Les douze

Louis Catorze will be twelve years old on Saturday. This means that he will overtake Cat Daddy and become the oldest member of the household (based on cat years and their equivalent to human years).

When Catorze first came to live with us, we didn’t think he would live very long because he was such a sickly little thing. Yet here he is, not just soldiering on but positively thriving. My dream of him turning fourteen – simply so that I can tell people that Catorze is quatorze – is now a distinct possibility. Back in 2014 the idea of another ten years seemed a bit of a reach, but not anymore.

We had originally planned to be away for Catorze’s birthday – not to get away from him, I might add, but because Brentford are playing Manchester United away. However, the date of the match has been changed, so we will be here after all. Obviously he doesn’t give a shite whether we’re here or not, but I’m rather glad that we will be able to share his big day with him.

I had written a birthday song for him, too, remodelling the lyrics to Boney M’s Rasputin*. However, given recent events, it seems insensitive to post something with Russian references. I was looking forward to using the line “La la little sod, struts around as if he’s God” but he now has a new birthday song, to be posted on the day.

*Younger followers: ask your grandparents.

Here is the little sod, dreaming of the birthday tomfoolery that he can conjure up:

Relaxing on what he believes to be HIS outdoor sofa.

À mi-chemin vers l’Halloween

Louis Catorze will be 11 years old on Friday. An 11th birthday doesn’t have quite the same satisfying roundness as a 10th birthday, but nevertheless it’s a big deal.

If 30th April were truly the day that he was born, Catorze would be a Taurus. I don’t believe in star signs, but I still enjoy reading about them and giggling at the disparity between what I am and what I’m supposed to be. I am a Libra, and we are said to be obsessed with physical appearance (nope), adept in social situations (hell, nope) and lovers of high art and intellectualism (I don’t think anyone has ever accused Le Blog of being either of those).

That said, Cat Daddy is a Cancer, which makes him moody and high-maintenance. Ahem.

Anyway, I have a book called “The Enchanted Cat” (https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-enchanted-cat/ellen-dugan/9780738707693) which a friend sent to me years ago. Now, please hear me out. This is what it says about the Taurus cat:

⁃ Laid-back and peaceful: nope and nope

⁃ Shy with strangers: HELL, nope

⁃ Upset by change: depends what it is, e.g. us going on holiday and leaving him with a chat-sitteur for two weeks = not a big deal and actually great fun, whereas a new food bowl = Armageddon

⁃ Loyal and generous: nope and nope

⁃ A hearty appetite: nope

⁃ Has one favoured sleeping spot: nope

However, the Gemini cat is, apparently, as follows:

⁃ Very social: check

⁃ Demands attention and loves being spoken to: check and check

⁃ Kittenish behaviour throughout their life: check

⁃ Very vocal, with quite the repertoire of sounds: HELL, check

⁃ Loves to keep its humans on their toes: no further questions, Your Honour

Assuming this to be correct, and I realise that it’s a bit of a reach, it seems far more likely that Catorze is a Gemini (21st May to 21st June).

That said, 30th April – Beltane Eve – marks the halfway point to Hallowe’en and this date is still historically associated with magic, witches and otherworldly creepiness (see link: https://halloweendailynews.com/2017/04/walpurgis-night-halfway-to-halloween/ ). A 31st October birthday would, perhaps, be more fitting for a black cat with vampire teeth, but the second creepiest date on the calendar happens to be the date given on his paperwork, so it will do nicely.

The dark gatekeeper to the Zone Libre says “Non” to whatever it is that you’re asking.

La vénération du soleil

Last Friday, the day after Louis Catorze’s birthday, it was Beltane, the Celtic start of summer. And, as most of us rethink our sun protection at this time of year, so does Louis Catorze. I’m not joking.

His recent allergy flare-up, and/or possibly friction against Le Cône, has caused him to lose fur from his ears. This is what they look like now, whereas a few months ago they just looked like normal, furry black ears:


My friend Lizzi thinks they look like pigs’ ears, which is revolting but she has a point. And now we can’t stop thinking about this. When we see pigs on television (e.g. when James Martin went to that pig farm in Dorset), we actually look for ones with ears like Catorze. I know. We really need to get out more (although there’s a very good reason why we don’t at the moment).

Apparently sunburned ears are a thing, albeit usually for pale-coloured cats. So, after seeking the vet’s advice, I have, erm, purchased some sunblock for Sa Maj.

Cat Daddy spat his tea all over his laptop when I told him. But, given that this is a cat who loves the sun so much that he used to take refuge in the GREENHOUSE during 35 degree heatwaves, he simply cannot be trusted to know what’s best for him.

Anyway, my quest for a cat sunblock revealed that there aren’t many U.K. options available, I imagine because we’re not exactly known for our sun. I eventually found some which, naturellement, costs twice as much as the product that we use on ourselves, for around 1/5 of the quantity. But it’s a relatively small price to pay to save us the crippling embarrassment of having to look another living soul in the face and tell them that our black cat has burnt his bald piggy ears.

So now the Sun King can sunbathe to his heart’s content.

If your cat is pale, bald, piggy-eared or or stupid enough to cook themselves half to death in the sun, you may wish ask your vet’s advice about something like this: https://www.vetsend.co.uk/dermoscent-sunfree-dogs-cats/?search=Dermoscent%20SunFREE%20for%20Dogs%20&%20Cats&autocomplete=true