Qui a chats n’a point de paix

The three of us managed to survive the hottest day since time began. However, it was the following night that posed more of a problem, and now I have a new “worst night’s sleep of my life”.

I changed bedrooms three times – with Louis Catorze in tow each time – in an effort to cool down. And, when each attempt yielded no satisfactory results, I ended up sleeping in the kitchen with the back door open, just as I did that time when Catorze wore his cone and couldn’t get through the cat flap to use les toilettes.

Then, when the storm came at around 2:30am, the little sod whooped with joy and pitter-pattered out to seek the highest point – our shed with the sedum roof – and to scream at the clouds.

Anyway, on a more positive and less weird note, Cat Daddy’s last few days at work are almost here and I am trying to persuade him to write a guest blog entry in the future about what it’s like to be permanently at home with Catorze. Sadly he’s not keen on the idea.

(I actually meant not keen on the idea of writing a guest blog entry, but it turns out that he’s also not keen on the idea of being permanently at home with Catorze. Just the other day I overheard an exchange of meows and “Shut up!”s from the next room, followed by, “Do you hear this? This is a sign of my life to come!”)

Cat Daddy does, of course, have plans for his retirement, and I don’t suppose being followed around Le Château by a vampire-toothed, screaming, psycho animal is one of them. But writing is incredibly therapeutic and stress-relieving, even if the subject matter is the cause of your stress. And Cat Daddy is forever complaining that I portray him as far meaner than he really is (“You make me out to be a complete ****” is his usual refrain) so this would be a perfect way to ensure accurate representation.

Qu’en pensez-vous, Mesdames et Messieurs: a new incarnation for Cat Daddy as a guest blogger? If enough of us bully and pressure him show some support and enthusiasm, perhaps he will change his mind …

Photo taken during one of their many alfresco Boys’ Club sessions:

La chaleur omniprésente

Boris Johnson is Prime Minister (and yes, non-Brits, he IS an actual person and not some Sacha Baron Cohen-type actor pretending). It’s already too bloody hot and it’s due to hit 38 degrees later. And I am still recovering from my surgery, with my stitches – which Louis Catorze has only kicked once, thankfully – pinching and pulling at my skin especially badly in this heat. So I really don’t have the time, the will or the energy to be dealing with little sods escaping out at The Front and having to find inventive ways of herding them back in again. Yet that is exactly what I’ve been having to do, because the soaring temperatures appear to have triggered Catorze’s “Must Kill Self” switch.

Fortunately I think the heat is sapping him of any mischief-making ability and just making him fall asleep out there, so he’s unlikely to go annoying any neighbours or pitter-pattering into oncoming traffic (we hope). But it’s 793 times hotter outside at The south-facing Front than it is inside. Plus there is no water out there (and, if I take fresh water to him, he won’t drink it). And, worse yet, his go-to shelter from the sun appears to be Oscar the dog’s front garden – too deep into the bushes for me to reach in and pull him out – and we all know that that isn’t going to end well when Oscar finds out.

(Dog Mamma discovered Sa Maj yesterday when she was taking out the recycling, gave him some cuddles and very kindly messaged me to ask if he was ok in the heat, commenting on his sickly-sounding meow. I shamefacedly had to tell her that that was his normal voice.)

Most animals can be trusted in extreme weather conditions to rely on their natural instincts and know what’s best for them. It’s a bit more difficult when your pet appears to be from another planet and goes out of his way to CHOOSE the worst possible course of action.

Below is a picture of the extra water that I left for him in the bedroom during the night, so that he wouldn’t have to go downstairs to drink. (Newcomers to Le Blog: yes, he has always drunk from a glass and would rather go on Thirst Strike than use a bowl.) He did not touch a single drop.

Cat Daddy: “Well, he didn’t ask for it, did he?”

Cinq ans d’esclavage

Yesterday marked the 5-year anniversary of the glorious day that Louis Catorze came to live with us.

Because of this length of time, we thought we were highly knowledgeable in terms of the many sub-edicts of Little Sods’ Law. But it seems that more and more of them progressively come to light that we never knew existed. He really is the gift that keeps on giving.

We can now announce the following new addenda to the Law:

1. If you are in the middle of changing bed linen and become distracted, even for just a second, any black cat in the vicinity will be irresistibly drawn to the unguarded, undressed white duvet and pillows.

2. The strength of the cat’s attraction to the duvet and pillows will be inversely proportional to the cleanliness of the cat.

If you are easily repulsed by gross cats, please look away now.

I have no idea what he did to get into such a state. Nor do I know what most of this stuff even is, although I fear that those things on his left cheek (our right), are dead spiders.

Cat Daddy: “You’re going to have to move him. I’m not touching him. He’s your cat.”

[It hasn’t escaped my notice that Catorze is always “my” cat when he’s done something bad or cost us a lot of money.]

Cat Daddy again: “Oh. You can’t move him, can you, because of your shoulder? So I suppose I’m going to have to do it?”

Mais oui.

Anyway, the little sod wasn’t budging from the duvet and clung on as if the lives of every man on the planet depended on it. Eventually he was ejected but, somehow, in all the chaos, the dead spiders were dislodged. I now fear that they might be lurking somewhere inside the folds of the duvet. Ugh. The only thing worse than spiders is hidden spiders. IN YOUR BED.

Cat Daddy, sinking into a chair and rolling his eyes: “Oh, don’t worry, we’ll find them. First thing in the morning, probably stuck to your face or mine.”

And now I can never sleep again.

I am fairly sure that the best recovery from surgery does not involve restless nights fretting about duvet spiders. And I expect that this is all part of the Dark Lord’s grand plan to take me down – making it look like “post-operative complications” – so that he can have Cat Daddy all to himself.

Aux yeux du père, le fils est beau

The last time I had surgery, I woke from my anaesthetic and announced to the ward, “I’ve just been dreaming about ginger cats! Must’ve been Alfie and George!” (Obviously Alfie and George are actual ginger cats that exist. Which is a relief, because made-up ginger cats might have made me look silly.)

No such morphine-induced excitement this time around but everything went well, although perhaps I shouldn’t have watched so many X Files episodes beforehand as there are startling similarities between a surgical procedure and an alien abduction. There was a brief incident as I left Le Château for the hospital – involving an escape at The Front and gut-wrenching screams that woke the neighbours – but, other than that, Louis Catorze has actually been behaving. I could have done without the 6:15am screaming alarm call the following day, though. And, although he saved me a clean-up job when he licked off the ink that the surgeon had used to mark up my arm, I was really creeped out by it and am now scared to be alone with him.

I have made the following observations since coming home from hospital:

1. Catorze has a “Merde, she’s still alive?” face.

2. His unnerving obsession with his daddy has reached new heights/depths (depending on one’s perception). Or, as Cat Daddy puts it, “He won’t leave me the hell alone.”

It has never been a secret that I am probably not even Catorze’s second favourite human in a household of just two humans. But whereas he used to climb off my lap and onto Cat Daddy’s only on a moderately regular basis, he now does this every time Cat Daddy sits down. And, whereas he used to wait a few minutes before the lap swap, now he does it in under 10 seconds. (Yes, Cat Daddy has actually timed him.)

The screamy little sod has shown me SOME love, although not nearly enough considering I was the one who was knocked out cold and chopped up.

Cat Daddy retires at the end of this month and will be spending a lot more time at home with Catorze than ever before. Will this bromance go from strength to strength, or could this enforced togetherness be too much of a good thing?

L’infirmier devoué

Next week I am due to have surgery on my shoulder, which should hopefully spell the end of a long line of problems. It’s a day procedure, so I won’t need to worry about Louis Catorze causing havoc in my absence (no more than usual, anyway) as I’ll be back that evening, but I am concerned about what he will do when I come home.

I often hear reports of cats being extra loving and affectionate when their humans are ill or convalescing. Sa Maj, on the other hand, does everything in his power to send me back to hospital, no doubt hoping that I will die there. When I came home after spinal surgery the little sod jumped onto my torso, then used it as a launch pad to jump somewhere else. And, when I had abdominal surgery, he did THIS (see below), which not only nearly burst my stitches as I tried to wrestle him out of the room (1st link), but also triggered the long-term avian war that still wages on to this day, having started with the starlings and continuing with the magpies and the angry green parakeets (2nd link):

https://louiscatorze.com/2016/07/16/loiseau/

https://louiscatorze.com/2016/07/20/tel-est-pris-qui-croyait-prendre/

So … can we trust Catorze to be nice/good this time?

Cat Daddy: “You’ve really learned nothing in the last few years, have you?”

Le miroir de l’âme

Although hay fever is, mercifully, not one of the things we need to add to Louis Catorze’s list of health problems, something – probably rolling around in all the dust from when the Forbidden Greenhouse was dismantled – has aggravated his eyes again. So, as well as wiping down his polleny body, we are also having to wipe down his eyes. This is even less fun than it sounds.

Naturellement, being Sa Majesté Louis Catorze Le Roi Soleil, only the best paraphernalia will do, so I have been making up a solution of pink Himalayan salt and boiled water in one of Cat Daddy’s antique glass Chinese tea cups. (Cat Daddy: “I’m sorry, you’ve been doing WHAT?”) But it doesn’t take away the displeasure of having to trap the squirming little sod and restrain him as I wipe. 

There’s also the problem of what to use to wipe, as everything I can think of appears to be either too rough (e.g. towel or microfibre cloth), too sheddy (e.g. tissue), too dangerous (e.g. cotton buds – and ours are bamboo so there’s the risk of splintering as well as eye-stabbing) or too smooth to grip onto the crud and sweep it away (e.g. every other material on earth). I use kitchen towel, and I expect I will receive a deluge of responses saying how bad that is, but it seems to be the lesser/least of the many aforementioned evils, and the textured nature means it whisks away the crud without me having to rub repeatedly. Trust me, the fewer wipes, the better.

Hopefully this, alongside the rigorous brushing of his gross, chalky fur, will keep the problem under control and not require a trip to the vet. Here he is looking especially foul after rolling around somewhere he had no business being. Regretfully, the fifty shades of grey shown here are dirt, not a trick of the light:

À genoux devant Le Roi

My Laziness With Cat knee injury is no better and, in fact, if anything, it appears to be getting worse. So, this week, I went to see a physio to find out why and to try to get it fixed.

Physio: “So how did you do it?”

Me: “Erm … ahem … I sat with my feet extended outwards, and my cat resting on my legs.” [I mutter the last bit under my breath in the hope that she might mishear, but she hears perfectly well and now it actually says on my notes: “Sat with legs stretched out and cat on knees.”]

Her: “Oh dear. That’s not a good position to be in with nothing supporting the backs of your knees. Especially with a heavy cat on you.”

[I can’t quite bring myself to tell her that Louis Catorze is actually gossamer-light and that the injury more likely came about because I didn’t budge from that sofa for about 10 hours quite some time, so I just nod at this point. Nor do I mention that I kept crisps and champagne within arm’s reach so that I wouldn’t have to disturb Sa Maj by getting up for food and drink.]

Anyway, it seems that I have over-stretched my knee and some tendon is inflamed, so I have had an ultrasound treatment with that wet jelly stuff to bring down the inflammation. The knee is now strapped up with that weird black tape that athletes use which, whilst not pretty, is moderately better than the TubiGrip and gives some authenticity to the story that I am some grande sportive with a training injury. And, as we edge nearer to the date of the half-marathon in which I pretended to be participating, at least now I seem to have the perfect excuse not to do it (or anything, come to that).

Here is Sa Maj, disapproving of my sloth even though he is partly to blame for it: