Les merveilles de la cire

On Monday morning, the beautician came over for a mammoth waxing session. Not the most seemly activity for a day of sombre reflection, perhaps, but quite enough people have lost money due to events being cancelled (bar staff and so on). Monday is the beautician’s day off and our appointments are always on a Monday so, provided she was happy to do battle with the transport, I was happy for her to come.

She was due to arrive at 9:30am. However, because of the travel disruption caused by the funeral, she was forty minutes late. And, as bad luck would have it, she happened to finish waxing my legs and begin on, erm, other areas just as the service started. Had everything run on time, she would have finished and been out of the door well before this point.

Obviously I wasn’t watching the service in the same room; that would have been weird. But I could hear the strains of dour choral music drifting in from the attic bedroom, where Cat Daddy was watching. And it was still weird.

Just as I thought it couldn’t be more awkward, Louis Catorze rocked up. However excruciating a situation, he can always be relied upon to make it worse. I had taken the precaution of closing the door, for fear of this very thing happening. However the beautician, upon hearing him screaming, was excited to see him. So she let him in, and I was too slow to stop her.

“Hello, Lewis!” she said. Catorze mwahhed back. He then jumped onto the bed to oversee the proceedings.

So there I was, on a day of national mourning, having hot wax slapped onto very delicate areas with funeral music accompaniment, whilst a screaming cat watched. Saint Jésus.

After a few minutes, Catorze went upstairs to pester Cat Daddy, jumping onto the bed and pointing his rear end at the funeral cortège on the television screen. Yes, Cat Daddy did take pictures. No, I won’t be sharing them here, despite Cat Daddy daring me to do so.

I am prepared to show this, though: a still from the video that I took for my friend to demonstrate Catorze’s shocking timing, and you will see him utterly entranced by the magic that is the bikini wax. I know. So much wrong in one picture but, trust me, it could be far worse:

Yes, that’s my foot sticking out.

La douleur est le poison de la beauté

Louis Catorze is continuing to be “not very well” yet, curiously, he appears to be well enough to do all manner of idiotic things that unwell individuals should be neither able nor inclined to do.

A few days ago we had a visit from the beautician. This was, at the time, within the permitted guidelines for tradespeople who can’t do their jobs from home, and we were both fully masked up throughout the treatment, bien sûr. Now, of course, things are different because we go into Tier 3 this morning, and this means she is among the non-essential services who can’t operate at all. At least I think that’s the case. Nobody exactly knows.

Anyway, as you are aware, Catorze and the beautician get along very well, but this friendship was born from somewhat, erm, troubled beginnings. The first time they met, there was an incident* which would have put most people off ever returning here again, but they have worked through this and are now the best of buddies.

* https://louiscatorze.com/2018/03/23/une-vision-de-la-beaute/

When the beautician arrived, she went straight upstairs to get ready whilst fetched her a glass of water. And, as followed, I could hear feline screaming, the like of which I have never heard before, interspersed with laughter.

It turned out that they were just saying hello, because it had been a while since they last saw one another (pre-Lockdown 2.0). During my leg wax, Catorze happily pitter-pattered around, up-tailed and chirping, sniffing at the beautician’s bag and generally being interested in what was going on. However, Catorze being Catorze, he really did pick his moment – when the more, erm, personal waxing began – to stop being all cute and kittenish and to start being downright embarrassing and creepy.

Lying in your pants, with one leg pointing east and the other west, whilst a masked, gloved stranger smears hot wax on your lower portions, is already awkward beyond words (and I am wincing at the fact that my mum will read this). But having a vampire-toothed cat sitting right next to your head and screaming in your face throughout the proceedings adds a new level of awkwardness that I have never experienced before (apart from the last time Catorze did this). Ok, so it took my mind off the pain but, dear God, the embarrassment.

Luckily the next time I see the beautician will be sometime in the new year. I was going to add “ … by which time she will have forgotten all about this” but she won’t. Nobody in their right mind possibly could. This kind of thing is standard Catorze, so much so that it would almost be weirder if he behaved himself.

Here he is, right up in my face during my treatment, taking a brief break in between screams:

“You’ve missed a bit, mon amie.”

L’amitié est un trésor

The beautician who does home visits tends to be mysteriously “fully booked” during the days surrounding Hallowe’en. She and Louis Catorze did make their peace** after that unfortunate incident* but I fear that, just to be on the safe side, she avoids him during Peak Psycho Time. And I can’t say that I really blame her; I would if I could.

*The incident: https://louiscatorze.com/2018/03/23/une-vision-de-la-beaute/

**The truce: https://louiscatorze.com/2018/04/12/la-maison-des-mille-cris/

Now that we are safely into November, she is free again and she came over the other day. We heard her talking at the front door long before she actually knocked, and we assumed she was on the phone but it turned out that she was chatting so Sa Maj who, at some point during the day, had escaped yet again. No, we have no idea of when nor how. But he followed her in, chirping and trilling, and then came upstairs to stare at her whilst she did the treatment.

I was relieved and rather thrilled when she told me that another of her clients had a cat. “Ah, what’s the cat like?” I asked, hoping she would say “Deranged and homicidal” so that Catorze wouldn’t seem like the only one.

“Very quiet,” she replied. “He just comes, looks at me for a few minutes and then goes away.”


“But I told my client that, one day, her cat would be my best friend,” she continued. “Just like Lewis.”


Afterwards I remarked on how well-behaved he had been during the treatment (although “well-behaved” is, of course, relative).

The beautician: “Yes, Lewis, you were! Well, today, at least.”

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 belle et la bête

I don’t often feature other cats in Le Blog – mainly due to the fact that Louis Catorze doesn’t have any friends – but I couldn’t resist a picture of Bella, who lives in Cat Granny’s residential care home. 

We have visited Cat Granny there many times, and I have often said that the one thing the place needed was a cat. Then, suddenly, Bella was there. She is an absolutely delightful addition the home, happily sitting on residents’ laps for cuddles and slow-blinking at people passing by. And the place is big enough so that, should she want time to herself, she can just slip off and have a nap on a chair (as she was doing here when I interrupted her for a photo): 


Cat Daddy and I wondered whether Sa Majesté could become one of those officially certified therapy cats who tour hospitals and residential care homes to cheer up sick and/or old people. Cat Daddy remarked that he was “most definitely certifiable”, which means that he agrees, right? In reality, however, because Catorze is such a little sod, I think he would end up being whatever the opposite of a therapy cat is, i.e. people who were fine before meeting him would need therapy afterwards.

That said, he is bold, friendly and great with new people, and the fact that many elderly people are hard of hearing would mean that nobody would care that much about his screaming. Dialling down the volume on the hearing aid would bring instant peace, something for which we at Le Château desperately yearn at times. 

Cat Daddy said we didn’t do enough to support elderly people’s charities and suggested that we make a donation.

Me: “That’s a lovely idea. How much do you want to donate?”

Cat Daddy: “About 3kg of pointless black fur?”

(He was only joking. And, to make up for his unkindness, we have made a donation to the Mayhew, whose therapy animals – unlike Catorze – make people feel better.)

Une vision de la beauté


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?