Le Roi adore sa grand-mère

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My mum is staying for a few days and, because she’s broken her ankle, she is in our bedroom and we’re in the attic. (Mind you, being a typical mum and “not wanting to inconvenience us”, she offered to have the attic. Up an extra flight of stairs and on a mattress on the floor? With a bad ankle and crutches? Really, Maman?) Louis Catorze let out a sad yowl of confusion when he couldn’t find us last night but, once we’d called out to him and he understood who was where, all was well in his world once again.

Louis Catorze shared his love last night: I told my mum to keep her door shut in case he sat on her bad ankle, but, being the original Crazy Cat Lady whose genes have passed to the rest of us, she ignored me, left the door wide open and welcomed him in for cuddles instead. He sat on her stomach last night as she lay in bed, itched a bit, she nudged him to stop him itching, he itched a bit more, she nudged him again, and this went on until one or other of them fell asleep. Then he came up to join us.

I’m continuing with his morning play (despite the weirdness of sleeping with a toy fish on a string by the bed), although I think it’s going to be a while until I’m able to say that Louis Catorze is truly exercising. Cat Daddy came back from the bathroom mid-session and said, “There must be something wrong with his eyesight. No cat is THAT slow.” Sorry, but ours is. The vet pretty much said said so. I had his eyesight checked the last time we went, because I had exactly the same concerns, and it was fine.

I’ve booked his vaccinations for the 18th, and he will be having his skin scraping allergy test at the same time, to get the full horror over and done with in one go. I’m giving some thought to asking the vet about reconsidering his use of Atopica because, as well as making him grumpy, it’s clearly not serving its main purpose of keeping the allergy away. Also, despite it not being a steroid, nobody is quite sure about its prolonged use and subsequent side effects and, whilst I might take the chance for something that was working well, it seems senseless to risk his long-term health for such inconsistent results. He seems to fare better on plain old Piriton, especially in terms of his mood.

After all this time and money spent on tests and treatment, it would be somewhat ironic if his condition were kept in check with a £5 bottle from the pharmacy, wouldn’t it?

Le Roi s’en fiche: vive Le Roi!

Louis Catorze is pretty unconcerned about all the fuss and furore caused by his test results. Here he is, displaying his best “pretty unconcerned” look:


However, he’s also looking super-healthy, with glossy fur, virtually no scabs or broken skin, and bald patches that are slowly filling in. And he’s chatty, chirpy, swishy-tailed and full of energy. Something we’re doing is working for him right now; let’s hope it continues to do so for as long as possible.

We’ve had no news as yet from the vet about the skin scraping, so I’ve been looking into other possibilities. Some very kind friends recommended a bioenergetics company who analyse animal hair samples and prescribe a toxin-free remedy, so I’ve been in touch with them and requested a testing kit. The best thing about the remedy is that it can be dropped into Louis Catorze’s drinking water or onto his skin, as opposed to being syringed into his mouth after terrifying the life out of him with a surprise attack. Sometimes it’s all about the delivery: the best cure in the world is no good to me if violence and bloodshed are involved.

At £100 this remedy is not cheap but it has to be worth a go, just in case the western medicine route sends us down another dead end. I’m not sure if Cat Daddy will agree as he thinks alternative therapies are for hippy-dippy airheads who eat fairy dust and pink sparkles; that said, he never reads this, so I might just try it anyway and see how long it takes him to find out.

Où sont les résultats?

Cat Daddy keeps telling me how pointless it is to worry about Louis Catorze’s test results until they’re in. I know he’s right, but wasting time on pointless shit is my speciality. In fact, I sometimes tell others, as a joke, that I was born with a brain abnormality that makes me press on with stupid decisions and acts despite knowing full well how stupid they are, and it’s shocking how many people don’t appear that surprised.

My cat mamma instincts tell me that Louis Catorze is allergic to some, or all, of the following substances, in order of severity and with the most severe first:

  1. Dust mites
  2. Pollen of some sort (most likely grass)
  3. Feathers (from pillows and duvets as opposed to birds – Louis Catorze couldn’t and wouldn’t catch a bird even if you dipped him in bird seed and flung him into an aviary)
  4. Me
  5. Water
  6. Air
  7. Cheap, highly-scented, mass-produced skincare products
  8. The paper on which they print tabloid newspapers and tone-lowering gossip magazines
  9. Himself (in the same way that bodies reject donor organs)
  10. Food (all types ever created, natural and processed, meat- and plant-based, raw and cooked, feline and human)

Having spent a Roi’s ransom on dust mite murder weapons, I’m kind of hoping for no.1. But, having convinced Cat Daddy that I absolutely have to buy posh, scent-free skincare products “to act as a control and help monitor the flare-ups” I’m also hoping for rank outsider no.7, simply because it will require me to make no changes whatsoever and to continue buying Dermalogica products in the name of being a loving cat mamma. (“Why, yes, Cat Daddy, that price is perfectly normal for such a highly-specialised product. Do you want our boy to get better or not?”)

I am desperate to find out whether one of my 10 suspects will be guilty as charged, or whether the culprit will be something else entirely. I can’t believe that, soon, the wondering and speculating will be over!

Le Roi est de retour!

The vet called at about 7:30 last night to let us know there had been a cancellation, so Cat Daddy took Louis Catorze in this morning for his blood test. I felt quite guilty not feeding him but, because he doesn’t really like food, rather than bugging me, he just watched me eat my own breakfast and slow-blinked politely. The photo above shows him mid-blink (please excuse the surrounding laptops, wires and crap – cropping the photo did virtually nothing to improve it).

The veterinary nurse had previously told Cat Daddy that they would try pinning Louis Catorze down again, “using more people” (more than 4!) and resorting to the sedative only if that didn’t work. We told them that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES was that to happen, and that they were to bypass the brute force and go straight for the sedative; some will disagree with this, I know, but, when a 3kg cat suddenly develops the strength of a grizzly bear and 4 people can’t contain him, it’s because he’s terrified and fearing for his life. I thought, and still think, that sedation was the kinder option.

And, having raced home like a nutter to see my boy, I’m happy to report that he’s fine: eating, drinking, trotting around with his tail up and rubbing gross hairs and cat arse all over our (once-)clean ironing. It seems that he’s already forgotten what happened: one of the joys of having a thick cat!

So we’re £345 poorer but the results will be back next week, and I’m going to be like an annoying child in the run-up to Christmas, fidgeting, calendar-watching and willing the days to pass. In the meantime, I’m to give Louis Catorze 5ml of liquid Piriton twice a day, “whenever he feels itchy”. So that’ll be all the time, then. But … not today. Today is all about cuddles and enjoying Dreamies irresponsibly.

La honte

I feel nothing today but deep shame at Louis Catorze’s behaviour, and frustration that we now have to go back to the vet again and (probably) spend a larger sum of money than anticipated. I can’t even bring myself to take a photo of him, because the 2 bald chest patches that he is now proudly sporting are a grim reminder that he was shaved for nothing. (He, incidentally, appears to have no memory of the incident; in fact, the dumb zozo was happily slow-blinking at me 15 minutes after we got home yesterday. We’ve just had a lovely cuddle, and now he’s gone outside to chase some bugs.)

Cat Daddy, on the other hand, is peacock-proud of his boy for standing up for himself. “Good for him! At least we know that, if anyone tried to kidnap him, he’d be fine.” Yes, I can imagine the streets lined with people just desperate to do that: he’s black, he’s scruffy, he’s dangerous and he costs a fortune to maintain. (Cat Daddy asked me the other day whether the cost of the allergy test would be taken out of the kitty sick fund that we’ve been saving up. YES. IT HAS TO BE. THERE IS NO OTHER MONEY. LITTLE SOD HAS BLED US DRY.)

So, other than the bald chest patches, life goes on as normal until Thursday.

Aux armes, citoyens! 


This evening we took Louis Catorze to the vet for his blood allergy test. The easy bit was getting him into La Cage, as the dopey saucisson has been using it as a bed all week. The hard bit was, well, just being there. If anyone has a cat who enjoys the vet experience and co-operates fully, I would love to know about it (and possibly also swap cats).

The nice nurse asked us to remain in the waiting room whilst they did the test. We asked how long it would take, and she replied, “That depends how well-behaved he is.” Gulp.

Minutes later she reappeared, looking flustered. “We just can’t do it,” she gasped. “He’s leaping around all over the place. He’s just too strong. Are you able to bring him back on another day, when more nurses are available to help? It’s just 2 of us today.”

Oh. Saint. Jésus.

“Erm, could we come through and help, maybe?” I suggested.

“You could try. Would he be better behaved with you?”

Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.

So, there we were: 2 nurses (estimated weight: 55kg each), me (63kg), Cat Daddy (93kg), all simultaneously pinning down a tiny 3kg cat. And … no. We couldn’t do it between the 4 of us, either.

Then Cat Daddy said, “I don’t understand it. He isn’t normally like this.” Yup – when things are this dire, lies always help.

So now we need to take him back on Thursday morning, have them do the blood test under sedation, and then collect him after work. They didn’t charge us this time – probably because they were so traumatised that they forgot – but no doubt the next time will be more expensive than the originally-quoted £280, due to the sedative and the extended stay.

And Cat Daddy will be taking him, given that I can never show my face there again.