I am in a race against time to knit a set of scarves by 25th December. A late start (my own fault, I know) and a series of wool catastrophes have resulted in me running way, way behind schedule. Obviously this means I could do without any individuals larking about with my knitting. That goes without saying, non?
Imagine my dismay, then, when I came downstairs yesterday morning to this:
My first thought was that Cat Daddy must have had too much wine the night before and somehow ended up tangled in the wool. Cat Daddy was shocked and a little insulted when I asked him this but I still maintain that it was not an unfair assumption, especially as there was an empty wine bottle and glass on the worktop (see first photo).
This only leaves Louis Catorze, and he’s supposed to be ill. He’s also not supposed to be on the worktop, and I’m profoundly disappointed that my mastermind idea for keeping him off – placing him there to give him his medication – seems to have run its course after many, many years of success.
Anyway, I have now lost precious knitting time by having to instead spend it untangling the mess, and the chances of our friends receiving the scarves by Christmas are diminishing faster than our hopes of a Brexit deal. The culprit is relaxing on his daddy’s lap, without a care in the world:
She peered around cautiously as she entered Le Château, as one would if forced to enter an abandoned asylum where a chainsaw massacre had taken place. “Is Lewis around?” she asked. (Yes, she pronounces his name “Lewis”, but I don’t expect he will care about this at all. Plus he has been called much worse things by Cat Daddy.) I replied that he was outside, but that he would probably come and say hello soon.
At this point she said either “Oh good” or “Oh God”. I’m pretty sure it must have been the former.
Anyway, one eyebrow was successfully threaded without mishap. When she started on the other one we heard the ominous sound of pitter-pattering, then screaming. The beautician then lost her grip on the thread because she was laughing so much.
Little sod jumped up onto the bed and stared at her, then decided that he would settle down, eyes wide, and stay for a chat.
“How are you?”
“Oh, that’s good.”
“Yes, I’m fine too.”
And, curiously, after that little exchange, any suspicion (on his part) and abject terror (on her part) swiftly dissolved, and the two of them became friends. That was it. No more screaming. And they even had a little cuddle after the treatment.
“You know me now, don’t you, Lewis?” the beautician said, as she left. “So you’ll be a good boy from now on?”
I think Catorze’s last “Mwah” meant “Je ne sais pas: I’ll get back to you on that one.”
Today is Louis Catorze’s birthday, according to his paperwork, although it’s actually the anniversary of the day that he first pitter-pattered into the rescue. The staff there probably tend to celebrate 20th July instead, which is the day that we took him off their hands and ended his reign of money-draining. (He was, and, as far as we know, still remains, their most expensive cat ever.)
At 7 years old he is now officially either Mature or Senior, depending on one’s source. Yet he is still the same tiny, kittenish little scrap of a thing that (we imagine) he was at a year old, which is quite impressive; how many humans could claim to look 1/7 of their actual age?
I had the idea of a huge neighbourhood birthday extravaganza with accordion music, Sun King bunting and party poppers that scatter Dreamies and party powder instead of shredded paper and glitter, but Cat Daddy vetoed it.
“We have had a whole house built and furnished to his specifications,” he sighed. “We have spent, and continue to spend, a fortune on anti-allergy paraphernalia. He has better food and health care than we do. So he can go whistle if he thinks he’s getting a party or presents.”
And that was that.
Don’t feel too bad for the little sod, though. He doesn’t know that it’s his birthday, for a start. And he will have a perfectly pleasant day here at Le Château with us, eating his usual ruinously expensive food imported from Canada and playing with the many lovely toys that pilgrims have kindly given him. And we will be raising a glass to him and thanking the universe for his good health. It will be no different from any other day in his life, but, trust me: this is good.
We hope you are having an equally lovely bank holiday weekend with your furry overlords, and that every day feels like their birthday.
Louis Catorze has been with us for exactly a year! (The picture above was taken the day after he arrived – I love it because it shows his gorgeous squashed boxer’s nose.) We’d only lost Luther a month beforehand and it seemed very soon to be getting another cat, but being catless was making us sad. I don’t think there is a right or wrong time to get another cat after losing one, but my advice would be, “If in doubt, do it anyway.” At worst, you will be giving a cat a home and freeing up a rescue centre place for another one who needs it. And, at best, you will have a cat!
(Cat Daddy has just read the above over my shoulder and said, “What about the cat hair everywhere? And the muddy paw prints? And being woken up at 3am just for a chat? And being completely bled dry financially because he needs special this and special that?” Oh yeah. There’s that, too.)
I’ll be honest: we were initially drawn to Louis Catorze because he looked so much like Luther in his photos. And when I called his foster mamma to arrange to meet him and she warned me about his protruding vampire teeth, being a bit of a black cat / horror movie / Halloween fiend, that just made me want him even more. At that point we knew we would adopt him even though we hadn’t met him, and there really wasn’t a lot he could have done at that first meeting to change my mind (although gnawing off my fingers might have been a bit offputting) so, on the first Sunday of my summer holidays, we brought him home.
Luther had settled in fully within 3 days, so we had an expectation that Louis Catorze would do the same thing. He didn’t. Although he was affectionate, for the first few months he spent 23.5 hours a day asleep and Cat Daddy even wondered whether we should return him to the rescue centre as he clearly wasn’t happy with us. But he got there in the end, just more slowly than most. In fact, that pretty much sums up his approach to everything in life.
We plan to mark this special day by giving him love and cuddles and letting him do what he wants. (So, erm, totally different from a normal day, then.) We are so happy to have this sweet, itchy little soul in our lives, and we really hope that, despite not being the brightest, he realises that.