Louis Catorze disappeared without a trace at the weekend. After hunting all over the house, including in locked cupboards, we eventually found him in the guest bedroom, buried deep underneath the duvet and utterly out of sight except for the tip of his silly little tail sticking out. So, now that the weather has turned colder, and given that he has only used his warm-weather bed a couple of times, I have reinstated his winter igloo.
The little sod initially sniffed suspiciously, as if it say, “Really? Pour moi?” But, when he realised it wasn’t some cruel trick, he was in.
Cat Daddy was disgusted when I told him, as if I had given our hypothetical human child absinthe and cigarettes. “I can’t believe you’ve GIVEN IN,” he sighed. But he felt a little better when I explained that this meant Sa Maj wouldn’t be tunnelling into the guest bedding, leaving a trail of hair and whatever other unknown crud he always seems to be covered in.
I am sure that, when the sun returns, the Sun King will be back out and on the rampage. But, for now, if anyone wants him [Cat Daddy: “I wouldn’t hold your breath, if I were you”], he can be found here:
The dark winter seems a lifetime away now, and, somehow, the longer days give us the feeling that we have so much more time to do things. That’s what it all means to us, at least. To Louis Catorze, it means burrowing deeply into his igloo and never coming out.
Cat Daddy: “This isn’t normal. Staying in there all day is like one of those sensory deprivation torture things. This is what they do to prisoners of war.”
Me: “But we’re not subjecting him to it by force. He’s chosen to go in there.”
Cat Daddy: “Exactly: he’s so thick that he doesn’t even KNOW he’s torturing himself! He’s going to come out an institutionalised vegetable with no eyes, because he’ll have evolved not to use them. And he’ll be completely brain-dead because he won’t have used that, either. On second thoughts, maybe that particular ship has already sailed.”
I did remind Cat Daddy that evolution happens progressively over many generations of creatures, and not with just one animal over a couple of weeks, but he wasn’t really listening. He had a point about the brain-dead bit, though.
If Sa Maj were our human child, we would be picking up his bed and physically tipping him out (and possibly also making him get a job, as a 9-year-old cat is probably about 50 in human years). But, because he is a cat, he just gets to lie around in his pit and not deal with any other living souls if he doesn’t want to. And the worst we will do is complain about him to strangers on the internet and transform his convertible igloo into the warmer-weather bowl shape.
Is it possible to be disgusted at his laziness and, at the same time, envious of his life?
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.]
As well as his summer chaise longue, Louis Catorze now has a cosy bed for the winter. And, if you squish down the roof from the top, it folds into a bowl-shaped bed that also serves for spring and autumn.
Cat Daddy: “Absolutely bloody ridiculous. We don’t even have a summer and a winter DUVET, and yet he has A Bed For All Seasons?”
The bed was gifted by one of Sa Maj’s favourite pilgrims in the whole world, and it’s not hard to see why it was chosen: a creepy black kitty with vampire fangs has to have a Hallowe’en bed, n’est-ce pas? Our friend did initially wonder about pink for a boy cat, but I don’t suppose cats really have colour preferences. And, if they did, something tells me that our boy would opt for pink in an instant.
When we are home, we like it when the little sod sits on our laps. But, when we’re out, it’s nice to know that he has a comfy little spot of his own. Below is a picture of him enjoying his gift, and the fact that he took to it so quickly was something rather special as he usually does the opposite of whatever is expected (or wanted).
Louis Catorze has a Château full of comfortable beds at his disposal, with soft anti-allergy bedding and freshly-laundered duvet covers. So, naturellement, he chooses to sleep in … a grubby Hounslow Council plastics refuse sack, in the equally grubby Forbidden Greenhouse. You couldn’t make this up … and, to prove that I really haven’t, here he is, narrowing his eyes at me with no shame whatsoever:
Could he BE any more low-brow and unbecoming of a Sun King?
Cat Daddy: “If you gave him enough time, probably, yes.”
Dear God. Yet another night of disturbed sleep, because a certain someone decided to break into the cupboard under the stairs and pop bubble wrap (again) at some hellish early hour. Now, I don’t know if you have ever been woken from a deep sleep by the sound of bubble wrap – probably not, as I don’t imagine you share a house with the sort of inconsiderate shite who would do such a thing – but, believe me, it doesn’t sound like bubble wrap. It sounds like gunshots. So, rather than waking up cursing that inconsiderate shite, you wake up terrified for your life and reaching for the nearest weapon with which to defend yourself (in my case, a tube of Dermalogica moisturiser).
Cat Daddy got up between around 2am and 3am to go downstairs and haul Louis Catorze’s arse out of the cupboard. I was mildly perplexed that he chose to say, “Louis! What are you doing?” rather than just getting on with the hauling out – after all, Louis Catorze wasn’t about to reply – but I guess it was still better than having to go down and sort it out myself. After much scrabbling around I eventually heard the cupboard door close, followed by, “You’re putting on weight. You’re so MEATY!” Then there was Cat Daddy’s stomp-stomp back upstairs followed by a gentle pitter-patter of stupid little paws after him. Finally Louis Catorze jumped onto our bed, stretched out across both our stomachs and went to sleep on top of us.
WHY IS HE BEING SO ANNOYING? I suspect that, if we were dealing with a child, Mumsnet and their sort would be instructing me to wear the little sod out with relentless activity during the day in order to make him sleep at night. Louis Catorze sleeps under a bed from about 9am till after dark and barely moves a whisker during daylight hours; could it be that I need to kick his lazy behind into some sort of action? It seems rather mean to wake a cat from his sleep, but surely it can’t be good to go through a whole day without a spot of sunlight touching his body; maybe a bit of vitamin D could be good for his immune system?
I guess these are questions I could ask the vet when I book the appointment, although if any of Le Roi’s loyal subjects have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.
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.