La vénération des chats noirs

Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day. This celebration was, apparently, created by Wayne Morris, as a memorial for his sister June, a black cat devotee, who passed away on this day.

Morris (pictured below) wasn’t actually named after Wayne Morris, but it’s a nice coincidence, n’est-ce pas? Morris works as Head Tester at the Cool Cat Club. Obviously the notion of WORKING for a living goes completely against what cats are about but, if the job description involved eating food, I am pretty sure that most would oblige.

When Morris’s humans lost his predecessor, the magnificent Parky, Morris worked his Chat Noir magic to draw them in. He was rescued from a run-down farm at 8 weeks old, feral, frail and not used to people. After the fantastic work of the RSPCA Blackpool and his foster carer, Morris officially agreed to take on his new forever humans.

For the first few days he remained under the bed, but eventually the humans coaxed him out and he became more trusting. Initial impressions of being a timid cat turned out to be all lies, and in actual fact a more brazen little sod has never walked this earth.

Morris has a canine brother called Gizmo, and naturellement Morris quickly let him know, with a couple of gentle swipes, who was boss. The two brothers have a great relationship. The humans even wonder whether Morris thinks he’s a dog or whether he’s training Gizmo to become more cat? (The former would be cute, the latter extremely terrifying indeed.)

On one occasion Morris caught a bird and brought it not to his humans, but to Gizmo. That was his first and last kill as he now has a bell collar – a clear sign of a cat with previous – which announces his approach like Santa’s sleigh bells. Not very cool when you are supposed to be the neighbourhood kingpin, but at least the avian population can rest well in their nests at night.

One of Morris’s quirks is that he likes to sleep with his head upside down, perhaps indicating that he is part-bat or even channelling his inner Batman?

Nana-nana-nana-nana Bat Caaaaat!

He is also partial to a scrunched-up ball of tin foil (quite common) but no other ball or toy whatsoever (erm, somewhat less common). If the doorbell rings he’s the first there, perhaps wishing to add Head of Security to his job description, perhaps being Batman again, perhaps thinking he’s a dog … who knows? Anyway, it’s all fun and games until someone trips over him.

He is a wonderful cat and his humans are very lucky indeed to have been chosen by him.

Here are some more pictures of Morris doing Morris stuff and making his big brother Parky proud, every day. And, if you’d like to find out more about his employer, the Cool Cat Club, please have a look here.

Cheeky boy.
Spot le chat.
Morris and his frère from another mère/père.

La Journée Internationale du Chat Noir

Today, 17th August, is Black Cat Appreciation Day.

I know. Cats don’t quite have enough days in the year which are all about them, so what a splendid idea to make more.

Anyway, the Special Day Makers of this world are way ahead of us. We missed Hug Your Cat Day on 4th June and International Cat Day on 8th August, but we can still look forward to Feral Cat Day on 16th October, erm … Cat Herders’ Day (?) on 15th December, and – I promise I’m not making this up – Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day on 22nd January.

Now, before we start answering any of Louis Catorze’s questions, I think he owes us some answers. This is what I would like to know:

1. “Why do you always do the opposite of whatever people expect (or want)?”

2. “How do you teleport from The Back to The Front and back again?”

3. “What was it that made you so ill and, apart from the copious amounts of drugs, what made you better again?”

4. “Where did you find that enormous curly-haired rat?” (In case you missed that delightful tale, here it is. And I have one friend – YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE – who still remains very upset with me, all these years later, because I didn’t photograph the rat:

Me, to Cat Daddy: “What questions would you ask Louis, if you could?”

Cat Daddy, without looking up from his laptop: “Why are you such a [expletive]?”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

I assume that that was his question to Catorze, and not something he was saying to me.

Here is Catorze, pondering his answers to our questions (apart from that last one). This is exactly the same face that my students give me in their speaking tests, when they’re about to say, “Répétez la question”:

“Je ne comprends pas.” All lies. He understands perfectly well.

La Fête Nationale des Chats Noirs

It’s National Black Cat Day in the UK! Unfortunately Louis Catorze’s internal calendar runs on French time and it seems that, in France, it’s “Slope Off To The One Place You’re Not Allowed To Go And Ignore Your Maman” Day. It was that same day yesterday, too. And I suspect it will also be that day tomorrow. Here he is, pictured looking unrepentant in the Forbidden Greenhouse.


Happy National Black Cat Day to Le Roi’s subjects, and to their furry overlords/overladies of all colours.