Creuser sa propre tombe

We have a Code Rouge situation at Le Château: SOMEONE HAS BEEN DIGGING AROUND AMONG THE SEDUMS. Although we have no actual proof, a certain suspect ticks all the boxes in terms of past history (he did the same thing to Cat Daddy’s chilli and strawberry plants), motive (generally being a shite) and opportunity (multiple escapes at The Front since we installed the planter).

I suppose we should be trying to find a solution, but the truth is that we’re utterly defenceless against the little sod’s sorcery, i.e. Cloak of Invisibility, teleportation, astral projection or whatever the heck he does to get past us and breach the security perimeters of Le Château.

The one thing saving Louis Catorze’s royal arse at the moment is the fact that this is only a Code Rouge and not a Code Brun. (At least we hope not; we daren’t poke around in the soil to find out.)

Please see below for the evidence discovered by Cat Daddy. Any advice on how to deal with the Dark Lord and his forces of evil would be much appreciated.

L’épée tue beaucoup de monde, mais le chat tue d’avantage

Louis Catorze’s hours and hours spent outside, presumably on Rodent Duty, have finally paid off: the little sod delivered a mouse to me at 4:30 yesterday morning. I awoke to the sound of pitter-pattering and squeaking, then turned on the light just in time to see my sweet boy not only deliver the killer blow but also, erm, lick the dead mouse thoroughly and meticulously from head to tail. Then he flipped it over onto its back and licked the other side from head to tail, too.

I would never have believed this had I not seen it myself. The little sod’s prey is often wet and I have always assumed this to be because of the rain – and it happened to be raining on this occasion, too – but now I know that it’s MAINLY because he takes great pains to lick it thoroughly after killing it.

So … reasons for this peculiar behaviour?

1. All cats do it?

2. A last-ditch attempt to extract the tasty mousey flavour before the dead beast is confiscated?

3. Some sort of elaborate death ritual, like the Ancient Egyptians used to do? (Not that they used to lick their dead. You know what I mean.)

4. Some sort of creepy serial killer calling card?

Cat Daddy (who slept through the whole thing) when I told him: “He did what? Ewww! Just like a serial killer!”

Oh dear. Numéro 4 it is, then. And, yes, after Googling “Why does my cat lick its prey after killing?” (which yielded zero results) I also Googled “Serial killer calling cards”. It turns out that, whilst people do some highly disturbing things, no murderer in criminal history has ever done anything as freakish as licking their dead victim from head to toe, then flipping them over and licking the other side.

Cat Daddy: “Don’t worry, it’s not as if he’s going to do this to us. Mind you, that’s probably only because he’s not big enough or we’re not small enough.”

La douce flamme

As if Mother Nature flips a switch the moment the calendar changes from May to June, hay fever season is now upon us and I have gone from having zero symptoms to moderate ones. Cat Daddy doesn’t know it yet but we have invested in a ton of allergen-busting beeswax candles, because we had used up the ones left over from the time that we thought Louis Catorze had hay fever when, in fact, he had a blade of grass stuck up his nose. (If you missed out on that joyous tale, here it is:)

We have also bought of those electric rechargeable lighter things for our beeswax candles. It’s much nicer to use than the old-style, nail-splitting, blister-giving, butane-filled monstrosities and (we hope) less wasteful than wooden matches. And poor Catorze is terrified of it.

Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: he won’t even flinch at loud rock music, other cats, dogs, foxes, marauding youths in Hallowe’en costumes and (we imagine) masked men wielding bolt cutters, but he is scared stiff of the rather pleasant, gentle fizzing emitted by this device. He can hear it from wherever he is in the house and runs for the hills.

I now turn on the kitchen taps to drown out the sound. And, as I am using both electricity AND water when lighting each candle, the electric lighter is no longer the eco option that I had hoped, even if I do catch all the water and make use of it. 

But you know, don’t you, that you would do exactly the same, if not more, for your feline overlords’ comfort? So, for now, both the candles and the water-bearing shall continue. And, with any luck, the purifying powers of the beeswax candles will benefit Sa Maj as well as us.

Here is the little sod after the last candle-lighting, having fled upstairs and taken refuge in, erm, a bag:

Vieux chien fait bonne chasse

We are so lucky to have Oscar the dog’s family as friends, especially given the havoc caused by our feuding animals. They are even kind enough to take Louis Catorze’s side in any unfortunate disputes, despite the fact that it is always his fault for wandering onto Oscar’s territory. If he stuck to his own patch and minded his own business, there would be no problems.

The four of us have occasionally wondered whether a controlled meet-up on our territory – rather than Oscar’s – would improve relations between the pair. And now, it seems, we don’t need to wonder anymore. Last weekend – 48 hours after the Dog Family’s move back home – our peace was shattered by the sound of barking. I opened the front door to check that Sa Maj wasn’t causing trouble (even though I had that sinking feeling in my gut and just KNEW) and the little sod shot past me, hotly pursued by Oscar.

It turned out that Catorze, having teleported out at The Front again, had decided to take a nap in Oscar’s garden, and Oscar, unsurprisingly, was not too happy about this. Catorze stood his ground, bared his fangs and hissed, terrifying all onlookers* and even stopping Oscar in his tracks for a few seconds. Then, as Catorze decided to head back towards Le Château, Oscar followed.

*Oh yes: the embarrassing incident was witnessed by a mortified Dog Mamma and Dog Sister, the visiting Dog Grandparents and the wife of THAT neighbour who is always having to escort Catorze back when he escapes and screams bloody murder.

The pair of them raced through the house, dodging both me and Cat Daddy, and Catorze shot through the cat flap and out at The Back like a speeding bullet. Oscar wasn’t able to fit through, so he gave up the chase at that point and decided instead to turn his attention to Catorze’s food bowl. Dog Mamma then intervened and, for once, it was Oscar being escorted back to his rightful place.

Both dog and cat spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping off the excitement and, in fact, Catorze appeared to forget entirely about it within a minute. This is good, because he is clearly as untraumatised as can possibly be. But it’s also bad because he probably won’t learn his lesson, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he were heading back over the fence right now to cause more problems.

Bâtir des châteaux à Londres

Oscar the dog’s folks recently had some work done on their house, and they moved out during the renovation process. Naturellement, the triple draw of workmen + dust in which to roll around + free run of enemy territory meant we didn’t see a great deal of Louis Catorze whilst it was going on. And, when we did, he was usually covered in all manner of building waste but, by the time we picked up a brush, he had pitter-pattered off to roll in more.

Now that it’s all complete and the Dog Family are home again, life should go back to normal. However, we have some concerns: where there was just a roof before, there are now two glass skylights. And, where there was just brick before, there is now a whole wall of glass bifold doors. In short, the renovation has hugely increased Sa Maj’s opportunities to eyeball Oscar, scream at him and whip him into a frenzy. This is not good.

Here is the little sod (pictured before the work was finished) inspecting the quality of the workmanship and figuring out the best vantage points for his bullying. Both Cat Daddy and I would love to think he will have a sudden crise de moralité and behave, but we have a really bad feeling about this.

FURminateur 3: Le Soulèvement du Roi

Louis Catorze has utterly acquiesced during brushing and FURmination. Obviously my eardrums and my nerves will be thanking him/my lucky stars/the Goddess for this. But I am cross beyond belief that he chose to be good at the worst moment possible: when I was trying to demonstrate to a friend what a horror he was.

Me: “Watch this.” [I pick up his FURminator and assume the vice-like Stranglehold of Death. Catorze is totally fine with this. This has never happened before, EVER.]

My friend: “He doesn’t seem to mind too much.”

Me: “Yeah, but watch this!” [I start FURminating. Catorze sits in complete silence, statue-still except for a few nuzzles of the FURminator, and lets me get on with it.]

My friend: “He still seems fine.”

Me: “Yeah, but watch THIS!” [I FURminate more vigorously although, obviously, not so much so that the little sod is in discomfort. Catorze flops onto his back, rolls, stretches and purrs.]

My friend: “Erm …”

Me: “For crying out loud. Look! LOOK!” [Silence, apart from the sounds of the FURminator on Catorze’s happy rump, and him purring and loving every moment.]

My friend: “Maybe he wasn’t really that bad before. Maybe you’ve just misremembered it.”

Me, ceasing FURmination: “Oh, forget it.”

So the little sod has gone from absolutely hating being brushed/FURminated to loving it, which is good. But, no doubt, my friends will all think I am stupid or a liar.

“Or a stupid liar,” Cat Daddy pipes, helpfully.

Psycho kitty, qu’est-ce que c’est? (Partie Deux)

Louis Catorze is bringing psycho back. Not that it ever really went away. 

Latest habits include: 

  • Screaming when he wants to be stroked 
  • Screaming when he wants to play
  • Screaming when hungry
  • Screaming when not hungry
  • Forcefully headbutting hands that ignore the screaming 
  • Stomping around the house at night (a small cat can be surprisingly noisy on wooden floorboards) 
  • Bouncing around on our bed whilst we are trying to sleep, doing that closed-mouth whine which is softer than a scream but which still wakes us up
  • Knocking things off our bedside tables in the middle of the night 
  • Demanding wild play at times when we are busy doing other things and, when we finally give in and do the Dark Lord’s bidding, deciding that he no longer wants the play and walking away

Cat Daddy had the genius idea of taking him to the vet, but they’ll only say that there’s nothing wrong with him and that he’s just enjoying life. 

Sadly we’re not – in fact, we are being run ragged with his behaviour – but, as any cat owner will confirm, it’s not about us.