L’estomac sensible du Roi

*WARNING: CONTAINS REFERENCES TO CAT PUKE*

I came downstairs on Monday morning to the far-more-familiar-than-I’d-like sound of indignant screaming at The Front. Sure enough, Cat Daddy had dropped the ball again whilst on late-night Louis Catorze duty and the little sod had been shut out all night.

I let him in, hoping that the screaming would stop once he was safely indoors. Nope: he wasn’t done. He circled my feet and continued to scream and scream, all wild-eyed and outraged.

Catorze raced to his water, then to his food. And, because he bolted each one far too fast, within minutes he had projectile-vomited across the living room.

Now, I am not good with puke. I am fine with other bodily secretions – well, not “fine” at all, but you know what I mean – yet something about puke offends me deeply. Most likely it’s the fact that it’s puke.

Our first cat, Nimbus, used to vomit in very convenient, scentless sausage shapes which one could simply lift away. (We did clean underneath, obviously, but we didn’t have to scrub as the solid sausages left no trace, not even on carpet.) Luther only ever puked once – when he ate a snail – so we didn’t have to deal with it habitually, although I did step in the lukewarm, vommed-up snail remains with bare feet which wasn’t very nice. But, whilst Catorze isn’t a frequent vomiter, we barely have any carpet in the entire Château yet he always manages to land on it. I know that he is doing this on purpose. I can’t prove it but I know it.

The plumber arrived when I was mid-clean. He had only ever met and dealt with Cat Daddy until then, and I’m not sure he even knew anyone else lived here, so the poor man must have had an almighty shock when the door was answered by me, hair tied up in a big pineapple shape on top of my head using a pair of knickers as a hair tie, sleeves rolled up and with a bottle of Method cleaning spray in one hand and a puke-encrusted kitchen towel in the other.

And, when he went upstairs to fit the new part to the boiler, Catorze followed to annoy him whilst he worked.

Cat Daddy slept through the whole sorry saga. And he found it very funny that I was the one left to deal with the screaming and the puke when it was his fault for shutting Sa Maj outside in the first place.

It really is a laugh a minute here at Le Château. Unfortunately it’s people laughing at me, not with me.

“You missed a bit, salope.”

Le Roi Soleil, c’est un chat mystère

Not long ago we had a cat-loving male friend come to Le Château for dinner. Louis Catorze loves all visitors but cat-loving men are, naturellement, the best kind. 

When he arrived Catorze was all over him, up-tailed and purring. As our music grew louder and we grew drunker we didn’t notice until too late that, at some point during the proceedings, Sa Maj had disappeared. We did think it unusual for him not to partake in such an evening – predominantly-male soirées of loud rock music are very much his thing – but we weren’t concerned enough to halt our music and drinking to search for the little sod. 

When our friend’s cab arrived and he opened the door to leave, in dashed Catorze from The Front where, presumably, he had been all evening. 

How the flamin’ flip did he get there? (And why didn’t he use the same method to come back in again?)

We initially thought that, perhaps, he had pitter-pattered out when our friend arrived, but then we remembered the purring and flirting and the comments about how Catorze’s permanent up-tail revealed, erm, a larger-than-desirable expanse of rear end. So he definitely teleported AFTER our friend’s arrival, not during. Cat Daddy even thought I may have opened the front door during the evening to put bottles into the recycling box, but I am far too lazy to do this bottle by bottle and would much rather wait until the end of the night and take out all eight three bottles in one go. 

However Le Roi may have managed to pull off this trick, our greater concern is that, because of our music, we wouldn’t have heard him screaming to get back in, nor would we have heard an irate neighbour losing his/her shit and knocking at our door to return him to us. This is bad. VERY bad. 

I really, really need to find out how Sa Maj did this. But I probably need to apologise to our neighbours first.

Le crime de lèse-majesté

Cat Daddy and I decided not to bother with Dry January this year because, if you’re denying yourself something you like, January is just too difficult a month in which to attempt it. So we’re giving Dry February a go instead. February is just that little bit brighter and more hopeful, so embarking upon tough challenges somehow doesn’t seem quite so onerous. (Plus February is shorter.)

A friend recommended the “Dry January and Beyond” app to help track my progress, and it’s great apart from one thing: try as I might, I can’t enter my name into my profile. When I go into the settings and click on the name-changing bit, nothing happens. Now, this may not sound like la fin du monde, but I have selected one of my favourite Roi photos for my profile picture … and the generic default name alongside his photo is “null null null”. Which, unfortunately, is (pretty much) the French for “rubbish, rubbish, rubbish”.

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Cat Daddy thinks it’s the funniest thing ever to have the words “rubbish, rubbish, rubbish” next to a photo of Louis Catorze. “It’s what I’ve been telling you for ages!” he hooted. “But so what? It’s not as if he knows he’s being called rubbish.”

IT’S (KIND OF) FRENCH. HE’S FRENCH. OF COURSE HE WILL KNOW.

“Or,” Cat Daddy continued, “if YOU don’t care about being called rubbish, you could just upload a photo of yourself instead.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

“Oh. My. God. You don’t HAVE any photos of yourself, do you? Your camera roll consists ENTIRELY of cat photos!”

Oh. Ahem.

Anyway, I have contacted the good citizens of Dry January and Beyond to ask them how to change the name, although, naturellement, I have pretended that it’s I who objects to being called rubbish. I couldn’t really say “My royal French cat, Sa Majesté Louis Catorze, Le Roi Soleil, is highly offended at the très mal-fortunate juxtaposition of le portrait royal et l’insulte” because that might have sounded silly.

As for Catorze, I am hoping that his spelling is better than his, erm, other intellectual capacities, and that the slightly offish orthographe* will delay his realisation somewhat. Calling a monarch “rubbish” – three times, no less – is surely an act of high treason, punishable only by the guillotine?

*nul = adjectif masculin
nulle = adjectif féminin

Protéger et servir

Cat Daddy and I are going on holiday in a few days’ time, and we have a friend coming all the way from Paris to look after Louis Catorze in our absence. Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: Le Roi is going to have an ACTUAL French person as his full-time, live-in majordome/esclave.

“Do you speak French to him all the time?” she asked us. “Because I intend to. So, by the time you come back, he won’t take any notice of anything you say.”

Louis Catorze, not following instructions? Whatever next?

Anyway, Cat Daddy and I are currently putting together a set of manuals for her reference. The Château manual was complete some time ago, and contains the following sections:

1. The Sonos multimedia system
2. The kitchen appliances
3. Local places of interest

The Roi manual, which is proving to be rather more of a lengthy task, contains the following sections so far:

1. Food
2. Drink
3. Play
4. Catnip (for medicinal purposes)
5. Nocturnal gadding about
6. Brushing
7. The vet
8. Dog warfare
9. Prey, dead
10. Prey, living
11. Prey, partially-living
12. Lockdown at The Front, and how to manage escapees
13. Health and safety drill for Ocado delivery drivers

“It’ll be fine,” said Cat Daddy. “What’s the worst that could happen …?”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.]

He continued: ” … Apart from us returning home to find the place knee-deep in dead vermin like some post-apocalyptic horror film, and our poor friend crying in the corner?”

Right. Où est ma valise?

You will notice that there is no “Medication” section in the Roi manual, and that wasn’t an oversight: notre cher ami has officially been given the all-clear from his favourite vet, who is back from her travels for a short while. No more Gabapentin! He has had no relapses at all during his tapering-off detox programme and, whilst we will miss the little sod for the next couple of weeks, we know that he will be fine and that our friend will look after him wonderfully.

We just hope that he will be equally considerate in return.

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La coupe du Roi

Le royal wine glass is no more. Cat Daddy kicked it over last week, smashing it to pieces and dismissing his accident with the words, “Well, we’ve all done it.” (No, we have not. Absolutely nobody else has done it, ever. Only Cat Daddy.)

Anyway, this left us with the onerous task of finding an appropriate replacement, which is not as straightforward as it sounds because Le Roi will not drink from any old glass. So Cat Daddy grumpily put down an old Bodum storage jar thing (minus the stopper) as an interim measure until we found something which Sa Majesté would deem acceptable.

Cat Daddy returned from the kitchen with an assortment of glasses in his hands, ready to try them out one by one. However, to his delight, he was met by the sight of Louis Catorze’s silly snout deep in the Bodum jar as he slurped away.

And that was that; as far as Cat Daddy is concerned, we don’t need to bother looking for a new drinking vessel. I, however, miss the elegance of the wine glass; it was just so much more fitting for a Sun King. I’m sorely tempted to try him out with a few glasses from our collection and, if none of them meet with royal approval, buy him a new one.

So … opinions on this one? Too much?

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Il fait trop chaud 

I often say that I prefer excess cold to excess heat; when you’re too cold, there are measures you can take which will warm you up whereas, when you’re too hot, nothing whatsoever cools you. Today has proven that I was right all along, although being right doesn’t help in the slightest and, in fact, just annoys me more.

That said, it can’t be much fun being a black, fur-covered animal in these record-breaking temperatures, either; poor Louis Catorze has spent the last day or two shunning all close physical contact, preferring instead to flop languidly around the house like a limp feather boa. At times his body seems to almost liquefy and seep into the floor and, although it’s quite funny to watch, I do feel sorry for the poor sausage.  

Luckily I don’t have to worry too much about him becoming dehydrated in the heat; even in moderately warm weather he drinks up to 1/3 of a pint of water a day, and I know this because he drinks from a glass and not a bowl. We were told about this strange quirk when we adopted him, and we thought at the time, “That’s absurd – he WILL drink from a bowl when he gets thirsty enough, because we will give him no choice.” No. He would rather shrivel up and die of thirst than be so vulgaire. And he won’t settle for any old glass, either: he will accept a pint glass or a wine glass, but not a cocktail glass nor a tankard. Figure THAT out if you can. 

So, whilst there’s no doubt that he’s suffering in his perma-fur coat, at least he has his butler on hand to chill both the royal pint glass AND the royal person using a freezer-fresh bottle of Absolut Peppar. Let’s hope temperatures start to drop soon.