Ma plus grande faiblesse est ma sensibilité

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We have had a wonderful time in Somerset with Cat Daddy’s hilarious family. (Who else but they would be bonkers enough to wear sombreros and make margaritas on Christmas Day?) But, sadly, our festivities were somewhat marred by the fact that I am still ill, with all-night coughing and sweating. Being ill at Christmas really is the pits, because the next person to be struck down will probably get it in time for New Year’s Eve, and will definitely know that it’s from you (and hate you for it). And now I have come home to a cat who couldn’t care less if he tried, which isn’t helping.

Louis Catorze doesn’t like sick people. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it’s more than mere “dislike”: it’s pure and unadulterated contempt. On Christmas Eve I happened to sneeze whilst sitting next to him, and the little sod glared at me and let out a nasty meow of utter loathing. He wasn’t even on my lap at the time, but clearly his abhorrence was such that he couldn’t/wouldn’t tolerate my sickness even on the periphery of his cosy little Boys’ Club bubble.

If cats can have a sixth sense for unhelpful things such as paranormal activity and when their humans are coming home from work, why the heck can’t they pick up on the fact that we are sick and show us a little love? Or, at the very least, just not be such cruel and heartless shites?

I am presently curled up at one end of the sofa, sneezing, sniffing and guzzling green tea with mint. Cat Daddy and his boy are cuddled up together at the other end, watching what appears to be every single Mike Tyson fight, back to back, in chronological order. And I have just looked down into my tea and seen a clump of cat hair floating in it. I don’t suppose Cat Daddy will make me any more, because he can’t possibly disturb Sa Majesté.

Perhaps, next Christmas, I should remind Catorze that Santa only visits good kitties who are kind to their mammas?

Il faut qu’on parle de Louis

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Have you read the book – or, if you’re a low-brow pleb like me, seen the film – “We Need To Talk About Kevin”?

The title character is a boy who, throughout his life, is as sweet as a marron glacé to his father but a total monster to his mother, psychologically tormenting her and haunting her nightmares. The book/film culminates in Kevin murdering several of his classmates.

I am still ill. And Louis Catorze still doesn’t give a shit.

HE IS KEVIN.

“I don’t think this is true,” said Cat Daddy, reading this over my shoulder. “Louis can be monstrous with me at times, too.” Ok. That just makes it worse.

We had my cousin and her husband staying with us this weekend and Louis Catorze was all over them, purring, nuzzling and sleeping on their laps. I must admit I was mildly put out, but I thought, “My turn will come later.”

Nope.

When he came to bed with me last night, I thought that perhaps he had finally sprouted a goutte of feeling for his maman malade. But, the minute I sneezed, he meowed in disdain – yes, he actually VOICED his annoyance – and shuffled further down the bed, away from me.

Normally, when guests leave, they joke about me having to check their bags, such is their temptation to take our delightful little cat with them. This time, however, I was hovering awkwardly around my cousin’s Louis Vuitton and wondering how I could shove the little sod IN.

L’esclave est malade

I often read others’ stories about how cats instinctively know when you are sick and respond by snuggling you back to wellness. Louis Catorze instinctively knows, too, but unfortunately he doesn’t give a shit; here he is, displaying his “You’re ill? Pardonne-moi whilst my heart breaks” look.

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I have had a bad couple of days with a headache, sore throat and temperature. Catorze has been “empathising” by repeatedly entering and exiting the bedroom, meowing, walking up and down my body and rubbing cold, wet fur in my face. (How he manages to get wet when it’s not raining outside – pond? river? bucket of water from exasperated neighbour? – is up there with Le Triangle des Bermudes in terms of eternally unsolvable mysteries.) And this didn’t happen just once: we’re talking at least once every hour, over the course of a whole night.

As a result, far from feeling comforted by my nursemaid’s sensitive attentions, I want to kick his selfish little arse.

Naturellement, when HE’S the one who’s unwell, he’s the most miserable sod ever to walk the earth; when his allergy takes hold, he pretty much goes into hiding and we’re not even sure where he goes. This happened a lot when he first came to live with us, including during that initial period of house arrest when you get a new cat, and our reaction was to panic that he’d somehow broken through our maximum security penitentiary blockades and escaped out of the house. I would be phoning neighbours, trawling the streets shaking a pack of cat biscuits (this was before we found out that he didn’t like food, obviously), and all the while the little sod would be holed up in a dark corner somewhere within the house, sulking.

We weren’t thrilled at the thought of having a cat that nobody ever saw, but we accepted it as a consequence of our decision to have a special needs cat. Now, of course, we know that hiding away is not an intrinsic part of his personality but a symptom of his illness (although sometimes I wish he would make himself scarce between 11pm and 7am to allow us some sleep).

I’m presently lying on the sofa under a blanket, surrounded by green tea, tissues and pills. Louis Catorze just came in from outside, yelled, shook water all over me and went back out again.

They really do treat us like dirt sometimes, don’t they? Mind you, we’re the ones at fault because, time and time again, we let them.