J’ai 99 problèmes mais un cône n’en fait pas partie

Louis Catorze has been doing so much better this week.

On Monday morning he managed to escape outside without his Cône – despite the cat flap being both locked and physically barricaded and all windows being shut – and he hid in the cat flap tunnel for 15 minutes whilst a frantic, late-for-work Cat Daddy hunted for him. Whilst this was incredibly annoying, when Louis Catorze behaves like a salaud sournois it usually means he is feeling good.

We have progressively been allowing him more and more extended Cône-free time whilst we’re home, which, in itself, has been massive progress. However, yesterday he had his first full day and night sans Cône, and I am delighted to report that he hasn’t attacked his tail once since Saturday night. This has meant that we’re now able to remove Le Cône completely and allow him free access to the cat flap again.

There are still moments when he eyes his tail distrustfully, as if to say, “Excuse-moi? What ARE you?” and, occasionally, he taps it curiously. But then he loses interest and leaves it alone.

We are due to see the vet on Friday, when we will stop the Gabapentin – as per her instructions – so that we can ascertain whether it’s that or the steroid shot that has brought about his dramatic improvement. I’m terrified of relinquishing a system that seems to be working for him, but I understand why we need to know.

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Le vilain petit canard

I didn’t want to say this until I was sure I wasn’t imagining it, but … Louis Catorze has been doing the bird-chatter noise at his tail. I must admit that, from some angles, the shaved bits make it look like the head of a duckling or a baby emu, but surely nobody is THAT daft?

And he has discovered that, if he curls up into a ball, he can reach the tip of his tail to bite it. So the soft Cône, being wider than the plastic one, is back.

Because the little sod managed to wriggle out of it the last time, we have had to become very inventive with our knotting and create something at the more severe end of the knot spectrum. I experimented with the few knots that I could recall from my Girl Guides days until my mum tutted impatiently, snatched Le Cône from my hands and whipped up a hangman’s noose-style Knot of Death that, frankly, terrified me. Had we known about this knot as kids, we would never have played up.

Obviously the danger of Catorze strangling himself is very much on our minds so not only is he under house arrest, but he is also under room arrest and under round-the-clock accidental-suicide watch. Like a dangerous inmate in a maximum security penitentiary, he goes nowhere unaccompanied.

The good thing is that he is much happier with the soft Cône. He would be happier still with no Cône at all but, alas, it’s never going to happen: he has proven, time and time again, that he cannot be trusted during Cône-free breaks, however short. So, although it might not seem that way, it’s easier and kinder to give him the drastic death-knot around the neck and assign him a 24-hour guard.

And, between us, Cat Daddy, Houseguest Matt and I are on it.

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Le Cône est de retour

We have had a stressful few days at Le Château.

The mascara worked like a dream when freshly applied but, when it wore off, we were back to square one again. And, when I came home on Wednesday night, the tail-chasing and throaty yowling were worse than ever, at which point I discovered that Louis Catorze had gnawed the crap out of his tail.

I called the out-of-hours vet, who told me to give him some Metacam and make an appointment for the next day. So Cat Daddy cancelled his morning’s meetings and took him in.

It turns out he had a minor tail injury which was concealed by his fur, and that’s what was troubling him. Unfortunately all his biting has both worsened this AND given him a new injury on a different part of his tail that was fine before.

Obviously this isn’t great, but it certainly beats the previous theories that he might have had a mental disorder (how exactly does one treat such a thing?) or that we were too boring (again, I have no idea how to fix this; 44 years on the planet and I’m not about to suddenly become fun now).

Despite being walloped with the quadruple whammy of antibiotics, painkillers, a shaved tail and Le dreaded Cône, Le Roi is reasonably content and comfortable now and, more importantly, he can no longer bite his tail. And, because he can’t use the cat flap whilst wearing Le Cône, I had the surreal experience of sleeping in the kitchen with him last night, so that I could let him in and out, and throughout the night I had the privilege of constant cuddles. (Cat Daddy had shut the bedroom door and Houseguest Matt was out, but still: CUDDLES! FOR ME!)

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to send messages of support.

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