Les mûres de la colère

Yesterday evening Cat Daddy and I marked the end of Psychological Summer with some celebratory fizz in the garden, and all was going well until I wiped Louis Catorze’s weepy eyes with some tissue and discovered that one was oozing blood. 

I am generally of the view that, if Catorze is well enough to eat, drink and scream, then he’s fine. But blood is never, ever good. Despite Cat Daddy’s protests that it was “probably just blackberry juice”, I rang the vet in a panic and booked a 6:30 appointment, then rang again and made a 6:50 appointment when the little sod did a runner and I realised that we wouldn’t be able to catch him in time for 6:30.

After barricading the cat flap so that he couldn’t escape back out again, cornering him and stuffing him into his pod, we took him, screaming, to the vet. Whilst Cat Daddy rolled his eyes and continued to mutter things about blackberry juice, the vet first tested for eye ulcers by dropping a scary fluorescent green liquid into Catorze’s eyes – to the sound of Cat Daddy’s giggles and daft questions about whether it would make Catorze glow in the dark – and then peered under his upper eyelids where she discovered that he had cut himself. I prayed that we wouldn’t have to do the Greco-Roman death-wrestle to shove medication down his throat, only to be told the horrifying news that we would have to shove it into his EYE instead. Twice a day, for 5 days. Oh. Seigneur. Dieu. 

“Do you know how he might have cut his eye?” I asked. 

“It could have been any number of things,” the vet replied. “Scratching himself, or catching it on something. Possibly a plant.”

Cat Daddy: “Could it have been a blackberry plant?”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.]

Anyway, a few minutes and £44 later, we were back at Le Château finishing our fizz and Catorze was happily pitter-pattering around us. The only indication that we had been to the vet was Cat Daddy complaining about the almighty cost for such a tiny injury and still insisting that it was blackberry juice and not blood. 

And, to make matters worse, I had a stressful evening and a fitful night’s sleep because Catorze later disappeared, which is unlike him; he now tends to forgive us quite quickly for vet visits and his days of Le Grand Mega-Sulk are long gone. I was terrified that he had reacted to the fluorescent green stuff and gone somewhere quiet to die, but I discovered this morning that we had forgotten to unbarricade the cat flap and so the poor little sod had been stuck outside all night. As I write this, I am giving him guilt-cuddles on the sofa whilst I drink my morning teapigs tea, feeling like the second-worst human being ever (with Cat Daddy being the worst, for his refusal to believe me when I said I’d seen blood) and wondering how the flip I am going to hold him still and get this medication into his eye. 

To prove a point to Cat Daddy: one of the pictures below is of what I wiped from Catorze’s eye, and the other is blackberry juice. Spot la différence?

On peut détruire ce qu’on a écrit, mais on ne peut pas le déécrire

image

Poor Catorze isn’t looking so good these days. His right eye has lost so much fur all the way around that he looks like Alex Delarge from A Clockwork Orange. And, last night, the dreadful itch-yelp returned; this is the ear-splitting sound that he makes when he scratches and breaks the skin.

We’re doing everything as we did in September/October, when he was looking his best, so we have no idea whatsoever why things have turned to merde now. It’s frustrating beyond belief. But the good news is that it’s not affecting his mood in the way it has before; although he’s lost a little of his Chat Noir sparkle, he still manages to find the inclination to cuddle us on the sofa in the evenings. And he has taken to having Post-Meds Cuddles with Cat Daddy whenever he medicates him (whereas I just get claws and teeth when it’s my turn).

We have tried so hard to find a pattern to Louis Catorze’s flare-ups and have failed so far, but this will be the third November in a row which has seen a downturn in his condition. (He wasn’t with us in November 2013 but, having seen the awful photos taken in January 2014, it would make sense that November was around the time things began to slide, to reach their nadir 2 months later.)

There is clearly something in the house or the winter environment that is less present at other times of the year and, whatever it is, it was present both at Le Palais and at his previous foster home too. I just wish I knew what the heck it could be.