Le pouvoir du Premier Chat

Blimey, Westminster. We turn our backs for five minutes, and now this! Despite being on holiday, Cat Daddy and I have been following the plot twists and turns with great interest. This has been better entertainment than all the best episodes of Jeremy Kyle* fused together.

*Non-Brits: ask your British friends who didn’t work 9-to-5 jobs between 2005 and 2019.

In short, the U.K. government has just imploded and, whilst this is a wonderful thing because Boris Johnson is one of the most abysmal human beings there is, we are now somewhat nervous as we await the news of what will happen next. Ministers have been resigning in their droves, and just about the only government post still occupied is that of Larry the cat, Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office.

Larry has lived at 10 Downing Street since 2011, although a resident cat has, apparently, been a feature of the Office since the reign of Henry VIII. Larry remains a constant presence whilst Prime Ministers have come and gone. (Incidentally, Cat Daddy thinks it’s a wonderful idea for the cat to belong to the house, and for each set of departing humans to leave it behind for the next suckers.) It is said that Larry wasn’t especially keen on David Cameron, something to which I’m sure many of us can relate since he was the one who started all this mess in the first place. Larry also had troubled relations with Palmerston, former Chief Mouser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and their physical fights once led to a lost collar for one party and an injured ear for the other.

At the time of writing this, we had no idea who Larry’s new humans would be, but our country never fails to surprise us every time we think, “It can’t possibly get any worse than this”. The most noxious turd may well have been located, but we still need to fully scoop it out of the litter tray. And then there’s the business of the remaining piss-soaked nuggets and their stubborn stench which, sadly, will linger for some time.

Here are Larry and Palmerston, doing what they do best. Even as an in-fighting coalition, they would be better at leading the country than any member of the Conservative party:

I’d vote for Larry even if he puked in my shoes. (Photo from bbc.co.uk.)
Palmerston is flanked by (left to right) his Feeder, Groomer, Door-Opener/Closer, Toilettes-Cleaner, Kill-Binner and Chief Cuddler. (Photo from mirror.co.uk.)

Vive la Roipublique

Merde, merde and thrice merde: my alternative bunting didn’t arrive, despite me paying an eye-stingingly expensive delivery charge to have it in time for the weekend. So I guess it will have to wait until the next noteworthy royal event, and luckily it’s the kind of timeless design that will keep.

Cat Daddy: “Is it the kind of thing that’ll draw attention to our house?”

You could say that, yes.

At least the platinum jubilee is over now, although its efforts to drive me insane worked a treat. Last week I was so far gone that I swore I could see Boris Johnson’s face in Louis Catorze’s bald patch. You can see it too, right?

Cat Daddy thinks the bald patch is expanding, yet I think we’ve had some regrowth since the above photo was taken. I don’t really care which of us is right because the most important thing is that it doesn’t look like Boris Johnson anymore. It now looks like Ghostface from Scream or Edward Scissorhands, depending on the angle and the light, but either of those would be far preferable to Boris Johnson.

In any case, it’s still not bothering Catorze. And I’m happy to just leave it for now, but I’m ready to whisk him back to the vet should I spot any cuts, soreness or changes of temperament/habit.

Parmi les autres nouvelles, we were given a flower bouquet recently which contained evil lilies. Lilies are highly toxic to cats so, if we ever receive them, we gently fish them out of the bouquet and dispose of them, leaving the cat-harmless flowers in place. On this occasion, Cat Daddy put them into the garden waste recycling bag in an unobtrusive corner of the garden, far from inquisitive Catorzian paws.

Naturellement, despite never usually venturing into this part of the garden, Catorze suddenly decided that the green waste recycling bag was the most interesting and attractive item in the world. Luckily we were able to whisk him to safety and Cat Daddy rearranged the bag, rolling it tightly like a Swiss roll* and placing a few bricks on top to seal in the contagion until the next collection (although no British person has the faintest idea when this will be, since the double bank holiday has stuffed up our bin days).

*Younger followers: don’t bother asking your Swiss friends. Ask your older relatives who lived in the U.K. during the 70s or 80s.

I had hoped that, in his advanced years, Sa Maj might show SOME sign of stopping all his nonsense. But it’s no real surprise that he hasn’t.

We have no idea what this was about.

La chaleur omniprésente

Boris Johnson is Prime Minister (and yes, non-Brits, he IS an actual person and not some Sacha Baron Cohen-type actor pretending). It’s already too bloody hot and it’s due to hit 38 degrees later. And I am still recovering from my surgery, with my stitches – which Louis Catorze has only kicked once, thankfully – pinching and pulling at my skin especially badly in this heat. So I really don’t have the time, the will or the energy to be dealing with little sods escaping out at The Front and having to find inventive ways of herding them back in again. Yet that is exactly what I’ve been having to do, because the soaring temperatures appear to have triggered Catorze’s “Must Kill Self” switch.

Fortunately I think the heat is sapping him of any mischief-making ability and just making him fall asleep out there, so he’s unlikely to go annoying any neighbours or pitter-pattering into oncoming traffic (we hope). But it’s 793 times hotter outside at The south-facing Front than it is inside. Plus there is no water out there (and, if I take fresh water to him, he won’t drink it). And, worse yet, his go-to shelter from the sun appears to be Oscar the dog’s front garden – too deep into the bushes for me to reach in and pull him out – and we all know that that isn’t going to end well when Oscar finds out.

(Dog Mamma discovered Sa Maj yesterday when she was taking out the recycling, gave him some cuddles and very kindly messaged me to ask if he was ok in the heat, commenting on his sickly-sounding meow. I shamefacedly had to tell her that that was his normal voice.)

Most animals can be trusted in extreme weather conditions to rely on their natural instincts and know what’s best for them. It’s a bit more difficult when your pet appears to be from another planet and goes out of his way to CHOOSE the worst possible course of action.

Below is a picture of the extra water that I left for him in the bedroom during the night, so that he wouldn’t have to go downstairs to drink. (Newcomers to Le Blog: yes, he has always drunk from a glass and would rather go on Thirst Strike than use a bowl.) He did not touch a single drop.

Cat Daddy: “Well, he didn’t ask for it, did he?”