Il pleut des cordes

It had to happen sooner or later, and on Wednesday it finally came into effect: just like other water suppliers before them, Thames Water have implemented a hosepipe ban. We are not allowed to use a garden hose to water plants, fill a paddling pool or clean vehicles. However, we are allowed to use one to water new plants (“new” = planted in the last four weeks), clean a leisure boat (?) and clean a vehicle if visiting customers. I know. I KNOW.

Cat Daddy and I don’t like having to empty the washing-up bowl into the shrubbery several times a day, but we understand why we have to do it. And, so far, la personne royale has escaped an unceremonious soaking, despite the fact that he insists on choosing a new and unobtrusive sleeping spot in the shrubbery every time he goes out.

The day after the hosepipe ban, we had torrential rain for most of the day. Obviously, this is a good thing. However, the bad news is that rain turns Louis Catorze into a complete and utter maniac. Not that he really needs an excuse.

Catorze LOVES storms. When it rains, whilst his more normal feline counterparts are curled up indoors, he is underneath the outdoor table listening to the rain fall around him, or out somewhere conducting the kind of ICB that can only be conducted in the rain. I wouldn’t put it past him to be able to bury a human body in a thunderstorm, unaided and with no tools.

This particular storm started in the early hours of Wednesday morning. I was fully aware of it all the way because Catorze spent several hours going outside, coming in to jump all over me and roll his gross, wet body all over the bed, then going back out again to repeat the cycle.

After pounding down relentlessly all morning, the rain finally stopped mid-afternoon. But Sa Maj wasn’t done. He was still going outside but, this time, gadding about in the still-wet undergrowth and then returning to roll the water onto me/us/the furniture.

Sodden little sod.

I heard Cat Daddy’s voice saying, “Ugh, Louis, look at the STATE of you! You’re drenched!”

Catorze responded with his customary “Mwah!” then promptly went out to gad about in the undergrowth again.

I have given up pondering whether he will turn normal one day, or slow down in his old age. He won’t. And, even though he gives us the creeps, we can’t help but love him for it.

Taking a short break from goading the rain gods.

Les fruits d’une sécheresse

Non-Brits: check on your British friends. We are just about managing to haul our frazzled carcasses through what we really hope is the last hot snap of the year, and we are far from ok.

It’s been so hot that Cat Daddy’s iPhone flashed a warning message last Wednesday, about needing to cool down before it could work. (Ok, so he left it in the sun and forgot about it, but that’s not the point.) Our surroundings are so unreassuringly brown and parched that we have started having those conversations that old people have: “I really hope it rains, because we NEED the rain”, debating the probability of a hosepipe ban, and so on.

Not normal.

One of our water-saving measures at Le Château has been to invest the kingly sum of £8 in a washing-up bowl, which catches the water every time we use the sink instead of just letting it run down the plughole. It has made us acutely aware of how much water we use – I once discovered that I’d used a whole bowlful to rinse just one smallish pan – and, when it’s about half full, we empty it into the flowerbed.

As I thought it only fair that Louis Catorze cut down, like the rest of us, so I swapped his usual tumbler for, erm, a Chambord cocktail coupe. The tumbler holds 500ml of which he only ever drinks half, due to not being able to squeeze his silly face right down to the bottom, whereas the coupe holds half as much and is wider:

Très fancy.

Cat Daddy: “You can’t use that! It was expensive!” (Actual price of coupe: £0, because it came free with a bottle of Chambord.)

Cat Daddy again: “But that’s our favourite dessert glass!” (Actual number of desserts ever served in this glass: 0.)

The experiment failed. Although Catorze drank from it, he made the most almighty mess, which is exactly the opposite of saving water. I would far rather give his leftover water to the plants than see it all over the floor.

So Catorze is back to his pint tumbler again, and his part in our water-saving drive remains nothing, niente, nichts and nada. It’s a shame as I really wanted him to make a contribution to the planet.

Cat Daddy: “Well, that would’ve been a first.”

Why, yes, that is a piece of cobweb on his whisker, flapping in the breeze.

EDIT: To make up for his aqua-selfishness, Catorze has kindly agreed that the local wildlife may use some of his 9,983 bowls for their water. So we have dotted them around Le Jardin in shady spots and are refilling them daily. Catorze has always refused to drink from a bowl but I have a funny feeling he will start now, just to be difficult.