Dérouler le tapis rouge

Cat Daddy: “The red carpet in the living room looks awful. I can’t believe it’s worn down so quickly.”

Me: “Erm, it didn’t wear down.”

Him: “What do you mean?”

Me: “…”

Him: “What happened to it, then, if it didn’t wear down?”

Me: “…”

Him: “Oh my God. Please don’t tell me it was HIM?”

Me: “…”

Him: “[Unrepeatable Expletives of the Worst Kind]”

Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: he leaves the Yuletide tree and the leather furnishings well alone, but Louis Catorze will attack carpet with every ounce of his evil little being. Carpeted surfaces are his bête noire – or, rather, he is theirs – so it’s just as well we don’t have many in Le Château. But what an almighty mess he’s made of the few that we do have.

So I’m snipping out the unsightly white stringy bits – they ruin every photo taken in this room – and hoping for the best. No doubt as soon as they are gone, Catorze will scratch up new ones, and when they’re cut out he will scratch up other news ones, and so on, until we cave pathetically and buy a new carpet.

Meanwhile, the little sod has no opinion one way or the other. Indifference is what he does, and he does it so well.

“Get a new carpet. Don’t get a new carpet. Whatever. Couldn’t give a merde.”

Le Roi diabolique

The autumn chaos has started, and Louis Catorze is in big trouble.

First of all, when Cat Daddy was organising some important papers, Sa Maj decided that a paperweight was required, and that he was it:

TUCK THAT TAIL.

Secondly, on the day of the autumn equinox, Catorze shamed us beyond words by attacking another cat who passed through the garden. Despite being much larger than Catorze (and, let’s face it, who isn’t?), this poor cat was terrified and desperate to get away; Cat Daddy even intervened to try to help him but, somehow, in doing so, only succeeded in blocking off his escape routes and making him an easier target for evil Catorze.

The little sod eventually emerged from the skirmish as the victor, utterly unscathed and ACTUALLY SPITTING OUT LUMPS OF THE INTERLOPER’S FUR.

And we have just discovered that, as well as rubbing his Gabapentin onto his new bed (which isn’t the end of the world since it’s only for his use), he has rubbed it off onto our sofa (which absolutely IS the end of the world since it’s for everyone’s use). It has discoloured the leather, and Cat Daddy is absolutely enraged.

We didn’t see Catorze do it but, before you all start sticking up for him, there is nothing else whatsoever that this could be. We do eat and drink on the sofa, but we always do so on the seat bits in the middle, never whilst leaning over the arms.

He did it. We can’t prove it, but we know it.

Luckily we took out additional five-year insurance cover when we purchased the sofa, and this entitles us to a replacement in the event of damage, including cat damage. But, no doubt, if we go ahead with that now, the little sod will only do something else to the next one, and I fear that the cover only allows replacement of the original sofa and not every subsequent one cat-damaged.

Cat Daddy: “Getting rid is going to be such a pain in the arse.”

I think he was still talking about the sofa.

J’adore mon nouveau lit (enfin)

Cat Daddy and I spent the weekend in the Midlands, watching Brentford beat Wolves. And, whilst there (not in the stadium, obviously, but in the place where we were staying) we bumped into these two magnificent chaps:

Twice the size of Sa Maj … but then who isn’t?
The same one again, caught mid-scream.
This tailless one was nervous but still very sweet.

Cat Daddy: “Is this, like, Black Cat Town or something?” If it is, I’m definitely coming back.

In other news, merci à Dieu et à tous ses anges: we appear to have a result with the new bed, with Louis Catorze finally sleeping in it the other day:

FINALEMENT!

However, he hasn’t used it to sharpen his claws, not once. He is still using both the stair runner carpet and the outdoor cushions, and Cat Daddy has yelled at him at least 963 times in the last day or two for doing this.

I should be switching to his autumn-winter igloo from Wednesday onwards. However, because Catorze is so dense, there is a real risk of him forgetting that his spring-summer bed was ever a thing and, when I reintroduce it next March, he will most likely stare at it as if it were some alien life form sent to destroy the planet. Oh no, wait … THAT’S HIM.

So I shall keep it in place for a little longer but, as soon as October hits, only the El Día de Los Muertos igloo will do.

Le lit invisible

I have treated Louis Catorze to a new spring-summer bed, as his chaise longue is now buckled out of shape and no longer fit for use. And, yes, I realise that the timing is silly as summer is coming to an end, but I’ve done it now.

Cat Daddy winced as he watched me unwrap the package, bearing the sort of facial expression and body language more appropriate for watching someone defuse a bomb.

Him: “That looks awful.”

Me: “…”

Him: “Oh God, PLEASE tell me that’s just the wrapping and not what it actually looks like?”

Me: “…”

When it finally emerged from the box, HE was the one who was silenced when he realised not only that the bed was reasonably attractive, but that it was designed for scratching, so hopefully Catorze will stop wrecking the stair runner.

One surprise was that the bed came with a sachet of suspicious-looking herbal matter. A friend who is a regular buyer of cardboard scratching beds has confirmed that it’s quite normal for the purchases to be accompanied by drugs, to entice cats into using the beds. No doubt they are aware of what contrary little sods they are, and they know exactly what to do to make them play ball. New bed? Non. New bed with drugs? Ouais.

It’s not what it looks like. Oh, wait … IT IS.

I decided to firstly try the bed on its own, and to unleash the narcotics only if Catorze wasn’t interested. And it’s been a few days now and he hasn’t gone anywhere near it.

Obviously this is no surprise to me as he’s never been one to do what we want, when we want him to do it, but he hasn’t simply sniffed it and then walked away; he pitter-patters past it as if it were just air, appearing not to even see it. So it looks as if I will have to deploy the magic herbs, or label the bed “Cats are not permitted to sit here” (which worked a treat last time), or – my Ace of Spades, guaranteed to reap results within minutes – advertise the bed on eBay and say it’s never been used.

Here is the bed. No idea where Catorze is.

More like a sculpture than a bed. Not that it matters because he still couldn’t give a merde about it.

Le canapé en plein air

Before we went on holiday, we took delivery of some new waterproof cushions for our outdoor sofa. (The previous ones were neither waterproof nor machine-washable, making them as unfit for purpose as can possibly be, although we did insist on washing them after the incident with the curly-haired rat: https://louiscatorze.com/2016/08/14/a-bon-chat-bon-rat/)

The collection consists of sitting-on cushions and back support cushions, plus two Roi-sized ones for the footstools/cat plinths. The plinths are Louis Catorze’s favourite place to sit, especially during thunderstorms, because he can remain dry whilst listening to the soothing sound of the rain around him.

Anyway, the cushions had been on the sofa for about 0.4 seconds when Catorze decided to investigate. And it took him a further 0.2 seconds to start scratching. So it seems we have not bought new cushions for our outdoor sofa; we have, in fact, spent a four-figure sum on an enormous, custom-made scratching post for our bastard cat.

I don’t recall ever seeing him scratching the old cushions, not once.

Here is the disaster as it unfolded. Or, rather, here is the first disaster of what will, no doubt, prove to be many:

The Incident.
Eyeballing Cat Daddy (and continuing to scratch) as we both yell at him.
Happy atop one of his plinths.
Smug in the knowledge that we’re going to have to leave the cushions unattended sooner or later.

L’arrivée du canapé

Our new Sofology sofa and matching footstool* are here. They were supposed to arrive between 12pm and 4pm last Tuesday, in pieces, but, naturellement, they arrived at 7pm, fully assembled, and the delivery people couldn’t get the sofa through the door. So they had to take it apart, bring it indoors and then reassemble it, during which time Louis Catorze escaped out at The Front.

It turned out that the reason they were late was because the original van was involved in an accident – not screeching to a halt to avoid running over a black cat, I might add – and written off, so they’d had to unload all the furniture from one van to another. And, after leaving us at 7:45pm, they still had three more deliveries to do. Mercury Retrograde has a lot to answer for.

We went for the two-and-a-half seater in Dakota Brown. I thought Cat Daddy was joking when he said “two-and-a-half seater” but that’s genuinely what it’s called, and it suits us perfectly because we are a family of two and a half. (Catorze is so small that he only counts as a half.) The three-seater sofa would just about have fitted but, after measuring, Cat Daddy discovered that it would only leave his boy with a narrow thoroughfare to his Sureflap. And, naturellement, we couldn’t have that.

Anyway, both boys are happy, so all is well with the world. And, better yet, if you take out Sofology’s five-year warranty at £157, they will repair or replace the sofa if there is any damage, including cat scratches. That said, this is Catorze we’re talking about. We all know, don’t we, that he will respect the sofa for every single day of the next five years, then slash it to smithereens and dump gross, oozing rodent corpses on it the day after the warranty expires.

Different sofa, same shite.

*Here is the original story of how we purchased our furniture from cat-loving Ish: https://louiscatorze.com/2020/09/05/le-canape-royal/

Le canapé royal

Cat Daddy has decided that he wants to replace our kitchen sofa with a new leather one. The existing fabric one is perfectly fine, but he is adamant.

The only real flaw I can find is that dust mites are more common in fabric than in leather, making the current sofa less Louis Catorze-compliant. So, much to Cat Daddy’s chagrin, I have been telling anyone who cares – and a fair few who don’t – that he is spending £1,700 on new furniture for the cat.

Cat Daddy isn’t thrilled about this. But he can’t stop me, so tant pis pour lui.

After looking at various sofas online we went to try them out in person at Sofology, where we were served by the lovely Ish. Cat Daddy had his heart set on the untreated, almost-suede look but, because it looked as if it would absorb every drop and spill, I told him that the glossier, finished leather would be better. And Ish agreed with me.

I also pointed out that the untreated finish was quite fabric-like in appearance and feel; Catorze scratches fabric, but never leather.

Ish: “My cat is similar. He scratches all the cheap fabric in my house but not my expensive velvet sofa.”

Me: “YOU HAVE A CAT! What does he look like?”

Ish: “He’s ginger and white. His name is Harchi.”

Me: “Please may I see a picture?”

And that was it for the next few minutes, with talk of our cats and their habits. Fun fact: Ish gives his cat rough play sessions in exactly the same way that Cat Daddy does with Catorze.

Cat Daddy: “ANYWAY. Back to sofas …”

After making our purchase, Ish asked if we were happy with the service that we’d received and told us that he would very much appreciate an online review.

Me: “Well, you showed me a picture of your cat so, straight away, that’s worth a 10.”

Ish: “People who don’t like cats … well … that’s just weird. Don’t you think it’s WEIRD?”

Me: “Yes. Very.”

Our new sofa and matching footstool will be arriving within the next eight weeks, and we will be sure to post some pictures of Boys’ Club taking place on them. I am sorely tempted to also send the pictures to Ish. What do you think?

“Non, Monsieur, I clearly said I wanted the Dakota Brown, not the Utah Grey.”

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.

image

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.

image

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:

image

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.