La beauté gagne quelquefois à être regardée de loin

If a cat were to, erm, accidentally get hair-removing wax and baby oil on their fur, they would be ok, wouldn’t they? I’m asking on behalf of a friend.

I don’t suppose I need to explain what happened during the beautician’s visit, so I will let your imagination paint that picture on its own. And it turns out that the only way to painlessly remove salon wax is to dab the affected area with baby oil.

As you can imagine, Sa Maj wasn’t a fan of that. The little sod took off and dived under the bed with the wax only part-removed, refusing to come out. And, when I caught sight of him trying to groom it off much later, he had somehow managed to form the remaining wax and the stuck fur into a sort of pointy, greasy dreadlock on his leg.

Cat Daddy said it was my fault and that I should never have let him come in during the treatment although, had I shut him out of the room, his screaming outside the door would have sent me over the edge. In the meantime, as I write this, he is in his igloo and I daren’t attempt to check him in case the wax has made him stick to the inside. I have horrible (yet also a bit funny) visions of hearing a ripping sound as I shake him out and having him tumble undignifiedly at my feet with one bald leg.

I guess that, once the greasy leg-dreadlock has hardened, I will have to cut it off. Wrestling an oily animal who is freakishly strong when angry, with a pair of scissors in my hand: what could possibly go wrong?

La maison des mille cris

Great news: the beautician is back! 

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.

“Hello, Lewis!” 

“Mwah!”

“How are you?”

“Mwah!”

“Oh, that’s good.”

“Mwah!”

“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.”

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Une vision de la beauté

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When my local beauty salon closed down due to dodgy unlicensed dealings, I found a local freelance beautician who visits clients’ houses for treatments. Monday was her first visit to Le Château and, thanks to Louis Catorze, it is likely to be her last.

Because she is a woman and not a man, I imagined that we would have minimal Catorze disturbance and be left in peace. Pas du tout. When she arrived he pitter-pattered after us, screaming, then knocked her waxing strips onto the floor and rolled all over them. During my eyebrow shaping he lay on my stomach with his head on my chest, staring unblinkingly at the beautician as she carried out the treatment.

Now, as most women – and an increasing number of men – will be aware, having the hairs on your face ripped off isn’t the greatest fun. So having a purring cat lying on you throughout the experience is rather pleasant and comforting. However, from the point of view of beautician carrying out the treatment, being stared down by a vampire-toothed devil-beast when you’re trying to work is utterly terrifying.

When she finished my eyebrows and began my shoulder massage, the screaming resumed. Catorze jumped on and off the bed, pitter-pattered in and out of the room, delicately picked his way up my legs and back down again, all the while screaming himself senseless. I was about to call time on the massage as the beautician was laughing so much that she wasn’t able to apply pressure properly, and, just as she said, “He’s wondering what’s happening to you!” the screaming stopped.

“Oh!” she gasped. “Maybe he thought I had killed you? And, now that he knows you are ok, he’s happy again?” As the conversation continued, the little sod seemed to feel more at ease and he went back to the unnerving silent glaring.

“Erm, so I expect your clients’ pets do this sort of thing all the time, don’t they?” I asked hopefully, praying that this sort of thing might be normal.

Apparently it’s not.

So, the big question: will she be back? Or would she sooner accept a job tweezing Donald Trump’s nose hair than set foot here again?