L’herbe est plus verte ailleurs

cdb3257b-d34c-4791-9af0-bdc56d45ddb9Last weekend I opened one of our kitchen cupboards to find some sort of dried herb, oregano or suchlike, scattered at the bottom. I accused Cat Daddy of having spilled it, he accused me, and in the end we both cleaned it up together. But it was only after cleaning that it dawned on us that there was no such packet of herbs in that cupboard. In fact, we have no such packet of herbs in ANY cupboard: all our dried herbs are in screw-top jars and are unspillable unless someone were to make a conscious choice to open the jars and disperse the contents. 

Yesterday morning, during my usual Roi-cuddling session, the little sod first pricked up his ears, then sprang off my lap and headed straight for that cupboard. He remained in this position (see photo above) for a good 20 minutes and, when I opened the cupboard, there was more green herb scattered everywhere, as before. You can just make out the light dusting that had spilled out and onto the floor, in the area circled. 

My first thought was a rodent of some sort, most likely brought in and deposited by Louis Catorze. But rodents, being the opportunistic users that they are, tend to help themselves to anything we may have, as opposed to bringing in new matter and scattering it everywhere. And, since sniffing the herb, we have discovered that it is not, in fact, oregano. It is virtually scentless and we have not yet been able to identify it. 

So … is a mouse smuggling strange herbs into Le Château bit by bit, the way Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption tunnelled out but in reverse? Or did Catorze bring them in for some curious purpose that only he understands, and perhaps a mouse has discovered his stash and decided to tuck in? 

We have no idea what is going on, but Sa Maj is on it. Assuming he is not the one responsible for the mystery, I have a feeling he will solve it long before we do. 

Il a agi seul?

On Wednesday, when Cat Daddy was leaving for work, Louis Catorze bolted outside and took refuge under a car, cheekily taunting his papa from his safe hiding place. Cat Daddy had no option but to leave him there, knowing that Le Roi had beaten him, but he returned at lunchtime to try to herd him back in – if, indeed, one can “herd” just a single creature. 

Catorze was nowhere to be seen, so Cat Daddy decided to go into Le Château and wait. He thought it would only be a matter of time before Catorze pitter-pattered home and heralded his return in the unique, special way that the entire neighbourhood has grown to know and dislike. 

Imagine his surprise to find the little sod IN THE HOUSE, AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS. 

Now … as we live mid-terrace, he would have had to go to considerable effort to find a way to The Back and let himself in through Le Tunnel. The only options are cutting through an alleyway MANY houses away or going up and over Cocoa the babysit cat’s garage (also some distance), both of which involve scaling multiple fences. And, quite frankly, there isn’t a chance in hell that he would have had the intelligence or the inclination to do any of those things. Cat Daddy even asked our two nearest neighbours whether they had let Catorze in through their houses. They hadn’t. Oscar the dog’s mamma did, however, mention that she’d had a cuddle with Sa Maj out at The Front and that he had sat on their front window sill for a while, staring into their house and rendering Oscar livid beyond belief. 

So the possibilities are: 

  1. Catorze went via one of our nearest neighbours’ windows without the humans’ knowledge (which is a bothersome thought, especially as he has previous in this area).
  2. A different neighbour let him go through their house (which is an even more bothersome thought as he would have gained their attention by screaming and, therefore, he is inconveniencing more people than just us and the small group that we knew about).
  3. Levitation. 
  4. Catorze is cleverer than we thought. 

Cat Daddy: “Well, it’s CLEARLY not number 4. I’m going to go for levitation.”

He’s joking, of course, but I can see that this is really bugging him. The two of them are having a Boys’ Club cuddle right now as I write, and Cat Daddy keeps saying, “How DID you do it, you little shite? This is up there with “Who Killed JFK?”, isn’t it?” 

I have a feeling we will never find out, and that we will simply have to add this to the ever-expanding list of Roi Mysteries.

Le songe d’une nuit d’hiver

As well as his summer chaise longue, Louis Catorze now has a cosy bed for the winter. And, if you squish down the roof from the top, it folds into a bowl-shaped bed that also serves for spring and autumn.

Cat Daddy: “Absolutely bloody ridiculous. We don’t even have a summer and a winter DUVET, and yet he has A Bed For All Seasons?” 

The bed was gifted by one of Sa Maj’s favourite pilgrims in the whole world, and it’s not hard to see why it was chosen: a creepy black kitty with vampire fangs has to have a Hallowe’en bed, n’est-ce pas? Our friend did initially wonder about pink for a boy cat, but I don’t suppose cats really have colour preferences. And, if they did, something tells me that our boy would opt for pink in an instant. 

When we are home, we like it when the little sod sits on our laps. But, when we’re out, it’s nice to know that he has a comfy little spot of his own. Below is a picture of him enjoying his gift, and the fact that he took to it so quickly was something rather special as he usually does the opposite of whatever is expected (or wanted). 

I hope he feels this snug and happy forever. 

Séparés à la naissance?

Mesdames et Messieurs, I would like to call upon your collective Cat-Shazam skills to identify a miscreant. Is Cat Granny’s new residential home cat, Brook (first picture, taken two weeks ago), the same cat that ruined her 90th birthday party by turning up uninvited and then killing a bird in front of horrified guests (second picture, taken just before the incident last April)? 

The case for the prosecution:

1. They have the same unusual markings and the same wayward eyes (one pupil pointing east and the other west).

2. The new care home is directly next door to the location of the birthday party, which effectively places Brook at the scene of the crime.

The defence:

The defendant and the cat caught at the crime scene differ significantly in, erm, body shape (and this is actually a flattering picture of Brook; in real life he is much, much fatter).

The prosecution again:

Bearing in mind the care home staff’s comments about Brook’s voracious appetite and his ability to source food from unknown locations however much they restrict his diet, it is more than likely that he would have gained some poundage since Cat Granny’s birthday. 

(This isn’t great for Brook, but it makes me feel much better about my own festive chub.) 

I know what *I* think but would love to know your views, members of the jury. Do you find the defendant guilty or not guilty of the crimes of trespassing and avian murder? 

Un nouvel an, des anciens problèmes

2019 is here, with its annoyingly unround and unbalanced appearance. I almost can’t stand to look at it because it hurts my OCD, and, whilst I don’t want to wish time away, I really want to add 1 to 2019 and turn it into the beautifully even 2020. 

I don’t know what the year will bring but, as Benjamin Franklin (I think – or possibly Mark Twain?) once said, in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death, taxes and Louis Catorze getting stuck in the Forbidden Greenhouse when it’s either life-threateningly hot or life-threateningly cold. And one of those things is more certain than the others.

I came home the other day to find no sign of our mutual friend, which is somewhat unusual as he is very dog-like in his ways and almost always greets us. Then, when I stepped outside to grab a bottle of Crémant from nature’s outdoor overflow fridge, I heard the faraway yet unmistakable sound of screaming, then saw his affronted face and psycho eyes peering at me through the glass. 

Cat Daddy, when I texted him to tell him: “WHAT? I opened the greenhouse door for about 0.3 seconds this morning to grab some boots, then I shut it again. I didn’t see him go in at all. How was he?”

Erm: indignant and loud. And pretty cold.

Yet not quite cold enough, it seems, as, right after getting his body back to optimum temperature (by settling on me and sucking out my heat), the little sod pitter-pattered out again and was immediately heard screaming at birds / bugs /  Oscar the dog / the air. 

Here he is after eventually deciding to come back in again. Most cats wouldn’t be so silly as to do the same thing twice but, as this is Le Roi we’re talking about, I guess we’re ready for another year of more of the same. 

Hope the start of 2019 has been better for you than it was for Catorze. 

2018 vous dit adieu

If cats could make New Year resolutions, they wouldn’t. 

Resolutions are what we humans do to better ourselves, but cats think that they’re great as they are and that it’s the rest of the world who should change its pathetic, inadequate behaviour. We also make resolutions to improve our everyday lives and to make them easier and, again, cats don’t have to concern themselves with all that. That’s why they have us. 

Bonne Année to you all, and thank you for your support this year.

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Nos compagnons à quatre pattes

Cat Daddy and I have just spent Christmas Day with Louis Catorze’s Cat Uncle and Cat-Cousin Alfie, and we also met up with Nala the dog and her mamma a few days previously. (Gosh, that was a lot of the word “cat” in one sentence.) Nala is lucky enough to live opposite a lovely dog park and, as a result of her time spent there, she has made more same-species friends in the last two months than Sa Maj has made in his entire life. On Sunday there was even a dogs’ Christmas party in the park, with one of the dog mammas distributing home-made, dog-shaped biscuits to all canine guests.  

“How was the party?” I asked Puppy Mamma. 

“Oh, y’know: much like an office Christmas party,” she replied. “Too much noise, a couple of fights, that kind of thing.”

Oh dear. 

This kind of event would NEVER have worked for cat owners. But I do wonder what it might be like if there were such things as cat parks and we were able to meet in the same way that dog people do.  

Imagine, if you will, rows of park benches filled with ladies, some with bandaged hands due to pilling incidents that turned bad, all discussing the latest device to remove cat hair from furniture and clothes. There would be empty cat carriers at their feet as all the cats happily gambolled about in the park, chasing bugs and chewing grass. Then, when it was time to go home, the ladies would call their cats back and the cats would ignore them. 

Puppy Mamma added that she finally understood what I meant when I talked about my cat friends, as she now has dog friends. She explained how dog owners chat in the park about how their dogs have been, vet visits, the most recent embarrassing escapade etc. and generally bond through their mutual love of dogs. I get it – after all, this is what cat owners do, the only difference being that the internet is our “park”. 

“I guess it must be easier to suss people out as you’re meeting them in person and not online,” I said to Puppy Mamma, “but how do you avoid the freaks?” 

There have to be SOME freaks in Dogsville, right? The whole world knows, of course, about the 60% or so of cat people who are total weirdos, not always in a good way, and I suppose that, as someone who tells people that my cat is French and has his own visitors’ book, I am one of their merry number.

“Easy,” Puppy Mamma told me. “You get to know what time the undesirable people or the undesirable dogs are going to be in the park, and you just avoid going at that time.”

If only it were that easy in the cat world; how wonderful to be able to avoid one particular attention-seeking, punctuation-dodging nutjob – YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE – simply by refraining from logging on at certain times. That said, what a pity if the human were pleasant but one had to steer clear of them because they had an undesirable dog. This is utterly unheard of in cats. Whatever their issue, however naughty or stroppy or psycho they may be, undesirable cats are simply not a thing. 

Cat Daddy: “Really? I can think of one.”

If a genie were to grant me three wishes, I would wish for that cat park – yes, even before wishing for a lottery win, world peace or more wishes. And, should you ever see cats pitter-pattering about your local green space and a group of slightly harassed-looking ladies in jaunty scarves, helping themselves from a free Crémant fountain, you will KNOW.