Sésame, ouvre-toi!

Louis Catorze is spending more time outdoors now that the weather is warmer. He comes and goes freely at The Back but is also showing more interest in The Front, where he is only allowed under supervision, and these supervised sessions usually look like this:

image

Yes, the little sod has FINALLY realised that there is a whole world out there and he happily passes time sitting on the window sill, watching people, dogs and birds go by, whilst we keep an eye on him through the window. When he’s had enough he pops back in again – or, if the window is open at the top rather than the bottom, he meows at the door and we let him in.

Yesterday afternoon a couple of passing kids stopped to talk to him. We couldn’t hear exactly what they were saying because it had rained that morning so the windows were shut, although we did catch the gist of a debate about whether he was a boy or a girl. (Much to Cat Daddy’s chagrin, they appeared to settle on the latter.)

Then, after several minutes of happy cooing and cuddling, there was a knock at the door. My heart froze. My first thought was that Louis Catorze might have scratched one of them, although we hadn’t heard a scream, and such behaviour is VERY unlike him because he’s great with kids. Deep down I knew that this probably wasn’t the case, but I’m a little paranoid about passers-by and cat attacks ever since a couple of Halloweens ago, when our previous street’s resident Ginger Impinger sat on our front window sill, convinced everyone that he was part of our Halloween window display, and ended up scratching one of the trick-or-treaters.

Cat Daddy eventually answered the door. It was one of the kids, who cheerfully informed us that our cat wanted to come in. Then her slightly older sister/buddy chimed in, “She looked as if she’d had enough attention and went to the door, so we thought we’d knock and let her in.”

Cat Daddy thanked them, but was mortified beyond words that passers-by would have to stop and let Louis Catorze into his own house. But, if Larry the Downing Street cat can have a designated duty police officer to open the door for him (that’s why that police officer is employed, right?), then why shouldn’t the Sun King call upon random strangers to do the same thing?

I wanted to say that to the kids. But I’m not sure they would have got it.

J’adore l’extérieur

 Is it possible for someone to be placed under house arrest even if they were never allowed out to begin with? If so, Louis Catorze is that someone. Last night we were about to go out for Cat Daddy’s birthday but couldn’t lock our front door because the builders had decided it would be a good idea to fill the lock with plaster; in the end Cat Daddy had to get a chisel to hack away at it, at which point Louis Catorze took the opportunity to scoot outside and dive into the hedge.

Had this taken place at The Back we wouldn’t have been too upset, as it’s so enclosed that there’s nowhere to go. But The Front, with The Park and The Road, is a firm NON. Calling him was no use whatsoever as he just ignored us and meowed, and grabbing him was impossible as he was buried deep in the shrubbery so, in the end, whilst I called the restaurant to say we’d be 30 minutes late, Cat Daddy and our French guest had to resort to scaring Louis Catorze from the other side of the hedge to make him bolt back indoors.  So he’s stuck indoors whether he likes it or not, and security has been ramped up the way it would be in a maximum security penitentiary following a hostage crisis. Luckily his interest in getting outside is only mild-to-moderate, as opposed to utter desperation, so another week isn’t going to be too horrendous. What’s a little more concerning, however, is that his eye area fur looks as if it’s thinning again, and he has a tiny scab on his chin. I don’t suppose it helps that we have an inordinate amount of dust in the house, which the workmen create faster than we can clean. Louis Catorze’s ex-rescue centre told me that he had a tendency to flare up with a change of environment, so let’s hope it’s just that and not a dust-triggered long-term descent to where he was 18 months ago.