Le lit du Roi

Oscar the dog’s human sister came over recently for some Louis Catorze time. They spent a lovely afternoon together, playing with cat toys and old cardboard boxes, and Catorze was on his best behaviour, the way he always is when guests come so that nobody believes us when we complain about what a psycho he is. He played happily with her and meowed sweetly every time she spoke to him. (Yes, they regularly have actual conversations, with her speaking and him replying.)

Dog Sister’s time with Catorze is also teaching her more and more about the differences between cats and dogs, as demonstrated here:

Dog Sister: “What’s that box?”

Me: “That’s Louis’s bed.”

Her: “But it says “Cats are NOT permitted …””

Me: “Yup. That’s cats for you.”

During her visit Dog Sister decided to renovate Catorze’s bed by filling it with old cushions that we were going to throw away, and now he can’t get enough of it. His upgraded bed is his new favourite place, so much so that he even stayed put here during the beautician’s first visit since lockdown, instead of following her upstairs, rolling on all her stuff and screaming at her. The best thing is that he sleeps here most of the night, which means he isn’t annoying us, nor is he out picking fights with the local wildlife.

Here he is, enjoying the handiwork of his best buddy:

Yes, he has more beds than we do. Et alors?

J’adore mon igloo

Louis Catorze’s winter igloo has officially been reinstated. Even though I know that, once he’s in, he won’t be coming out unless it’s on fire.

Selfishly, I wanted to delay giving him back his igloo because I like having him on our laps. That said, I know how much he loves it. And it means we can have our blankets back. And, possibly most importantly, if he’s sleeping in it throughout most of the day and night, it’s less likely that he will be bothering the neighbours, howling at dogs / foxes / magpies / parakeets / other cats, or waking us up by bouncing around our bed and screaming in our faces. So, in many ways, it’s a win-win.

If anyone wants him – don’t all rush at once – he’ll be here until next May:

Cinq ans d’esclavage

Yesterday marked the 5-year anniversary of the glorious day that Louis Catorze came to live with us.

Because of this length of time, we thought we were highly knowledgeable in terms of the many sub-edicts of Little Sods’ Law. But it seems that more and more of them progressively come to light that we never knew existed. He really is the gift that keeps on giving.

We can now announce the following new addenda to the Law:

1. If you are in the middle of changing bed linen and become distracted, even for just a second, any black cat in the vicinity will be irresistibly drawn to the unguarded, undressed white duvet and pillows.

2. The strength of the cat’s attraction to the duvet and pillows will be inversely proportional to the cleanliness of the cat.

If you are easily repulsed by gross cats, please look away now.

I have no idea what he did to get into such a state. Nor do I know what most of this stuff even is, although I fear that those things on his left cheek (our right), are dead spiders.

Cat Daddy: “You’re going to have to move him. I’m not touching him. He’s your cat.”

[It hasn’t escaped my notice that Catorze is always “my” cat when he’s done something bad or cost us a lot of money.]

Cat Daddy again: “Oh. You can’t move him, can you, because of your shoulder? So I suppose I’m going to have to do it?”

Mais oui.

Anyway, the little sod wasn’t budging from the duvet and clung on as if the lives of every man on the planet depended on it. Eventually he was ejected but, somehow, in all the chaos, the dead spiders were dislodged. I now fear that they might be lurking somewhere inside the folds of the duvet. Ugh. The only thing worse than spiders is hidden spiders. IN YOUR BED.

Cat Daddy, sinking into a chair and rolling his eyes: “Oh, don’t worry, we’ll find them. First thing in the morning, probably stuck to your face or mine.”

And now I can never sleep again.

I am fairly sure that the best recovery from surgery does not involve restless nights fretting about duvet spiders. And I expect that this is all part of the Dark Lord’s grand plan to take me down – making it look like “post-operative complications” – so that he can have Cat Daddy all to himself.

Notre petite vie est cernée de sommeil

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: 

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Le printemps, c’est l’époque des projets et des plans

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?


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:

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Le songe d’une nuit d’hiver

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). 

I hope he feels this snug and happy forever. 

Le lit découvre tous les secrets

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: 

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Could he BE any more low-brow and unbecoming of a Sun King? 

Cat Daddy: “If you gave him enough time, probably, yes.”

Le papier bulles

image

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.

J’adore mon nouveau lit


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.