Le thé parfumé

I have caught Louis Catorze nuzzling the spout of the teapot.

(Yes, although Dry February is officially over, I’m not in any hurry to hit the booze yet and am happy to stick to tea. In fact, I might even try for Dry March, too, just to see whether I continue to feel healthy and alert or whether my body eventually starts to reject the unfamiliar non-alcoholic beverages and my organs slowly pack up and die.)

I haven’t been so disgusted since I caught Catorze’s big brother Luther doing the same thing to my electric toothbrush when I’d left it to charge up on the floor (because the plug points in our old house were all at ground level). Just as I had left the toothbrush in that same spot about 768 times previously and then used it afterwards, I have left many a half-pot of tea unguarded and then unsuspectingly drunk the tepid remains.

As nuzzlers go, Catorze doesn’t simply brush his cheeks against things; he really, gets stuck in, meaning contact with nostrils, lips, teeth and all sorts. And, because of his tooth impediment and the fact that his lower lip dips downwards to accommodate les fangs, his mouth can never close fully and therefore he would have spread saliva and snot all over the teapot spout.

Now, we all know that bacteria are wiped out by high temperatures. But Cat Daddy, who is a tea expert, has taught me well: green tea, my drink of choice, is brewed at 80 degrees, whereas a temperature of 100 degrees is what’s needed to destroy bugs. And, even if I had brewed the tea at 100 degrees, leaving it to go tepid would have undone any possibility of destroying germs. In fact: tepid temperatures are like a come-hither party invitation for all things gross and germy.

Anyway, I am now scarred for life and will never, ever recover from this. As for Catorze … well, this picture suggests that he might not be too bothered:

Morning tea with a hint of cat spit.

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”.


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.”


“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

Papa est déçu

Last week Cat Daddy ordered a trendy little drinks trolley from a swish furniture website, and, ever since, he has been going on and on about it to anyone who cares (and a few people who don’t).

This morning he had to pop into work for a bit, and he came home with a huge package in his arms. “It’s here!” he cried, unable to contain his joy. “And, would you believe, the delivery driver arrived at work just as I was leaving! How about that for good timing?” He grabbed a pair of sharp scissors, sliced deftly through the sticky tape and pulled the lid open.

Inside the box was not a drinks trolley, but an enormous sack of Acana Pacifica cat biscuits.

Cat Daddy’s face crumpled and dropped. “What?” he faltered. “This?”

“Erm, didn’t you wonder why it was rattling so much when you were carrying it home?” I asked, pretending to wipe my nose with a big tissue to hide my laughter.

“Well, yes,” he replied, “but I thought it was just the polystyrene packaging Wotsits shaking around. I can’t believe I just carried THIS all the way home!” He sank onto the sofa, still in disbelief at the magnitude of this disappointment; never have I seen such utter heartbreak on his face.

And Louis Catorze couldn’t have chosen a better/worse moment to pitter-patter into the kitchen, tail aloft, sniff the sack of food and promptly pitter-patter out again, as if to say, “Merci pour l’effort, Papa, but you needn’t have bothered.”

I wanted to take a picture of the parcel and post it here, but Cat Daddy got all cross when I suggested it and I wasn’t allowed. But, before he was able to chuck the packaging out, I caught Le Roi exploring it:


No doubt when the trolley arrives – date to be confirmed – there will be further photos, this time with Catorze perched elegantly on top. (Cat Daddy got cross when I said that, too.)