La vie serait tragique si elle n’était pas drôle

There are two main schools of thought regarding a black cat crossing one’s path: either good luck is on its way, or everything is about to turn to merde.

I was of the former but, since various misfortunes befell us during our weekend away, I am less sure. And the fact that it was also a full moon, no doubt, made everything worse.

Not actually that well hidden. Whatever.

After an excruciating journey full of traffic jams and detours, we arrived at our destination just in time to catch the pub before 9pm, when it stopped serving food. As we walked there we met a plushy little black cat, not much bigger than Louis Catorze, who squeaked at me and let me stroke her.

Cat Daddy: “A black cat crossing our path. Not good.”

Me: “Don’t be silly. They’re good luck.”

The pub had decided to stop serving food half an hour earlier than usual, so we missed out. We returned to our rental apartment and ordered a takeaway but Driver Christian didn’t deliver it, despite the app’s claim that he did, and Deliveroo have now conveniently suspended Cat Daddy’s account due to “suspicious activity” (?).

During the wait for our third attempt at food, Cat Daddy consumed what my niece would call “a non-reasonable amount” of Pinot Grigio, and that was when things seriously nosedived.

I asked Cat Daddy to make me a cup of tea, and he thought the kettle was one of those stove-top whistling ones. It wasn’t; it was just a normal one that you switch on. He put it on the hob, left it unattended for a couple of minutes and it caught fire, splattering molten plastic everywhere.

Me: “We’re going to have to tell [the owners of the flat] what happened.”

Cat Daddy: “WHAT? You’d be a useless criminal. You’d be the first one running to the police to confess.”

Me: “But if they notice anything, which they will, we’ll need to say SOMETHING.”

Cat Daddy: “It’ll be fine. I’ll just tell them that nothing happened and that we didn’t burn the kettle.”

Me: “…”

Cat Daddy: “It’s that ****ing black cat, I’m telling you.”

Me: “…”

Cat Daddy: “And it’s your fault, too, because you’re the one who wanted tea.”

Me: “…”

Thanks to the impressive clean-up job by two of our family members, involving scraping dripping plastic off the surfaces with a spoon, we managed to make the place look passably presentable. The next day, instead of having a relaxed brunch, Cat Daddy and I drove around a town that we didn’t know, looking for a kettle identical to the one he’d torched and also a washing-up bowl to replace the one that didn’t survive the molten plastic attack.

This time luck was on our side and, unbelievably, we found them.

The apartment now has a new kettle and washing-up bowl, the old ones have been wiped of fingerprints and are sleeping with the fishes, and, after some nifty work with an emery board (in lieu of sandpaper) on the wooden surface splodges, nobody would know that there had been a mishap.

Meanwhile, back in TW8, Louis Catorze was perfectly angelic for Blue the Smoke Bengal’s mamma, draping himself all over her during her visits, eating all his food and refraining from escaping out at The Front. Was our chain of disasters the fault of the squeaky holiday cat … or did Catorze cause some sort of butterfly-effect space-time fabric warp by behaving impeccably elsewhere?

Two lessons have been learned from this calamitous saga:

1. Cat Daddy knows that he can trust us to bury bodies for him. Not that he’s planning to murder anyone. But, y’know, just in case.

2. If you try to escape from one bastard black cat, its or another’s bullshittery will still find you.

“Don’t blame moi. Not ma faute.”