It’s all been happening here at Le Château. On Thursday night we were due to go to my sister’s place in East London for a weekend of flat-sitting and sightseeing (she’s away on holiday at the moment), so we made provisions for the little girl next door to feed Le Roi. However, for some reason we were unable to get into my sister’s flat, so we had to come home again … and it was just as well, because our cleaner had shut Le Roi in the Forbidden Bedroom, where he would have remained until Saturday afternoon had we stayed away.
Fortunately his pathetic meowing alerted us to his predicament, so we were able to release him immediately. And, even more fortunately, he hadn’t been imprisoned for long enough to need les toilettes; our brand new rococo mirror is lying on the Forbidden Bedroom floor until we can find the wherewithal to hang it up, and I’m certain that it would have been in the firing line.
After spending Thursday night glued to my chest and whining like a lost dog, Louis Catorze either recovered from his trauma or forgot that it ever took place (I’m guessing the latter). He spent most of Friday morning sunning himself on our bed, then went outside to sniff bugs for several hours.
Health-wise he is continuing to do well, with an almost scab-free under-chin area, increased energy and a voracious appetite that seems to have come from nowhere; he’s not eating a lot compared to most cats, yet this is the most I’ve ever seen him eat. He also seems to have forgotten about the very existence of the Forbidden Greenhouse, and not only is he continuing to sleep on our nice clean bed instead, but he seems to actually seek out the bioenergetics pendant (just visible in the photo); I often wonder whether he’s knocked it onto the floor, and then I discover that it’s underneath him.
I know that, at some stage, our bubble will burst and his allergy will return, because that’s the way it is with him. But, for now, I’m enjoying this little period of positivity.
Oh dear. Louis Catorze’s right eye is starting to look bald and puffy around the edges. I don’t know why this is happening just as we make some headway in cleaning up the dust, but I suspect it’s because he has managed to slip past me and into the Forbidden Greenhouse on a few occasions. (Unfortunately we’ve discovered that the greenhouse door won’t shut: the hinges have rusted and wedged it firmly open, and not even Cat Daddy has managed to shift it. Plus there are numerous missing or broken panes of glass so, even if we did manage to close the door, Louis Catorze would still be able to get in.)
We’ve still not located his Piriton, so today I had to schlep to the pharmacy to get more. Fortunately I have had more luck finding the beeswax candles, which – provided they are 100% beeswax, as mine are – clean the air as they burn and are said to reduce asthma and allergies; I myself have found them very helpful during the hay fever season, and, on a couple of occasions, they have even encouraged Louis Catorze out of La Cage after one of his Post-Itch Sulks. Regular tealight candles – the kind that you buy in bulk from the supermarket – are made of paraffin wax, which is a by-product of petroleum refining and which begins life as gross sludge at the bottom of a crude oil barrel. Then, in our misguided belief that we are setting a romantic and sensual mood, we set fire to it and send its toxins pumping into our homes and our lungs – lovely.
So I’ve tracked down the beeswax candles, but where on earth am I supposed to put them so that Louis Catorze can reap the maximum benefit? Yesterday he spent the ENTIRE day in the suitcase in our spare room, but it doesn’t seem remotely sensible to leave candles unattended in a room containing lots of brittle cardboard boxes and a stupid cat. Alternatively there’s the Forbidden Greenhouse, but I’m highly put off by the idea of being seen by the neighbours and having to explain why I’m leaving candles there. “Oh, they’re for my allergic cat.” Right.
In the end I lit one in the living room and opened all the doors, hoping that its pollutant-killing magical beam would somehow spread through Le Château. If nothing else, there’s something very calming and hypnotic about watching a candle flame flickering and dancing. So, at best, this will have a positive effect on my boy and, at worst, it will make no difference but I will be so relaxed that I won’t care.
Good news: Louis Catorze has found a new day bed which isn’t the greenhouse. Bad news: it’s in my suitcase of not-yet-unpacked-because-there’s-nowhere-to-put-them clothes, including an unworn t-shirt with the label still attached, which I was intending to return to the shop.
Luckily my gratitude that he hasn’t picked a dusty sleeping spot outweighs my crossness about the t-shirt, so I’ve resisted the temptation to drag him out. It is, however, mildly annoying that he would prefer to be here than on any of the vast array of expensive anti-allergy human and pet bedding that we have all over Le Château.
I decided there was nothing much I could do but make the best of it, so I flung his bioenergetics pendant into the suitcase with him. I often wake up in the night worried that the pendant has fallen off the bed, or anxious that Louis Catorze is sleeping further away from it than the minimum requirement of 3 inches. Also, in my half-asleep scrabble around to try and locate it, my hand wanders uncomfortably close to Louis Catorze’s arse and then I have to get up and wash it. (My hand, I mean.)
So it’s a multiple and universal win: my boy gets to keep his sleeping place of choice, he gets close proximity to, and therefore maximum absorption of, the pendant’s magical healing rays, and I get a more restful night’s sleep without fear of touching his lower portions. Let’s just hope a piece of scrunched Sellotape will do the job on my t-shirt, and that the shop won’t realise that it’s had cat hair and cat arse on it.
Somebody is banned from the gross, dusty greenhouse, and that somebody’s name starts with “L” and ends with “ouis Catorze”. Can you guess who it is? Little sod’s eyes have been looking leathery and weepy again, so the greenhouse is now officially out of bounds. (I told him this the other day but he ignored me, sneakily bypassing my human blockade and escaping out of the bathroom window via the toilet cistern.) I don’t know where he’s going to go for his daytime mega-nap, but that’s his problem to fix.
Curiously, he wasn’t TOO bad with the dust from all the building work going on, which got me wondering whether inorganic dust from freshly-sanded walls could somehow be more sterile, and therefore more tolerable, than organic dust teeming with stale cobwebs and the remains of dead flies? In fact … don’t cobwebs pretty much come from a spider’s arse? Ugh.
Anyway, it was the perfect time to FINALLY find Louis Catorze’s bioenergetics remedy, which consists of a liquid to drop into his drinking water and a bioenergetics pendant to place in his bedding. He tends to sleep with us at night so I will be putting the pendant in our bed, much to Cat Daddy’s amusement – although, if he and I also emerge from this exercise glossy-haired and smooth-skinned thanks to the pendant’s magical force field, he will be forced to mange his mots.
Whether you believe in alternative medicine or not, something about the pendant is drawing Louis Catorze. I left them both on the bed this morning about 5cm apart, and my boy had his back to the pendant. This is how I found them when I returned:
Louis Catorze’s remedy from the bioenergetics company arrived just before the move but, along with a lot of other stuff, it’s trapped among boxes in the living room and I can’t get to it. Luckily he’s doing really well at the moment, both physically and in spirit, so I haven’t needed it desperately. The analysis that accompanied it was like a foreign language to me, as was the letter explaining it. The one bit that I did understand, however, was: “Please allow 4-5 working days before calling us to discuss the readings”, so presumably I’m not the only one.
I called them today, and it seems that my cat defies both conventional AND alternative medicine: once again, he displayed sensitivity to certain substances, but not strongly enough to be causing such extreme symptoms. The bioenergetics lady said she couldn’t understand it at all. So Louis Catorze is a weirdo on many levels (although we kind of suspected this anyway).
Anyway, the offending substances are:
- Egg yolk
- Flax seed
- Rabbit (not a concern as the chances of him catching one are slim-to-zero)
- Fennel (I know he’s royalty, but really?)
- Pigeon and chicken droppings
- Feathers (the only one which didn’t come as a surprise to me, as he’s so much better when he’s kept away from the now-deceased Forbidden Feather Duvet)
The bioenergetics lady also confirmed receipt of my emails containing his medical history and the dreaded photos which I once swore I would never show to another living soul: the ones taken in January 2014 by Louis Catorze’s then-foster mamma, which show his allergy at its absolute worst. I had warned the bioenergetics lady beforehand that these photos were upsetting viewing, thinking that, as a professional who dealt regularly with this kind of thing, she’d have seen much worse. Unfortunately her response was: “Quite shocking.” Oh dear.
So I now need to get a move on in terms of clearing all those boxes and locating his stuff, so that I can start giving him the remedy.
I also spoke to the vet at the ex-rescue centre, who told me that they would be able to do the skin scraping test at the same time as the vaccination. Louis Catorze is not due there until mid-August, so he will have a good few weeks to settle into Le Château before being disrupted again. Poor thing probably has many more mountains to climb until he’s fully better, but it’s really good to feel that things are moving and that we’re taking active steps to find that solution.