La chaleur est là

Le Château, its contents and its occupants are melting in the heat. We have dealt with heat before, of course, but, when it’s so hot that packets of salted peanuts in our kitchen cupboards start to ooze oil – which doesn’t sound that bad but, in reality, it’s like the initial signs of a poltergeist haunting and is creepy as hell – it really is the end of days.

But it’s all right for some, who are able to lounge languidly in their cool chaise longues. The glamorous piece of cat furniture that you see was a gift from one of Louis Catorze’s wonderful supporters and, because it’s positioned on the ground floor by the patio doors AND raised off the hot ground, it’s the coolest spot in the house. On sticky nights, when it’s too uncomfortable to snuggle in bed with us, Sa Majesté heads here instead.

Le Roi is also partial to having a freezer-cold bottle of vodka rolled up & down his body when temperatures soar (see photo from the archives), but Cat Daddy has imposed strict conditions on this. “It’s the chaise longue or the cold vodka massage, not both. Let’s not go overboard.”

Exactement. We don’t want the Sun King becoming too pampered.

 

Le jeu de trônes

Today’s entry is dedicated to Rachel, a much-loved follower of Le Blog. She was drily witty, interested in people and had the unique skill of making every person feel that their cat was the best and most fascinating cat in the world – yes, even mine, which is quite some feat. Rachel, you would relate to this, especially as your kitties would always sit on things that they weren’t meant to sit on: the clothes that you had put aside for the charity shop, your wheelchair, your pillow (without tucking the tail around the arse – ugh) and so on. We miss you and hope that, wherever you may be, you are happy and surrounded by maddening, shouty, delightful cats. (With tucked tails.)

Good news: we have found a way of stopping Louis Catorze from scratching the footstool. Bad news: we have had to surrender it to him as a cat throne. So now he has a total of THREE cat thrones: 2 outdoor ones, of which Le Roi needs both at once, and the new indoor one. See below for both:

It really was the only solution. Imagine you had the inclination to destroy some brand new furniture: would you destroy your own, or someone else’s? Exactly. Even Louis Catorze has the brains to figure out that trashing your own stuff is stupid; since the footstool officially became la propriété de la monarchie, it hasn’t been scratched once.

Sometimes Le Roi graciously allows Cat Daddy to rest his feet on it, but only if he can sleep on Cat Daddy’s outstretched legs.

Think of it as a quid pro quo but with a slightly selfish bias: “quid pro”, maybe.

Or perhaps even just “quid”.

A bon chat, bon rat

Just like pre-baked jacket potatoes, cycling superhighways and selfie sticks, outdoor sofas are one of those things that seem like a good idea at the time. But, if you have a cat, you may need to rethink your plans to get one. Outdoor sofas can get covered in all sorts of undesirable matter: paw prints, cat hair, dead rats, that kind of thing. And guess which one of the three greeted Cat Daddy this morning, when he went outside to enjoy his first cup of tea of the day?

When he broke the happy news to me, for some reason I felt the need to go and look to make sure he was telling the truth. He was. There, on his favourite spot on the sofa, was a large, curly-haired (nope, neither have we), 3-legged rat.

(Don’t worry: Cat Daddy found the other leg later.)

There was also evidence that a fox had been in Le Jardin but, from what I have learned about foxes’ hunting habits during the 5+ solid hours that I have since spent Googling the subject, leaving prey behind on a raised rostrum isn’t their style. Although it’s quite possible that a fox killed the rat, the podium presentation has Louis Catorze written all over it.

Whilst I shrank into a corner, weeping quietly and rocking back and forth, Cat Daddy remained admirably stoical as he grabbed the gloves, spade and bin bags. I would dispute his theory that “if Louis Catorze had really done it, he would have brought the rat indoors.” No: he didn’t bring it indoors because he COULDN’T (although I bet he gave it his best shot). This thing was at least 30cm long from nose to tail, and probably a good 1/3 of the little sod’s own body weight. And it certainly explains why he was curiously absent for much of last night instead of snuggling up with us and watching the heptathlon and the long jump.

So the outdoor sofa cushion covers are drying outside and our bed linen is next, because we doubt that notre ami mutuel washed his paws this morning before tricking us into unsuspecting bed cuddles.

Here he is, looking very sorry for all the bother he has caused, with stuff on his face that I really hope are cobwebs but I expect they are some sort of nasty rat granules.

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Le tabouret du Roi

Cat Daddy recently bought a brand new scratching post. Now, it wasn’t because he wanted to do something nice for Louis Catorze: it was because he wanted to park in Pets at Home’s customers-only car park but didn’t want to be that despicable person who parks there without buying anything.

When he brought the scratching post home, Louis Catorze rushed immediately towards it, scratched happily away (see photo), and all was well with the world … for a whole 24 hours.

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The next day, Cat Daddy’s heart-stoppingly expensive footstool arrived, from the same company that supplied the swish drinks trolley (yes, THAT drinks trolley: https://jesuisleroisoleil.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/papa-est-decu/). Through some cruel ironie du sort, Louis Catorze now thinks the footstool is his scratching post. And to say that Cat Daddy is displeased about this could not be a bigger understatement.

He has tried to protect the footstool when not in use by leaning cushions against it, but the little sod just pulls them away. We have put the scratching post in front of the footstool, but Catorze just sidesteps it. Shouting “No!” at him when he starts to scratch usually works, but of course it doesn’t stop him from scratching when we’re not around.

Bits of the stitching and fabric are already starting to come away from the footstool, and we’ve only had it for a few days. Meanwhile, the scratching post is still as pristine as it was on the day it was made.

Although I hope that Louis Catorze will miraculously just stop scratching one day, deep down I know that the only solution is to get rid of the offending item.

Cat Daddy just read this over my shoulder and huffed, “I couldn’t have put it better myself – but who the hell would be stupid enough to have him?”

Actually, I meant … oh, never mind.

Mon jardin est ton jardin

After a whole morning and a whole afternoon of bending, twisting, swearing, smashing glass and wanting to slash at our own flesh with the broken bits, Cat Daddy and I finally finished assembling the garden furniture. (We were told that it “would bolt together easily”. It did not. Never believe anyone who tells you such rubbish.)

We had a feeling that, before we would have the chance to try it out, a cat would get there first. However, we didn’t expect THIS:

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Cat Daddy’s response was, “At least he did it before we’d put the cushions on.” I say a cheeky sod is a cheeky sod, irrespective of whether his arse is cushioned.

I wonder if there is such a thing as a world record for the greatest sum of money ever spent on a cat tree for someone else’s cat? Ginger Impinger would like to start the bidding at £1199.