It was my birthday yesterday. Louis Catorze’s gifts to me were to knock all the bottles off my bedside table at 5am, and to continue using the cat flap to go out but inexplicably cease using it to come in.
CatFlapGate actually began the previous evening: when I came home, Louis Catorze was yowling outside and clawing at the patio door. “He’s been doing that for ages but, whenever I go to open the door, he runs away,” said Cat Daddy, who had arrived home before me. “I don’t know whether something’s wrong with the cat flap or he’s just being a stupid arse.”
The former isn’t wholly out of the question, especially as the cat flap has started buzzing recently. But, if I were a betting woman, I’d put money on the latter. Cat Daddy, however, didn’t agree. “He wouldn’t keep it up for this long unless something were really wrong,” he insisted. “And look at his face: he looks stressed. I really think we should have a look at the cat flap. Maybe it’s jammed. Or maybe there’s a snake or something stuck in it and Louis is too scared to go through.”
I gave the cat flap a good clean in case the dirt was putting him off (unlikely, as he happily drinks from cruddy buckets in the garden and rolls around in century-old cobwebs). I wanted to change the batteries but we didn’t have any new ones, so I switched the setting to manual by taking out the old batteries and taping down the latch thing. It made no difference. The little sod continued to shriek like a lunatic outside, rearing up on his hind legs, his eyes saucer-wide with anguish.
Then, when we gave up and went to the living room to watch TV, he came in. Sigh.
What on earth would make him suddenly decide to play this game? It’s not as if any other cats’ behaviour could have influenced him (he doesn’t have any friends). So why, then?
Maybe some of his fan club, two of whom are visiting this weekend, will be able to shed some light on this?
There has been a cat flap malfunction here at Le Château. Whilst it still permits Louis Catorze to come and go as he pleases, it now makes a buzzing sound as he passes through. I had intended to contact Sureflap to ask them how to stop it, but I’ve had so much to do that I’ve not had a chance. That said, it doesn’t seem to be bothering him in the slightest; in fact, it’s quite funny hearing it and imagining Louis Catorze swiping his security pass and buzzing himself in.
Hearing it throughout the night doesn’t amuse us quite so much, though. It’s not especially loud – certainly not loud enough to permanently disturb our sleep – but it’s certainly made us aware of how many times Louis Catorze goes in and out whilst we’re asleep. He used to spend the whole night in our bed with us, but recently he’s become more adventurous and he’s started to go gadding about outside between 11pm and 6am. Occasionally he’s on our bed when we wake up but, more often than not, he’s still outside. Then, after I leave for work, he returns to bed, clambers all over Cat Daddy and hollers in his ear, and I receive a flurry of annoyed texts calling Louis Catorze some very rude names and threatening to lock him out all night.
There was something reassuring about knowing that our boy was with us all night, and I feel distinctly less comfortable at the prospect of him gallivanting around the neighbourhood. But, short of locking him in overnight (which I know he would hate), there’s not much I can do about it. The fact that The Back is very enclosed, far from cars and dogs, comforts me a little. As does the fact that Louis Catorze is too stupid to get into any proper trouble.
So, unless he comes home shredded to smithereens or otherwise traumatised, I think I shall just leave him to it. I can’t say I see the appeal of the cold autumn outdoes versus a cosy, warm anti-allergy bed with eye-wateringly expensive John Lewis duvet cover, but then I don’t suppose this will be the last time Louis Carorze does stupid shit that nobody can understand.
It’s official: The King has left the building.
Not only that, but he then rolled on the garden path, covering himself in dust and making Tom the decorator laugh, and re-entered the building. All in the space of a few minutes. To say we are in disbelief is an understatement; can this really be the same dumbo cat who took half a year to do the same thing at Le Palais?
So this morning was spent taking photos and sending them to anyone who cared (and plenty of people who probably didn’t), much to the amusement of Tom the decorator. We don’t speak the same language so I’m not able to explain what a big deal this is; if anyone knows the Polish for “My cat took 6 months to use the cat flap in our previous house yet he’s just done it here in a day, so I have to mark this auspicious occasion by taking lots of photos and posting them online for the amusement of strangers,” please let me know. Otherwise I guess I’ll just have to leave him thinking I’m a complete nutjob.
Whilst I’m inordinately proud of my boy, this now leaves me with something of a content dearth for my blog. I had planned for at least 6 months of cat flap progress – or lack of progress – updates, which have now been rendered redundant thanks to Louis Catorze’s shock succès. I have no idea what I will write about now, yet I trust him to inspire me as he always does.
Vive Le Roi!