De l’eau pour tous

After a suggestion from one of my lovely blog followers, I have been putting a bowl of hot water in each of the rooms most frequented by Sa Maj in the hope that the extra moisture in the air might help his eyes. 

When we first adopted him we were told that he only drank from glasses, and that under no circumstances would he drink from a bowl. “I’m sure he’ll use a bowl eventually, when he gets thirsty enough,” I replied cheerfully. He didn’t. So we had no option but to provide him with his own special glass. (Well, it was either that or have him randomly drink from any receptacle that he came across, which is asking for trouble.)

Naturellement, after a lifetime of refusing to drink from a bowl, the sudden presence of bowls from which we DON’T want him to drink has made him decide that he might be interested after all. And the only thing that stops him from doing it – apart from me taking my phone from my pocket to catch him in the act – is using hot water straight from the kettle which, despite being the best for adding moisture to the air, comes with its own, obvious problems. (Don’t worry: we are fully aware that Sa Maj is stupid enough to scald himself, so we ensure that we are around to keep him under Suicide Watch. Once the water has cooled and he is no longer under surveillance, no doubt he has a good old slurp and renders this experiment a complete waste of time.)

Cat Daddy has also kicked and/or threatened to kick more bowls of water than I can count. So, between the two of them, the men of the household are doing their best to make sure that this whole thing fails dismally. 

Me: “We could always buy him a plug-in air humidifier?”

Cat Daddy: “[Hysterical laughter followed by unrepeatable comments peppered with rude words.]”

Fortunately Catorze continues to remain in good spirits and is utterly unbothered by his condition. In the meantime, we shall keep topping up the boiling water in the hope that it does him good. 

553ED97B-602B-49B6-B38E-B951986A1FBC

Toute maladie peut être soignée mais la sottise est incurable

Louis Catorze’s above-eye fur is thinning, and the skin around his eyes is starting to look a little thick and leathery. Given that these signs often indicate a resurgence of all his old problems, this makes me very anxious indeed. I am also somewhat baffled as he has been well for such a long time, and I cannot imagine what could have triggered this. 

We have had the central heating cranked up unusually high lately, and, historically, his issues have been worse in cold weather. But, other than that, there have been no changes whatsoever in anything we have done. He is eating exactly the same food, and everything in his environment is as it has always been.

He is perfectly fine in every other way – eating, drinking, screaming and sprinting around the house with bulging psycho eyes whilst chasing imaginary prey (or at least I hope it’s imaginary) – so I guess he can’t be THAT unwell. But, to be on the safe side, I am turning the heating down when I can, even if this means the rest of us are cold. 

Cat Daddy, shivering in two jumpers and a blanket: “[Unrepeatable mutterings.]”

Please keep your fingers crossed for him – Catorze, I mean, not Cat Daddy – and let’s all hope that it’s nothing rather than something. 

Où le chat et le loup jouent

Some time ago I posted about Little Sods’ Law, a black cat charter which dictates, amongst other things, the following: 

  1. If you see a black cat misbehaving in public, the chances are that it’s your cat.
  2. The likelihood of it being your cat is directly proportional to the embarrassingness of the misbehaviour. 

I am shocked to report that, on Saturday, the Law was disproven and, for once, it was not Louis Catorze causing the mayhem. But my phone still buzzed all weekend with messages asking me to check and be sure:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47104907

When I became a member of the Chat Noir club, whose founding member was Le Roi’s big brother Luther, I was concerned that I would not be able to tell my cat apart from others. (With hindsight, I can’t think of a situation that would require such a skill. Perhaps if twenty black cats suddenly appeared in my house at once, it would be handy to know mine so that I could then kick out the impingers. Or I guess I could just keep all twenty.) But we know our own cats, don’t we, black cat owners? And the Everton cat’s hellraising shenanigans have demonstrated, if anything, just how different and distinct black cats are from one another.

This cat has a much fatter, rounder face than Catorze and no chin of which to speak (imagine a large grapefruit compared to a small lemon). And he has a thick, solid physique more reminiscent of Cocoa the babysit cat than of Catorze. That said, both causing trouble and large crowds of men are highly irresistible to Sa Maj, and we know only too well of his teleportation skills, so pitter-pattering to a stadium and invading the pitch are just the sort of things he would do. 

I do hope that this beautiful chap finds his way back to wherever he is supposed to be. If he turned up at Le Château I would be sorely tempted to keep him, and, despite everything I have said about the uniqueness of each individual black cat, I would ensure that he and Catorze were never seen together, in an effort to convince Cat Daddy that we still had just one cat. 

Cat Daddy, whilst watching the Everton v Wolves game: “Bloody ridiculous. First an Anfield cat, and now this. Why do Liverpudlians take their cats with them to football matches? Not even YOU do that.”

True. But only because I didn’t think of it. 

Le Roi est confortable: vive Le Roi!

I have swivelled Louis Catorze’s winter igloo around by 45 degrees. And, with the weather turning life-threateningly icy this week – London had a massive 5mm of snow on Thursday – he has been spending a fair amount of time in it.

Cat Daddy: “Are you serious? You’re writing an entire blog post about the fact that you’ve tilted a cat bed a little to the left?”

Well, ok, I don’t suppose any Hollywood big shots will be queuing up for the film rights to this one, but the comfort of Le Roi Soleil is at stake here. And that is not a matter to be taken lightly. 

Previously Sa Maj had to hop straight up and into the bed in one movement, as the entrance to the bed was right at the edge of the wooden plinth. But, with the new angle, he has plenty of plinth-space to hop up and can step more easily and dignifiedly into the bed. And he is also able to extend his front paws out onto the plinth and have a good old stretch mid-exit, as opposed to jumping out/down and THEN stretching. Naturellement I have been unable to capture his stretch on camera because he either comes out of his igloo too quickly, or doesn’t come out at all when I want him to.

Cat Daddy again, without looking up from his laptop: “Don’t forget to take a photo of the igloo at the new angle!” [He says the words “new angle” in his Alan-Rickman-as-the-Sheriff-of-Nottingham voice.] 

Quite right. Here it is:

cd374132-4140-4a21-b038-edf847c4877c

Il y a une souris dans ma cuisine; qu’est-ce que je vais faire?

1e5e7a40-1d74-4d44-aa3f-eaeb4c01e4e6The curious incident of the herbs in the kitchen has been solved. 

After a thorough search, Cat Daddy discovered that a bag of green lentils had been chewed right through – which we had failed to spot before as the hole was minuscule, perhaps the diameter of a pencil – and the discerning mouse had taken care to discard the unpalatable outer casings. And, whilst green lentils look nothing like dried herbs, their shredded outer casings happen to look EXACTLY like them. 

The mouse had also gnawed through two packets of Cat Daddy’s as-yet-unopened, mega-posh teff flour (nope, me neither; I had to Google it), which were promptly thrown away along with the lentils. We have now moved all the packet food up to the top shelves and the tins and jars to the bottom, and we are desperately hoping that the squeaky little sod can’t climb/jump.  

Technically, because Louis Catorze jumped off my lap and went to investigate before we knew there was a mouse, he did, indeed, solve the mystery before us. He is not, however, completely off the hook. “Well, who do you think brought the mouse in here?” asked Cat Daddy. “It’s all his fault.” 

C’est vrai. As we have said before, the definition of good mousing is not bringing mice to a place where there were none before and then turning them loose to run riot. 

Anyway, we have no idea where the mouse is, and I guess we have no option but to keep an eye on our food packets for unusual spillages, and, of course, to monitor Sa Maj for suspicious sniffing and prowling. And, as the little sod has the revolting habit of bringing dead and partially-dead prey up to our bedroom, no doubt it will be abundantly clear when Project Mini-Mouse concludes.

Don’t worry, I shall share this with you at the earliest opportunity.

You’re welcome. 

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.