Traité du zen et de l’entretien des chats

Louis Catorze went for his booster injections yesterday, and what a drama it was.

Obviously he screamed and screamed in the waiting room as usual although, luckily, the only other presence was Poppet the Airedale terrier, who didn’t care and even appeared to wag her tail in time to the screaming. And her Dog Daddy’s glasses were all steamed up after coming in, so I am hoping that he won’t recognise me if he sees me again.

However, it was a new vet administering the shot and, somehow, she wasn’t able to handle a demonically-possessed Catorze in quite the same way that our usual vet does. Every time he thrashed, hissed or screamed, she would hesitate and back off, and there was a dog going ballistic in the next room, which didn’t help. Catorze made an absolute spectacle of himself although, for once, I couldn’t fully blame him. Like a rogue ouija board, he is absolutely lethal in the wrong hands.

I was about to suggest that we abandon the whole thing and try again next week, but that would have meant going through this pain for a second time. Eventually I told the poor vet to commit to the action and see it through, and to ignore any thrashing, hissing and screaming.

She did as I asked. Job done.

Catorze is now safely home and over his trauma, and is cheering himself up by watching some football with me. However, I don’t suppose he has ruled out exacting some excruciating revenge.

“Haunted bones, I command vous to curse the humans forever.”

Les douleurs lombaires

There has been so much going on at Le Château. Firstly, my students have completed their exams and this pretty much sums up their level of preparedness:

Well, what else matters?

Cat Daddy is home, and Louis Catorze is so happy about this that his screaming and purring have been through the roof. A couple of nights ago a flock of parakeets, irritated by the infernal racket, gathered to see what was going on in the garden below. Yes, it was THAT bad.

I know, they’re fine ones to object to noise pollution.

Dans un autre domaine, as well as my long-standing neck and shoulder problems, I now have a new lower back problem which just came from nowhere. So I have been back to the physio again.

Cat Daddy, before my appointment: “I bet it’s because of all those hours on the sofa watching horror films with HIM on your lap.”

Me: “I’ve sat on that sofa with him a zillion times and my back’s always been fine. It can’t possibly be that.”

During my appointment:

Physio: “Was there a particular activity that caused you to hurt your back?”

Me: “No. It was just like that when I woke up one morning.”

Her: “Lower backs don’t react well to many hours in the same position …”

Me: “…”

Her: “Have you been doing a lot of sitting down lately?”


Since this is the same physio that I saw when I had my Laziness With Cat knee injury, I couldn’t quite bring myself to tell her that I now had a new injury caused by the same thing. So I just said I didn’t know. Yes, I know how preposterous it sounds to tell someone that you actually DON’T KNOW whether or not you’ve been doing a lot of sitting down.

Anyway, the physio has given me some exercises to do twice a day, and it seems that Le Roi does not approve of these exercises. Which is a bit rude since he is the reason I have to do them. He has let me know of his disapproval by circling me on the bed as I do the exercises, screaming his guts out, then putting his front paws onto me and screaming some more.

I guess this is the end of me being TUC unless I take regular stretch breaks every two hours. Not that Sa Maj gives a merde since he is now back in his happy place:

Boys’ Club on his favourite lap.



A couple of weeks ago I had a cortisone injection in my right shoulder, and yesterday I had another one in the left. (The hospital actually sent me a further letter inviting me for a third one, then realised their mistake when I pointed out that I only have 2 shoulders.)

My sister: “This means that 2/3 of your household are on steroids!”

After the injection you are supposed to rest at home for 48 hours, which has meant I’ve had to cancel a few things that had been planned for ages, including my mum’s birthday lunch, my friend’s 30th and a concert which was my anniversary gift to Cat Daddy. So he went out for the night, taking his friend as his anniversary date, and I was stuck indoors with Catorze. (That wasn’t supposed to rhyme.)

Now, I realise that a cosy night in with a cat may sound like a pleasant way of passing the time, but this is Catorze we’re taking about. For a start, I am only his 14th favourite human in the world (after Cat Daddy, ex-Houseguest Matt, Cocoa the babysit cat’s daddy, Cocoa the babysit cat’s brother, Oscar the dog’s daddy, Bert the dog’s daddy, our friend Steve, our friend Phil, our friend Daniel, Krzysztof driving the Lemon van from Ocado, the man who fixed the dishwasher and those two trick-or-treating youths who came wearing clown masks and brandishing machine guns), so I don’t suppose staying home with me is top of his list of fun things to do. Also, cats instinctively know when you are ill but only about 8% of them actually give a shit, and this makes the patient more miserable.

Quelle surprise, then, when the little sod remained cuddled up on my knees all evening! THIS NEVER HAPPENS! And, when my pain got too bad and I decided to take myself off to bed, I called him from upstairs and he came running to join me. (This is one of the dog-like qualities that I love in him but, very often, when he arrives and sees that it’s just me and my stupid shit again, he turns around and leaves. This time he stayed for a brief cuddle.)

At 1:15am I was woken by the familiar sound of indistinct scrabbling (the feline version of a text from DHL, indicating that a delivery had been made). Nothing says “Get well soon, maman!” quite like blood all over the bedroom floor and a dead rat, especially when only having one functioning arm with which to clean up the mess.

I intend to take it easy for the rest of the weekend. I really hope that Catorze does, too.