Crier pour un soupir

Merci à Dieu et à tous ses anges: our cleaning lady is back. And I am more relieved than I ever thought possible because, although I like it when places and things are clean, I hate cleaning.

Nevertheless Cat Daddy and I had been getting used to our routine of putting on some cleaning music* and just blitzing the place, and he maintains that “you feel so much better after you’ve done it”. This is true. However, people only ever say that about unpleasant things. A dental appointment, a trip to the gym, pilling your cat … don’t we all feel better after we’ve done them, mainly because we then have the longest possible wait until the next time? So, given the choice between feeling better for having done it and not having to do it at all, I’m sorry but there’s no contest.

*Last week it was the Manic Street Preachers. Thank you for asking.

That said, we didn’t want our cleaning lady to think we’d let things slide in her absence, so naturellement we had to have one Final Clean a couple of days before she came. Yes, we have become THOSE people. But we are glad we did it, because it also reassured us that Louis Catorze hadn’t hidden any rats anywhere. After all, we didn’t want a repeat of THIS incident:

During our Final Clean, it dawned on me just how much mess Catorze makes. The cruddy cat hair that came from his feeding station, and from sweeping the kitchen floor, was quite unbelievable, and I don’t think we will ever make sense of the smallest one of us generating the most muck. And, to make matters worse, Catorze doesn’t like it when we clean. He’s not afraid, just annoyed at the inconvenience of it all – yes, even though he doesn’t have to lift a paw, and even though it’s mainly his shite that we’re cleaning. Far from appreciating our efforts, he sits and screams throughout it all, then sniffs at his freshly-cleaned feeding station and walks away as if we have sullied it with our filth.

Oh well. At least his cleaning-surliness will be someone else’s problem now. And he can still go and get high on the bleach afterwards if he wants to cheer himself up.

Here is a video that I took back in April, showing his reaction to Cat Daddy vacuuming in the next room. As you can see, there is no fear. Just eye-rolling contempt.

“Fermez le noise!”

Ma drogue de choix

Because I am usually at work when our cleaning lady is round, I don’t often get to see what Louis Catorze is like when she is cleaning.

Most cats would run for the hills at the sight of a stranger brandishing a vacuum cleaner but, whilst he doesn’t love the sound of it, he’s not afraid, either. On one occasion, during the school holidays, I was able to see his response. As you can see from the video below, he was more outraged than frightened, and he screamed and screamed at me as if to say, “Well? Aren’t you going to do anything about this?”


Since lockdown, during which Cat Daddy and I have been cleaning the house ourselves (although we have still been paying our cleaning lady), I began to notice some very peculiar behaviour from Catorze in the bathroom. He has never shown much interest in the bathroom before now but, on Cleaning Day, he can’t wait to pitter-patter around it, sniffing in every corner (paying particular attention to the toilet), before having one of his psycho fits, jumping onto furniture and knocking stuff onto the floor.

Cat Daddy: “That’s just him. That’s what he’s like.”

Me: “No, this isn’t his usual style. Something weird is going on. I honestly think he’s … ahem … getting high on the bleach.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

Cat Daddy: “That’s just bloody stupid.”

Now, I am fully aware of how idiotic this sounds. After all, the only thing more ridiculous than getting high on bleach is injecting it. But a quick Google indicates that I might be right, and if it’s on the internet it has to be true, non?

It seems to be quite a common thing, although there must be a serious glitch in The Matrix if my cat’s conduct in any way resembles that of other/normal cats. And it’s worrying that this particular habit sees him irresistibly drawn to a substance that could kill him.

The worst thing is that I have a faint recollection of someone in a cat social media group, many years ago, talking about her cat doing something similar, and I found it hysterically funny. Ain’t karma a bitch?

Anyway, it’s now the day after Cleaning Day (at the time of writing) and clearly the bleach fumes are still lingering, because Catorze keeps trying to get into the bathroom and is hollering at me to open the door. Cat Daddy has abandoned me to my fate of Death By Punctured Eardrums and gone out for a bike ride to get some peace.

If you fancy some light reading about cats and bleach, have a look at this link. Be warned, however, that the reason why they like it is pretty disgusting:

Chercher et détruire

Oh. Mon. Dieu. It’s every cat owner’s nightmare: you hear your little sod making that horking sound, you rush to the source with tissues and antiseptic spray, and there’s no puke to be found.

The last time this happened was (I think) May 2016. I am still looking for that one.

This time, not only did I hear the horking but I also heard the splattery thwack as the puke hit the floor. Horrifying, indeed, but this told me that it was on floor, at least, and not on carpet or soft furnishings. And, thanks to the disgusting yet reassuring echo of the splattery thwack, I also knew that it was out in the open and not secretly left to fester until the tragic day that I discovered it by opening a drawer or slipping my unsuspecting foot into a seldom-worn shoe. But, upon racing into the kitchen, I was greeted by the sight of a lip-smacking Roi and nothing else.

Où est le puke?

“I don’t understand,” I said to Cat Daddy. “I heard its sound, clear as anything. Why can’t I find it?”

“Oh, don’t worry,” he said, without looking up from his laptop. “You will.”