L’horloge hantée

Louis Catorze is absolutely MANIC at the moment. He sleeps from late morning to late afternoon and is in full-on play mode after that, thundering around the house and being a nuisance. I now have to make sure my knitting bag is fully zipped to the end, because Cat Daddy has caught him jumping into the open bag and thrashing around, tipping my darning needles all over the place. And his uninvited appearances at my online lessons have now become more regular; yesterday was another day of students screaming, “Miss, I can see his tail! Miiiiiiiiss! MIIIIIIIIISSSS!”

It’s a full moon tonight, which partly explains it. But I also suspect that Catorze might be communing with and/or summoning evil entities from somewhere, which isn’t ideal.

In other, possibly related news, the Lumie Bodyclock saga continues, and I have discovered that the way to get it working is to turn the sound off. Yes, I know, this is exactly the opposite of what should happen, but nevertheless it’s what DOES happen: when the display says “Audio off” and there is an image of a musical note with a line through it, this indicates that both the alarm and the light function ARE ON and will work exactly as they should in the morning.

I have also discovered that, during the few minutes just before the alarm goes off, there is some sort of sound inaudible to human ears. I don’t know what it is (obviously, on account of it being inaudible) but Le Roi has detected it, in the same way that cats’ hypersensitivity picks up on all manner of things indiscernible to us. You know that moment when your cat stops what they’re doing and stares, wide-eyed, at a blank patch of wall behind you? It’s the audio version of that.

Here he is listening intently to it, whatever “it” may be, and confirming my view that cats are creepy as hell. What he can hear is most likely the tropical birds on a much lower volume. But, equally, it could be demons or poltergeists.

“Is anybody there? Chirp once for OUI.”

L’éveil des sens

On Monday night, our esteemed leader announced another national lockdown. Yes, he’s already shut schools once, then reopened them. Now he’s shutting them again. Are we all keeping up so far?

Although I no longer have to drive to work, getting up on a January morning is quite the most depressing thing ever. And, on a few occasions, the darned Lumie Bodyclock has failed to wake me up properly. Sometimes the light works but the sound doesn’t. And sometimes neither work. It is the most user-unfriendly gadget there is.

When/if the alarm goes off, there is no button to switch off the sound without also deactivating it completely. All you can do is turn the volume down – and, if you go too far and turn it right down to zero, again it deactivates the alarm and so you have to reset it. If you DON’T turn the volume down, the stupid tropical birds sing all day.

The last time this happened and I angrily pressed random buttons for no reason, the FM radio button – which had not worked at all previously – chose that very moment to decide to work, giving me Matt Hancock’s voice talking about vaccines. Quite frankly I’d rather have had the goats, and I think the rest of the country is with me on that one.

Cat Daddy thinks I’m just too thick to have figured it out, but the people leaving the reviews did warn me that it was, erm, problematic. However, like an idiot, I thought I would just learn to live with it. Which, I admit, was a bit thick of me.

Luckily our mutual friend has been on hand to alert me to the fact that it’s time to get up. A minute after my alarm is supposed to go off, he starts purring and bouncing around. It would be better if he did this once at wake-up time, and not also at random intervals throughout the night for no reason. But, as he is making the difference between getting up on time and not, I’ll take it.

Catorze’s Cat Grandpa used to say that electronics were only as good as the human being programming them. He may have been right, but I need something better than the person who made it, and better than me, otherwise there’s not much point.

Worryingly, does this mean that Catorze is better than me, the Lumie Bodyclock AND the person who made it? Oh. Mon. Dieu.

“Réveille-toi!”

Le couvre-feu (Partie 2)

Louis Catorze remains relentlessly and unnervingly punctual when it comes to his Front Curfew (10pm on weekdays and 10:30pm on weekends). He has never been late, not once, not even by a minute. It’s actually getting creepy now.

On Tuesday night, when we were a little later than usual after watching Brentford play Fulham in the EFL Championship play-offs (don’t even ask how that went), Cat Daddy decided to grant his boy a late pass until 11pm.

Me, as Cat Daddy opened the window: “Would you remind him that he has to be back by 11pm?”

Cat Daddy: “What, you actually want me to say it?”

Me: “Yes, please.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

Cat Daddy, to Catorze: “11pm, please.”

Catorze, as he bounded out: “Mwah!”

Cat Daddy, muttering under his breath: “[Unrepeatable expletives]”

Unusually, instead of hanging around on the window sill, this time Catorze took off down the street, and I was convinced that that was the last we would see of him that night.

When Cat Daddy put out the recycling, he could just about make out Catorze’s silly shape rolling undignifiedly all over the pavement outside the gate of number 35 (or thereabouts). But he knew the futility of trying to herd him back in, because the little sod would only dart under a parked car and there would be no retrieving him from there.

We had no choice but to make some tea and sit with the window open, steeling ourselves for the fact that this could be a long night.

Then, before we knew it, the little sod was back. I checked the clock and it was 10:57pm.

We haven’t the faintest idea what to make of this. Yes, we are pleased that he is sticking rigidly to the rules and doing as he’s told. But we’re also bewildered. And terrified.

Ask him if he knows what time it is. Go on, I dare you.