Le mauvais écureuil

Oh my: it seems we may have been a little hasty in accusing Louis Catorze of digging around in the sedums.

To be honest we had started to have our suspicions some time ago, when we noticed that the soil disturbance incidents didn’t correspond with Catorze’s escapes at The Front. And, as we were leaving the house the other day, we caught this sizeable sod – he doesn’t look that large in the photo but, trust me, he was massive – having a fine old time in our recycling box planter. I wasn’t quite quick enough to catch him in the act, but here he is making his escape (below).

I almost feel bad for blaming Sa Maj, but then Cat Daddy rightfully pointed out 1) that Catorze doesn’t care (and never did) and 2) that it makes up for all those times when he did things and got away with it.

We can’t prove the things, nor do we know what half the things even are. But we know that THERE HAVE BEEN THINGS.

Le pré et la marée

When Cat Daddy retired last August I imagined he would start spending time intensifying his fitness regime, learning a new musical instrument and attending language classes, but it seems I underestimated him and he has his mind on much higher things.

He has been threatening for ages to stockpile Louis Catorze’s food in case of a no-deal Brexit. And, when I got home from work one day, he very proudly asked me to check inside the cat food cupboard. So I did … and I saw not one but TWO containers containing Catorze’s Lily’s Kitchen biscuits. I’d rather have found diamonds or champagne but, erm, ok.

Me: “… ? …”

Him: “I bought him some Delicious Chicken as well as Fabulous Fish, and I’ve put them into two separate containers.”

Me: “Ok. That’s great …”

Him: “He does like Delicious Chicken, doesn’t he?”

Me: “I think so, yes.”

Him: “So why haven’t we been giving him both? Why have we only been giving him Fabulous Fish?”

To be honest I didn’t really know the answer to this, and I then had the lecture about whether I would like having to eat the same thing every day. (If having crisps for breakfast counts, then I think that ship has well and truly sailed.)

That evening, I gave Catorze a helping of both foods together.

Cat Daddy, looking disgusted: “What? Both? On the same plate?”

Me: “Erm, yes. Why not?”

Him: “They’re DIFFERENT MEATS.”

Me: “But cats eat bugs and maggot-infested roadkill. I don’t suppose fish and chicken on the same plate will bother him in the slightest.”

Him: “Would YOU eat fish and meat from the same plate?”

Me: “Is that not what “surf and turf” is?”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

Anyway, Catorze now has two different foods. And, every time I feed the little sod, Cat Daddy yells, “Don’t forget: fish for breakfast, chicken for dinner!”

I’ll be sure to let you know when someone turns this gripping story into a film.

Le figuier royal

People who plant new trees are good. But people who are nice to existing trees are also pretty good, non?

As if to make up for delivering us the devil-plant that is deadly nightshade, Mother Nature has gifted us a fig tree (pictured below when it still had leaves; at the moment it’s just a sticking-up twig).

Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: it quite literally just appeared one day, and I had no idea what it was until the delightful people on my social media tree group collectively Shazammed it. What a wonderful gift this is, and how very appropriate given that the human Louis XIV apparently grew figs at Versailles. That said, I am trying not to think too hard about the fact that the seed most likely fell out of a bird’s arse (and quite a middle-class bird at that).

Unfortunately it seems that the fig is toxic to cats. Not in a “sit downwind of it and you die” type of way, like the nightshade, but ingesting any part of it will cause vomiting and general malaise. And yet, in a world that is wiping out trees by the minute as if they are some sort of liability, I am determined to love this one and to find some way of enabling it and Louis Catorze to coexist happily. This is not going to be easy, given his penchant for doing exactly what we don’t want him to do, when we don’t want him to do it.

Anyway, as advised, we have moved the fig to a terracotta pot and are keeping it indoors until the spring. Can we trust Sa Maj to neither eat it nor turn the pot into les toilettes royales?

Que la force soit avec eux

Nala the dog now has a new sister, and my messages to and from Puppy Mamma about their most recent family member went something like this:

Her: “You’re not going to believe what’s happened. Promise you won’t judge?”

Me: “Ok.”

Her: “I’ve got a new puppy!”

Me: “Not meaning to judge, but what the ****?”

Her: “I KNOW! I just blinked and it happened!”

Me: “Send me a picture.”

[She sends a picture.]

Me: “That’s not even a dog.”

[She sends another picture.]

Me: “That’s still not a dog.”

[She sends more pictures .]

Me: “STILL NOT A DOG.”

If you don’t believe me, look for yourselves. This is Gizmo, a.k.a. Gizzy:

Not a dog

No, I have never seen anything like it, either. And, no, I’m still not convinced it’s a dog. In fact, I’m struggling to even articulate what I think it is, although perhaps some sort of Chewbacca-alien hybrid is the closest thing.

Anyway, I now have a second creature to add my list of animals who don’t need costumes at Hallowe’en (the first being Louis Catorze). And the Puppy Parents now have TWO unhinged beasts to deal with. The only thing that could possibly make their household more bonkers would be to add a psycho black cat to the mix and, quite frankly, I wouldn’t put it past them.

If you have any suggestions as to what species Gizzy might be, we would love to hear them. We’re still undecided.

La tête de mort

We have just discovered that the fall of the print pattern on the fabric of Louis Catorze’s igloo makes the hanging fish look like a sideways-on severed zombie head wearing some sort of scuba diving headgear. And, the more we stare at it, the more we wonder how on earth we could have failed to notice it before.

Cat Daddy winced and shuddered when I pointed it out. But I rather love it that, just as we thought Louis Catorze couldn’t be any creepier, he adds an extra layer, intentionally or otherwise. I’m pretty sure that, if he were human, hanging the heads of dead scuba divers at the entrance to his home would be just his kind of thing. Maybe he would even wear one of the heads as a hat, as that guy from Con Air did and as he is attempting to do in this picture. (Yes, he is actually sitting with the fish resting on his head.)

As they say on the internet: once seen, it cannot be unseen. You’re welcome.

La vérité sur les chats et les chiens

Nala the dog’s Puppy Parents have been talking about getting a feline companion for Nala, as Puppy Daddy always had both dogs and cats whilst growing up. When I asked Puppy Mamma what kind of cat they wanted, she replied, “A small black rescue one, like Louis Catorze.”

Cat Daddy spat his wine all over Puppy Mamma’s sofa at the thought of anyone getting a cat like ours on purpose. “That could definitely be arranged,” he said. He was 50% joking but, now that he has had time to dwell on the idea, and especially since we’re both so broke after Christmas that we’re seriously considering raiding Catorze’s delightfully buoyant sick fund*, that 50% has risen to around 70%.

*I’m not joking. The few quid that I had to last me until my January pay day have now dropped to even fewer thanks to some emergency dental treatment on Friday night. Catorze, on the other hand, will never have to worry about such things, although Cat Daddy says that dental treatment to file down his freakish fangs “wouldn’t do him any harm”.

“Louis loves people,” he said. “We’re doing him a massive disservice, keeping him in a house with one of us going to work most days and the other wanting to go out and do Important Retirement Things. Maybe the reason he screams so much is because he’s unstimulated? Maybe he’d like to go and live with [the Puppy Parents] and to have a permanent canine friend? Plus we’ve had him for seven years. Seven year itch, and all that.”

Me: “Erm, it’s actually only been five and a half years.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

Anyway, there is zero evidence whatsoever that Catorze would have a harmonious relationship with a dog, mainly because he tends to be over-keen and the feeling isn’t mutual. He has only met four dogs in his life (that we know of) as follows:

1. Bert the dog (who would frequently yell at Catorze, only gradually stopping over time when he grew too old to notice him)

2. Oscar the dog (who hates him and wants to kill him)

3. Kiki the Elton John dog (ditto) https://louiscatorze.com/2016/11/27/le-samedi-soir-est-bien-pour-se-battre/

4. The psycho fox from the park, who looks dog-like enough to be considered a dog (ditto, plus he has rallied all his foxy friends into also hating and wanting to kill Le Roi) https://louiscatorze.com/2018/09/30/je-suis-une-legende/

Sa Maj hasn’t yet met Nala but my powers of perception have spied a pattern emerging here. I don’t know about you but I get the distinct feeling it wouldn’t go especially well.

But I guess this is all immaterial because, much as she would love Catorze as her pet, Puppy Mamma wouldn’t wrench him away from his home. I wish I could say the same of Cat Daddy, who is sick of the 3am screamathons and has played out Catorze’s house move in his head a zillion times.

Here is the little sod, asleep in a box of stuff bound for the charity shop and utterly unaware of his papa’s dastardly scheme:

Chat Fou 2020

Happy New Year! And what joy it is to bid adieu to the lopsided unevenness of 2019 and to glide into the delightful roundness that is 2020. Not since 2012 have we had a number which is utterly sublime to look at and even better to say.

Cat Daddy and I cannot wait to see what this year will bring, and we are looking forward to the following events in particular:

1. A number of landmark birthdays among our family and friends, ranging from 40 to 80.

2. Louis Catorze’s 10th birthday in April (and, yes, we know that he neither looks his age nor acts it). Cat Daddy thinks he has vetoed any type of birthday celebration but I have A Plan.

3. Hallowe’en aka La Fête des Chats Noirs taking place on a Saturday AND on a full moon.

4. Lots more knitting, including a scarf for myself that Cat Daddy has nicknamed “The Special One” because it’s going to be made of MERINO wool – geddit? (Football fans will understand. Anyone else will wonder what on earth I am talking about.) The scarf doesn’t even exist yet, but I bet Catorze has already planned how he’s going to trash it.

Don’t worry, we have started stockpiling holy water and Valium for numéro 3 and the chaos that will ensue. Come to think of it, we may also need them for numéro 2 and numéro 4.

Anyway, thank you so much for supporting Sa Maj and Le Blog, and we wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.