knows that his new bed exists.

The bad news is that he still hasn’t slept on it. In fact, he sees it very much as a place to get high, not to sleep. Right now he’s saucer-eyed and manic, and I don’t imagine either of us will be sleeping much tonight.

This is just the start of what happens when you give mood-enhancing drugs to a cat whose mood doesn’t need enhancing:

“Mmm!”
“Ooh!”

Le bain de poussière

Dear Neighbours Who Are Renovating, I have great news: you won’t need to bother sweeping up your dust today. Our silly, once-black cat has taken the liberty of trespassing onto your property, and he has brought most of it* home in his coat.

*It = the dust, not the property. Although both work equally well in this context.

Cat Daddy is repulsed beyond belief and, between all the unrepeatable expletives, is threatening to deploy the water cannon again.

It’s very difficult to photograph a dirty black cat, as both over-exposure and light reflection can make a (clean) true black cat look grey and, likewise, dirt can look like a trick of the light. This was the best that I could manage:

Vile.

Louis Catorze is filthy. It’s just foul. He’s so dirty that I had to check twice to make sure that it was really him and not some grey cat who had randomly wandered in, as appears to be the custom in our street with cats forever straying from their designated lanes. Whilst I am not surprised that Catorze would be so gross, nor that he would gravitate towards a place with big, strapping workmen, what does astonish me is that a cat who is awaiting dental surgery, and therefore isn’t supposed to be feeling very well, has the energy and the inclination to go to places where he has no business being, and to roll around like an idiot. (Yes, he has definitely rolled. The dust is too deeply embedded, and there is far too much of it, to have got there just by him brushing past something.)

Anyway, brushing hasn’t done much good and, short of holding him up by his tail and beating the crud out of him, the way people used to de-dust their carpets, there isn’t a great deal more that I can do. And, yes, despite everything, I have been pathetic enough to allow him onto my lap, dirt and all.

Le lit invisible

I have treated Louis Catorze to a new spring-summer bed, as his chaise longue is now buckled out of shape and no longer fit for use. And, yes, I realise that the timing is silly as summer is coming to an end, but I’ve done it now.

Cat Daddy winced as he watched me unwrap the package, bearing the sort of facial expression and body language more appropriate for watching someone defuse a bomb.

Him: “That looks awful.”

Me: “…”

Him: “Oh God, PLEASE tell me that’s just the wrapping and not what it actually looks like?”

Me: “…”

When it finally emerged from the box, HE was the one who was silenced when he realised not only that the bed was reasonably attractive, but that it was designed for scratching, so hopefully Catorze will stop wrecking the stair runner.

One surprise was that the bed came with a sachet of suspicious-looking herbal matter. A friend who is a regular buyer of cardboard scratching beds has confirmed that it’s quite normal for the purchases to be accompanied by drugs, to entice cats into using the beds. No doubt they are aware of what contrary little sods they are, and they know exactly what to do to make them play ball. New bed? Non. New bed with drugs? Ouais.

It’s not what it looks like. Oh, wait … IT IS.

I decided to firstly try the bed on its own, and to unleash the narcotics only if Catorze wasn’t interested. And it’s been a few days now and he hasn’t gone anywhere near it.

Obviously this is no surprise to me as he’s never been one to do what we want, when we want him to do it, but he hasn’t simply sniffed it and then walked away; he pitter-patters past it as if it were just air, appearing not to even see it. So it looks as if I will have to deploy the magic herbs, or label the bed “Cats are not permitted to sit here” (which worked a treat last time), or – my Ace of Spades, guaranteed to reap results within minutes – advertise the bed on eBay and say it’s never been used.

Here is the bed. No idea where Catorze is.

More like a sculpture than a bed. Not that it matters because he still couldn’t give a merde about it.

Oh, non, pas moi, je survivrai

Because it’s a bank holiday weekend, my mind drifted to memories of the LAST bank holiday weekend when Cat Daddy gave Disco the dog’s human sister some lessons in musical history and helped her to compile a disco playlist.

I don’t know why I didn’t blog about this at the time, but I imagine it was because the week was already full of Louis Catorze’s nonsense, and not only was there no room for further nonsense but, in fact, there was a backlog of unpublished nonsense. This seems to be quite a recurring pattern for Le Blog.

I tried to help with the playlist but this was the extent of my contribution:

Me: “What about Knock on Wood? Is that disco?”

Cat Daddy, utterly horrified: “What? NOOOO!”

Me: “What is it, then?”

Him, as if that were the stupidest question on earth: “That’s soul!”

Me: “What’s the difference?”

Him: “….”

Me: “???”

Him: “It’s just different.”

[I have since found out that Knock on Wood was one of the tracks on a compilation album called Fetenkult Disco 70. I have no idea what “Fetenkult” means but I’m fairly sure I understand the “Disco” bit.]

Anyway, Dog Sister’s playlist entitled Disco the Party Dog is now a thing, although it’s still a work in progress, and she and Cat Daddy are taking their research very seriously. The most important part involved Dog Sister and Cat Daddy dancing outside to Ottowan’s D-I-S-C-O (younger followers: ask your parents), each holding their respective animal and making him do Saturday Night Fever movements (younger followers: ask your grandparents) with his paws.

Catorze denies everything and says that it never happened (all lies).

Yes, Sir, he can boogie. Whether he wants to or not.