Qu’ils mangent du gâteau

Earlier this year I treated myself to a Discovery Plus subscription, with the intention of taking advantage of the cheap trial period and then cancelling before the £4.99 per month kicked in. However, after just a week or two I was hopelessly addicted, and now I have lost all intention of cancelling. In fact, I’d happily keep the subscription even if it cost £499 per month.

One of my new favourite shows is Hallowe’en Wars, which is essentially The Great British Bake-Off except American and Hallowe’eny. I rarely bake because I don’t enjoy it, and most of the things I bake turn out awful but, dammit, I will happily judge an experienced artisan confiseur’s sugar work and remark that it looks wonky.

However, a warning to my fellow Brits: Bake-Off it ain’t. On Hallowe’en Wars, they randomly stop the teams mid-task to announce that there’s a surprise twist. Contestants are snarky and gobby towards the judges. There is in-fighting between team members, resulting in individuals storming off in a huff, never to be seen again, and eventually being replaced by members of previously-eliminated teams. And at no point do the presenters let the losers down gently and Britishly by saying, “And, sadly, I have the horrible job of announcing who will be going home this week.” Instead, they just turn to the eliminatees and say, “You’re done”. It’s brutal.

In one of the earlier episodes of series 1, the challenge was to create a scary animal-themed cake. I couldn’t have thought of a better premise than a cat who came back from the dead to eat its owner. And, naturellement, such a cat couldn’t possibly look any other way than this:

Saint Jésus.

I know. It’s like a flash-forward into the future, when Louis Catorze is denied entry into hell for being too creepy and decides to come back to lay his vengeance upon me.

I don’t usually eat cake but I want this one. And I bet you do, too.

Le chat vit pour manger

Someone appears to have stolen Louis Catorze – quite why anyone would do this is beyond me – and replaced him with a similar-looking changeling cat who actually likes food.

For the first time EVER, this morning he pulled the Second Breakfast trick on Cat Daddy, who fell for it completely. When I got home I was berated for “forgetting” to feed Catorze before going to work when I knew full well that I had done it, and it was then that the little sod was rumbled.

This has never happened before. Quite the opposite, in fact: Le Roi’s plate is usually never empty.

His big brother, Luther, was different. When it came to the Second Dinner trick, he would have beaten Leonardo di Caprio to that Best Actor Oscar, without a doubt; too often I would be scrabbling through bins, accompanied by the sound of Luther’s “I’m starving to death” song, counting the empty food cans to work out whether I’d fed him 20 minutes previously or whether I’d dreamt the whole episode. And he once did such a number on Cat Daddy that he said, in all seriousness, “Maybe we didn’t feed him after all. Maybe we just THINK we did.”

Luther’s pièce de résistance was this:

1. Luther refuses the food that Cat Daddy puts down
2. Cat Daddy puts down another variant on the same plate (the single action that proved to be his undoing)
3. Luther eats Variant 2
4. After Cat Daddy leaves for work, Luther also eats Variant 1
5. Cat Daddy returns home, sees the empty plate and assumes I must have thrown away the uneaten food

We have no idea how many times he did this. It could have been hundreds.

I can’t see Louis Catorze suddenly sprouting a brain and being as wily as his brother, but, to be honest, given that November is usually the month that his health hits the skids, we’re delighted that he’s eating firsts, never mind seconds.

And the lime scent is back with a vengeance, affirming Cat Daddy’s belief that it’s “just a healthy cat smell”. Again, it could be so much worse, so we’re just going to enjoy it.


Le dimanche sanglant

Whilst last Sunday was officially Olympic Sensational Sunday to most British people, to Cat Daddy and me it will always be known as Le Jour du Rat.

This morning we were talking about the psychology behind cats’ offerings and why they bring them even if they’re well-fed. Some of the theories are as follows:

1. It’s part of an involuntary natural instinct
2. They are gifts borne out of love
3. Cats think we are rubbish hunters, so are attempting to show us how it ought to be done
4. Cats are little shits

What’s puzzling us about RatGate – apart from the rat’s curly hair, which appears to be bothering many Roi followers at the moment – is that the rat looked as if it had been dead for a little while. So … had Louis Catorze killed it ages ago, stored it in some unknown place and then artfully plated it up for his papa, like a Masterchef finalist presenting a piece of 21-day hung steak?

Or – and this is more likely – had the fox killed it and saved it for later, and was Catorze passing off the fox’s efforts as his own?

Either way, I remain traumatised by the whole event, replaying it in my mind over and over again. However, something tells me that Cat Daddy may have moved on: