Le dernier testament

As we approach that time of year whose very essence is darkness and death, it somehow seems apt to mention that Cat Daddy and I have just been for a meeting with our solicitor about our wills. And it went something like this:

“Have you written a will before?”

“No.”

“Do you have any idea of what should happen to your estate upon your passing?”

“No.”

“Have you talked about your funeral plans with anyone?”

“No.”

“Have you nominated anyone to have power of attorney in case of your ill health?”

“No.”

“Have you made ANY plans for what might happen after your death?”

“Well, we’ve made arrangements for our cat.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

Obviously, if one of us departed before the other, the remaining one would take care of Louis Catorze. (Cat Daddy has just read this over my shoulder and says he wouldn’t, but we all know that he loves his boy.) However, we discovered when planning for the unlikely event of Catorze outliving both of us, that the issue of who would have him isn’t as straightforward as we thought. Many of our friends and family members have cats, or love cats, but that’s not to say they would want another one. Especially not one like Le Roi.

Here is a written summary of our discussion and conclusions:

⁃ My mum: has a cat who has one feline best buddy but hates all others, so no

⁃ Sister 1: has recently adopted a cat who has a history of scaring other cats, so no

⁃ Sister 2: husband is a dog person, so no

⁃ Neighbour 1: has Oscar the dog, so HELL no

⁃ Neighbour 2: has Cocoa the babysit cat who enjoys life as an only cat, so no

⁃ Neighbour 3: “likes cats, but wouldn’t want to live with one”, so no

⁃ Neighbour 4: is sick to death of having to bring Sa Maj back to us every time he escapes at The Front or breaks into his house, so no

Luckily, Catorze’s ex-rescue have a policy of allowing their ex-cats back into the fold should circumstances change. And, as they not only know his intricate and elaborate history but also saw fit to spend in excess of £12,000 trying to make him well, I would feel more comfortable with them heading up his rehoming process than with potentially inconveniencing someone who didn’t really want a(nother) (complicated) cat. So I have asked one of my sisters to be in charge of contacting them and arranging for them to collect him, and hopefully they would be able to find another set of suckers family to take him on.

I don’t suppose any of us really want to think about our cats outliving us. But we should probably still plan for it, just in case.

La mort sur un chat noir

I have a new phone, which, firstly, means better-quality Roi photos and more of them! Hurrah! But, more importantly, it shouldn’t overheat and then require refrigerating, as the old phone did. (No joke: this really did happen. It was Cocoa the babysit cat’s mamma who advised me to put it in the fridge, obviously empathising with the trauma of potentially losing 1,500+ precious cat photos and the 5 or 6 of one’s husband/family.)

It was initially cheering to see that the new phone was exactly the same size as the old one. But, naturellement, those wily tricksters at Apple have made subtle yet annoying changes which oblige us to grudgingly purchase brand new supporting paraphernalia. So I have had to buy a new phone case, as the old one obscures the camera.

LOOK AT MY NEW PHONE CASE, THOUGH!

I know. No more needs to be said.

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Le piège à souris

Another day, another darned mouse, this time delivered to our bedroom, undead and twitching. But, fortunately for me, by the time I had gone to fetch a plastic bag and come back again, Le Bon Dieu had had the grace to take its poor soul to mouse heaven.

Because we had to dash straight out to the eye hospital for Cat Daddy’s painfully early appointment, I didn’t have a chance to dispose of La Pauvre Souris in the park bin across the road. I certainly wasn’t putting it in any of our household bins in case Catorze broke in and caused further havoc, so, on our way out, I just dumped it temporarily on the Roi-inaccessible doorstep at The Front, with the intention of getting rid of it as soon as we returned. We would only be gone for a couple of hours and nobody was due to visit us, so nothing could possibly go wrong. Or so we thought.

As we headed off to the hospital in the car, we caught sight of the postman walking into our street. Merde.

There was no time to return home and dispose of the plastic bag before the postman saw it, although Cat Daddy said it was highly unlikely that any postman would untie a plastic bag that was sitting on a doorstep and peer inside.

That was when I realised that I hadn’t tied it up.

We were at the hospital for quite a lot longer than expected and, whilst I should have been worrying about Cat Daddy, all I could think about was whether the postman would tell all our neighbours that we keep a dead mouse in a John Lewis bag sitting on our front doorstep. (Postmen are PERFECTLY placed to spread gossip, aren’t they, given that they go to every house in the neighbourhood and probably know everyone?)

Our only hope was that maybe we wouldn’t have any letters today, so perhaps the postman would have had no need to come to our door. When we got home, however, we found not only that we had had more post than ever before in our lives, but also that the wind had somehow blown the bag open and its grim contents could be seen from the street.

Then one of the neighbours, who was passing by, stopped for a chat on the doorstep, and Cat Daddy was forced to maintain cheerful conversation whilst, at the same time, striking a bizarre pose to obscure La Pauvre Souris with his foot. (He later reported that it was VERY difficult to get that fine balance of hiding the body without stepping on it and having it burst underfoot.)

Now … would you forgive this contrite face?

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Renaissant des cendres

Cat Daddy and I drove past the vet surgery today.

We both remarked on how strange it was to pass it and not stop by, given that, not so long ago, we were there so often that we’d thought about taking Louis Catorze and our sleeping bags and just living there. Then Cat Daddy said, “Maybe they think Louis has gone to cat heaven.”

Seigneur Dieu!

“Well, we haven’t been in for 3 months. Surely this must have occurred to you?” he continued.

Not once. Not for a minute. But, now that I think about it, I guess that’s exactly what they might have thought. And I don’t suppose it’s common practice for vets to phone and ask after pets that they haven’t seen in a while, mainly because they’re too busy but also just in case they HAVE passed away and the conversation takes an awkward or upsetting turn.

So the first thing I did when we got back was to email the vet and explain that Louis Catorze was very much alive and well. And now she knows that her days of being shouted at and kicked in the face by him are not over by any means.

I bet that has brightened her day no end. And here he is, wearing his best “Je reviendrai” face:

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