Les puces

This is my 100th blog post! I’m quite astounded that an ordinary black cat who doesn’t do much has inspired me to write 100 times (and Cat Daddy says he is, too). To mark this auspicious event, what better subject matter than … flea treatment. Quel charme!

“Flea treatment?” said Cat Daddy, looking perplexed. “FLEA TREATMENT? As it’s your 100th post, shouldn’t you write about something … you know … a bit nicer?”

“Such as what?”

“Well, what has Louis done this week? Anything interesting or new?”

Silence, then tumbleweed, then crickets. So flea treatment it is.

If you’ve been following Le Blog since the beginning, you will know about Louis Catorze and tablets. Yes, I know. So you can imagine my joy when some clever person invented Broadline, an anti-worm and anti-flea combo-solution in liquid form that can be dropped onto the back of the neck and that negates the need for worming pills.

Catorze is pretty good with dropper-style flea treatment, due to being so thick that he has no idea it’s happening, even mid-splurge. Occasionally he gives me the look as if to say, “Erm, excuse-moi … did you just …?” but then reverts to, “Nah, never mind.”

The first thing that struck me about the Broadline was the size of the applicator: it’s like a snooker cue. There is zéro chance of hiding it in one hand and discreetly sidling up to Catorze, as I was able to do with the teeny tiny Advocate tube; he’s thick, but he’s not blind (although we did once have to get the vet to confirm, as we were genuinely unsure).

And, whilst the quantity of liquid claimed to be just 0.9ml, it looked like rather a lot. Oh dear.

Application time came and, as expected, Louis Catorze noticed and wasn’t hugely pleased. But he didn’t run and hide: in fact, he came into the living room and snuggled us both afterwards.

Here he is, with that telltale neck smear:

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Someone suggested recently that perhaps Louis Catorze was FINALLY coming around to the fact that we do all these things to try to help him. I really hope this is true – although I suspect that he was actually trying to rub the Broadline off onto us.

Où est mon argent?

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I have a week off work, and I was so looking forward to sleeping late and drinking tea in bed with my 2 boys. Sadly, Catorze had other plans.

This morning we were woken at 8:00 by yelling (not for any real purpose, just for fun), then again 30 minutes later by the postman banging on the door to deliver a package that wouldn’t fit through the letterbox. When I went back upstairs to bed, Cat Daddy rolled over and murmured sleepily, “What was in the package? Don’t tell me it was more shit for that bloody cat?”

I did as he asked and refrained from telling him.

The “shit for that bloody cat” turned out to be anti-flea treatment and a further supply of Atopica, accompanied by an invoice for £103. We’re quite used to seeing enormous Catorze-related bills, so I wasn’t too concerned by this initially. But, when I transferred the £103 from our savings account into my current account to pay the invoice, I realised that le royal sick fund had definitely seen healthier days.

During the reign of Luther – who was once described by the vet as “a picture of health” – the fund flourished and grew to in excess of £800, because Luther never needed veterinary treatment apart from his routine booster jabs. His little brother, on the other hand, halved the fund within 18 months, and now it contains under £300. When I told Cat Daddy how much was left, he called Louis Catorze a rude, unrepeatable name and grumpily agreed that we would need to double up the monthly standing orders going from our current accounts into the sick fund.

I realise that this must sound like a request for money, but rest assured that it really isn’t. So please don’t donate to us or collect money on our behalf*, firstly because we knew what we were getting into when we took Catorze on, but also because he is one of the lucky ones whose slaves can just about manage. I have already mentioned elsewhere on this blog that cats cost money, but it’s worth repeating – and, whilst I would never discourage anyone from taking on a special needs cat, anyone considering it needs to hear the harsh truth about the cost.

The good news is that, if you take on a cat with known medical issues, the rescue centre will almost always offer discounted or free aftercare treatment; for instance, we get reduced-price Atopica if we buy it from Louis Catorze’s ex-rescue (yes, the eye-watering sum of £103 INCLUDED our discount!). If you’re struggling with a new diagnosis for a sick kitty, it’s always worth approaching rescues and animal charities and asking about cost-price medication, even if your cat came from elsewhere.

*Lilly’s Legacy, on the other hand, is a rescue group that helps stray and missing cats and is in desperate need of funding. If you would like to make a donation to cats who are genuinely in need, their PayPal account address is lillyslegacy@hotmail.com

Où est mon stuff?


A text reminder to give Louis Catorze his flea treatment is only really helpful if you know where the treatment is. In fact, I have no idea where the vast majority of our stuff is. “Somewhere in the floor-to-ceiling jungle of cardboard boxes” is as good a guess as I can manage.

So my second piece of advice to anyone moving a cat, after “Build the house first”, is: Put all the cat’s stuff into the removal lorry first, even if you are moving the cat last. We thought we had been very clever, packing all his things together and keeping them till last when we moved “so that nothing gets lost”. However, the problem is that it gets put on the lorry last, but unloaded at the other end first. Then it gets boxed into a corner by all the other stuff that comes after it.

Yesterday we had to drag our very hungover selves to Pets At Home painfully early in the morning when we realised we couldn’t find Louis Catorze’s food – although, when we got home, the little sod refused to eat it – and now it looks as if we’re due another visit for his Advocate. His Atopica and Piriton were packed in the same place, as were the dust mite repelling devices and the anti-allergy beeswax candles, all of which we could really do with right now. Oh dear.

Despite our manque d’organisation, Louis Catorze is settling into Le Château much more quickly than I’d anticipated, and I think the fact that he’s physically well, with very little trace of his allergy, really helps. He’s happiest, unsurprisingly, when he’s released from his attic prison and has the run of Le Château, and we’ve had many tail-up moments. The next major thing for him will be negotiating the Tunnel of Terror, i.e. the cat flap that goes through a wall. Given that it took him 5 months to go through our previous, super-simple door cat flap just once, another couple of weeks to make a habit of it and a further 2 weeks to realise that he could come in as well as go out, this could be an interesting saga …