La beauté gagne quelquefois à être regardée de loin

If a cat were to, erm, accidentally get hair-removing wax and baby oil on their fur, they would be ok, wouldn’t they? I’m asking on behalf of a friend.

I don’t suppose I need to explain what happened during the beautician’s visit, so I will let your imagination paint that picture on its own. And it turns out that the only way to painlessly remove salon wax is to dab the affected area with baby oil.

As you can imagine, Sa Maj wasn’t a fan of that. The little sod took off and dived under the bed with the wax only part-removed, refusing to come out. And, when I caught sight of him trying to groom it off much later, he had somehow managed to form the remaining wax and the stuck fur into a sort of pointy, greasy dreadlock on his leg.

Cat Daddy said it was my fault and that I should never have let him come in during the treatment although, had I shut him out of the room, his screaming outside the door would have sent me over the edge. In the meantime, as I write this, he is in his igloo and I daren’t attempt to check him in case the wax has made him stick to the inside. I have horrible (yet also a bit funny) visions of hearing a ripping sound as I shake him out and having him tumble undignifiedly at my feet with one bald leg.

I guess that, once the greasy leg-dreadlock has hardened, I will have to cut it off. Wrestling an oily animal who is freakishly strong when angry, with a pair of scissors in my hand: what could possibly go wrong?

Il faut cultiver notre jardin

The spring equinox is here, which means brighter days and a renewed sense of joie de vivre. And, as if to mark this theme of vitality and optimism, someone or something has puked in our vegetable patch, right on the bit where we plant our salad leaves and kale. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Believe me, I thought it, too, and it was also the first thing Cat Daddy said upon discovering it (right after all the swearing). But, disgusting though this is, when you have just one animal who eats pretty much just one thing, you soon get to know what their regurgitated food looks like. This was much too copious and too, erm, orange to have been produced by Louis Catorze. I know his brew like I know my own name and, trust me, this ain’t his. 

So, thoughts? The only other possible culprits are: 

  1. Foxes (highly likely) 
  2. Badgers (unlikely but not impossible)
  3. Other cats (seemingly likely but we never see any in our garden, ever, so I am a little sad at the idea that they don’t come to befriend Catorze yet they make the effort to come here to vomit)

As with most other things that go on at Le Château, I don’t suppose we will ever find out the truth. In the meantime, I shall be praying for rain to wash everything away and buying my salad leaves from the supermarket. 

This picture is of Sa Maj sunning himself and rocking out to the Rolling Stones during Boys’ Club, because, obviously, I wasn’t going to post a photo of the vomit. 

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La photographie est la littérature de l’œil

Cat Daddy suggested the other day that I start an Instagram account for Louis Catorze, as “taking a photo is much easier than writing a whole blog entry” and therefore I would be able to post more often. In actual fact I do have an Instagram account for him but I have never, ever used it, so I agreed that kick-starting it could be a good idea.  

However, we failed to take into account one thing: Catorze is apocalyptically rubbish in photos. He has no idea how to pose – or perhaps he does know but just doesn’t want to do it – and, since Instagram is all about making oneself look better than one does in real life, trying to run an account would be completely impossible. Each of the pictures that I post on Le Blog is the least awful one of a group of about 50 absolute howlers, so, in order to post a (passable) photo a day, I would have to take a total of 350 a week. And, what with work, life and dealing with Catorze, I simply don’t have time.

Blog entries, on the other hand, depend upon Sa Maj doing stupid shit, and this is ridiculously plentiful. In fact, he does so much of it, so often, that there aren’t enough days in the week to document it all in real time. I then have to save some of the ideas for publication the next time that he does that same piece of stupid shit (and there is always a next time). 

It’s a sad day when it’s far easier to write several hundred words about stupid shit than to take one decent photo, but such is life with Le Roi. 

Below is one of the worst examples of the contents of my “Recently Deleted” camera roll, which demonstrates my point. The little sod decided to jump when I was mid-snap – and, yes, those two white vertical lines are, indeed, trails left by his fangs. 

Should you feel inclined to follow louiscatorze14 on Instagram, erm, I wouldn’t bother. 

Le Roi Soleil, c’est un chat mystère

Not long ago we had a cat-loving male friend come to Le Château for dinner. Louis Catorze loves all visitors but cat-loving men are, naturellement, the best kind. 

When he arrived Catorze was all over him, up-tailed and purring. As our music grew louder and we grew drunker we didn’t notice until too late that, at some point during the proceedings, Sa Maj had disappeared. We did think it unusual for him not to partake in such an evening – predominantly-male soirées of loud rock music are very much his thing – but we weren’t concerned enough to halt our music and drinking to search for the little sod. 

When our friend’s cab arrived and he opened the door to leave, in dashed Catorze from The Front where, presumably, he had been all evening. 

How the flamin’ flip did he get there? (And why didn’t he use the same method to come back in again?)

We initially thought that, perhaps, he had pitter-pattered out when our friend arrived, but then we remembered the purring and flirting and the comments about how Catorze’s permanent up-tail revealed, erm, a larger-than-desirable expanse of rear end. So he definitely teleported AFTER our friend’s arrival, not during. Cat Daddy even thought I may have opened the front door during the evening to put bottles into the recycling box, but I am far too lazy to do this bottle by bottle and would much rather wait until the end of the night and take out all eight three bottles in one go. 

However Le Roi may have managed to pull off this trick, our greater concern is that, because of our music, we wouldn’t have heard him screaming to get back in, nor would we have heard an irate neighbour losing his/her shit and knocking at our door to return him to us. This is bad. VERY bad. 

I really, really need to find out how Sa Maj did this. But I probably need to apologise to our neighbours first.

Le Roi est malin: vive Le Roi!

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La vie est belle. It’s now March and almost officially springtime, the weekend is here, our bathroom floor is done so we no longer feel like we’re camping, Łukasz who did the work survived Louis Catorze’s screaming and is still speaking to us, and sometimes the little sod’s eyes look as if they’re getting better. They’re probably not as good as this picture would suggest – I got very lucky with the camera angle and the light – but he is behaving perfectly normally (for him) in every other way so, for the moment, we are not unduly concerned.

However, his cruel bastardliness remains constant, striking from nowhere like an earthquake and with a few little aftershocks that you should have expected but that always knock you for six. 

Last night, the minute Cat Daddy sat down, the little sod got off my lap and went for his. He has, of course, done this about 873 times in the past, so this is nothing new, but previously he would at least go through the pretence of liking me for around 15 minutes before departing to the greener grass. On this occasion he didn’t even give it a minute. In fact, as soon as Cat Daddy approached to sit down, I could feel Sa Maj’s horrid, treacherous little paws fidgeting and squirming to prepare himself for his flight. 

Cat Daddy felt so bad for me that he actually told his boy off for his rudeness. And, to cheer me up, we spent the next half hour complaining about him. But, at the same time, wouldn’t life be much easier if we humans could be that honest? I would love to be able to say, “I like that person better than you and, now that they’ve arrived, I would rather spend time with them,” and I am sure there are plenty who would love to say it to me, too. 

Not long ago I had a visit from a friend who knows about Catorze’s mistreatment of me but has never seen it in person. I couldn’t wait for her to witness it so that I would have one person on my side (whereas Cat Daddy just pretends to be on my side to keep the peace and is really on Le Roi’s side). And, naturellement, during her visit the little sod ignored his daddy and was all over me, as if to say, “See how she lies?” 

As I have always said, he has never left visible marks on a human body nor on any object; his modus operandi is psychological torture, preferably the kind that makes you look like an idiot or a fantasist if you try to prove it to others. 

My friend: “Awww. But you wouldn’t have him any other way, would you?”

No comment. 

Il n’y a pas que le travail dans la vie

We are having some major work done in our bathroom this weekend, with the whole floor being replaced.

For most households with pets, this would require calming, anti-anxiety measures in the form of Feliway and suchlike. In our case it is the workmen, and not the pets, who will be requiring the calming, anti-anxiety measures, because Louis Catorze can’t seem to take no for an answer when it comes to men and won’t leave them alone. So we have tea ready for them in case Sa Maj is bad, and neat vodka and a cattle prod in case he is really bad. 

So, at best, we can expect some mildly irritated but tea-soothed men who manage to get their work done in spite of the screaming. At worst, with all the Roi distractions and the anaesthetising glugs of vodka, a three-day job could end up taking three months to complete. 

Here is the little sod carrying out his pre-work inspection and testing the acoustics of the bathroom. (It turns out that feline screaming magnifies/echoes massively in here, so I think we’re going to need more vodka.) 

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La brosse infernale

We are usually only obsessively meticulous about brushing Louis Catorze during the warmer months, when he moults and scratches a lot. But, because his skin and fur are generally much healthier when he is brushed regularly, we decided to step up his grooming régime a few weeks ago, at around the same time that we started the hot water steam thing.

The good news is that handfuls of fur come off his body when he is brushed, which surely HAS to make a positive difference to his skin health, yes? The bad news is that he still loathes being brushed, which means I have to grit my teeth and adopt the Stranglehold of Death before I can get the brush anywhere near him. Needless to say, these now-daily sessions of torture leave me drained, pained and bleeding from the eardrums, and I wish we didn’t have to do them.

My mum told a long time ago that, when you brush your cat, you should leave the brushed-out clumps of hair in the garden because birds use them to line their nests. This didn’t seem very likely – after all, my mum also tells me that you can get cancer from plastic water bottles that have been left overnight in the car – but a couple of reliable fellow cat freaks have confirmed that it is, indeed, a thing. So, much to Cat Daddy’s disgust, I have been doing my civic duty by emptying the contents of Catorze’s brush outside, and the very thin silver lining to the dire grooming sessions was that at least the birds would benefit from it all.

Below is a picture of a clump of Catorze’s brushed-out hair from at least two weeks ago. Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: IT IS STILL IN THE GARDEN. I really thought that there would be a few takers for some warm kitty fur, given that we remain in the depths of winter. But it seems not.

Cat Daddy: “Ha! The birds of TW8 would rather freeze than go near his shitty fur. Not even the rats want it.”

Oh dear. It’s a good thing Sa Maj is utterly unaware of his fur not meeting the exacting standards of the local wildlife. And, even if he were aware, I don’t suppose he would be remotely bothered.