L’apocalypse commence par Le Roi Soleil

Armageddon must be nigh: although Louis Catorze has escaped out at The Front about 78 times since we took delivery of our plant-topped recycling box thing, not once has he attempted to use it as a litter tray. Much as it pains and repulses me, I have been checking for signs of disturbed soil every time someone knocks at the door to return him to us, and there are none whatsoever.

Whilst we are delighted that Sa Maj is, for once, doing what we want him to do, something about it makes us rather uncomfortable and we can’t help waiting for the axe to fall at some random and inopportune moment. 

Here he is enjoying the new green surroundings of The Front, with the sedums now in place. Has he turned over a new leaf (metaphorically, I mean), or will his inherent evil triumph at some point?

Maintenant lavez-vous les pattes

We have just treated ourselves to a fabulous green solution for storing our unsightly recycling boxes. However, once the top bit is filled with soil and plants, I am concerned that a certain someone may mistake it for the world’s fanciest litter tray. So … how to keep Louis Catorze from doing unwanted business here? 

Cat Daddy, rather naively, is insisting that Catorze will never use this as les toilettes royales “because he isn’t allowed out at The Front”. But we all know better, don’t we? 

We – well, I – thought about everything from cat-arse-activated sprinklers to filling the top with spiky cacti to deter la derrière royale, but then my mum suggested sedums. No, I had no idea what they were, either, until now. 

As far as I can gather, sedums are low-maintenance, semi-succulent plants which (my mum says) will spread quickly, leaving little-to-no soil exposed to tempt wayward cat behinds. And although they are not covered in spines like cacti, they can be quite pointy in places, so I can’t say I would especially want to sit on one.

So, now that we have a genius idea for Roi-proofing our new purchase, all we need to do is ramp up our efforts to keep The Front under lockdown. Player 1 (me) is ready. Player 2 (Cat Daddy), not so much.

If you also fancy treating your cat to a ruinously expensive outdoor litter tray, we got ours from bluum.co.uk. We even managed to assemble it without Cat Daddy losing his temper and without me stabbing either him or myself in the head with the screwdriver.

Un chat dans Le Château en vaut deux dans la rue

1C3040C7-180B-4363-9E46-7B2340ED3E7BNon, non, non, Louis Catorze! This is just one of the many reasons* he is not allowed out at The Front unsupervised; rolling around on the dirty pavement that dogs have used as their toilettes is not what we want and, quite frankly, it makes me feel a little sick. 

*The other reasons are: 

  1. Picking fights with dogs
  2. Picking fights with foxes 
  3. Screaming outside neighbours’ houses, forcing them to return him to us when they can’t stand the racket any longer 
  4. Accosting neighbours as they are attempting to leave their houses and either not letting them leave, or following them, screaming 
  5. Rolling around in exactly this same way but IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD 

On this occasion he slipped out as soon as Cat Daddy opened the front door to go to work. Naturellement, just as I sat down to have my tea, he was screaming at the door to be let in again, much to the amusement of a family passing by. 

And, whilst the little sod usually avoids me, after returning from his exploits at The Front he was suddenly desperate to show me affection and to rub his gross, dirty fur all over me. He was chasing me around the house in exactly the way I do with him when it’s time to take him to the vet. 

It seems that he is starting to unleash his Summer Psycho. He’s a bit early. But I don’t suppose he cares about that. 

Le lion a suffisamment de dents pour se sentir bien dehors

Have you ever seen one of those 1980s movies where the small-town neighbourhood bad boy is undignifiedly hauled home to his parents by the local sheriff? (I haven’t, but I am sure that it must have happened in some 1980s movie at some time.) 

Well, Louis Catorze’s troublemaking-about-town has reached such a level that neighbours have started knocking at our door to return him to us. Cat Daddy is BEYOND mortified about this although, curiously, he fails to see that it wouldn’t be a problem if we* were more vigilant about keeping The Front under lockdown.

*HE

The first time that this happened, Catorze had slipped out unnoticed at The Front and his screaming could be heard from the living room of one neighbour, disturbing his TV viewing. A couple of weeks ago, he had slipped out unnoticed again and had tried to get into the same neighbour’s house as their dinner guests were leaving. And the most recent incident involved him slipping out unnoticed YET AGAIN (I think I may detect a pattern here) and ambushing Oscar the dog’s mamma and sister, screaming, as they left the house. They politely knocked at the door a few nights ago and said, “Louis is outside at The Front, and we just wanted to check that you knew?” Erm … no. 

I never know what to say when the little sod is returned to us. I can’t even lie and say, “He’s never behaved like this before” because it tends to be the same people who keep bringing him back, and they all know what he’s like. 

I am trying EXTREMELY hard to be careful at The Front, but Cat Daddy is somewhat more, erm, relaxed when he puts out the recycling. With Hallowe’en – which I am spelling authentically for the first time ever – around the corner, and the very real danger of Catorze being mistaken for a novelty vampire cat toy and scooped up into some kid’s treat bag, we need to up our game. (Yes, most cats would probably loudly and violently object to being carried off by a gang of sugar-high youngsters, but this is Sa Maj we’re talking about.)

And I have just checked my calendar and realised that it’s a full moon tonight which, let’s face it, adds another complication into the mix that we really don’t need. Someone needs to intercept The Mothership’s transmissions très rapidement. 

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Thank you to Emily for this amazing photo of the little sod who is, most unusually, moving AWAY from the front door

Louis Catorze et la Cape d’Invisibilité

*Today’s entry of Le Blog would be greatly enhanced by listening to the Harry Potter theme music whilst reading*

After the recent altercation with the zombie fox, you’d be forgiven for thinking Louis Catorze had been put off going out at The Front. Mais non. He is now obsessed with it and, even if he is outside at The Back, he can hear the front door being opened and he hurtles in, screaming, to try and break out. 

And his Cloak of Invisibility appears to be growing in power as the Season of the Black Cat progresses, because he is managing to slip out unnoticed more than ever before. Last Tuesday night we found him outside on the window sill when we came home from the football, happily watching all the football fans make their way home, and on Thursday I came home from work to find a random passer-by stroking him on our front wall. On yet another occasion, a neighbour sent us this picture when we thought Catorze was asleep on our bed:

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Little sod is having a ball, but I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could spit. If he is out at The Front, I have the shutters open and am anxiously checking every few minutes to make sure he isn’t rolling around in the road, screaming at dogs/foxes or launching himself at some terrified man. And, although he has been ok so far, I daren’t let my guard down. 

Cat Daddy: “If we had children you’d be absolutely ridiculous with them, wrapping them in cotton wool.” Not true in the slightest. This is more of a civic duty to save the good people of TW8 some heartache, rather than for Le Roi’s benefit. Plus children come back when they’re called – or, if I had any, they’d bloody well BETTER come back when they’re called, or else. Louis Catorze couldn’t give less of a merde if he tried. 

So Le Château is now in a state of high alert, although we are pretty defenceless against a Cloak of Invisibility on account of it being invisible. A friend suggested we confiscate the Cloak, and we would, if we could find it …

La joie de l’automne

Today is the autumn equinox, which signifies the start of my favourite time of the year. Normally I would mark this by lighting a scented candle but, because of a certain sneezing little sod, this is now off limits. (He actually hasn’t sneezed in a while, but we are being cautious as we really don’t want another trip to the vet.)

And, if my memory serves me correctly, this time last year I had also hoped to treat myself to a relaxing spa bath but the same little sod ruined it by battering at the bathroom door and screaming himself senseless. So I guess that is also off limits … unless, of course, I invite him in to make use of the steam to clear les narines royales.

Instead, Cat Daddy and I will be celebrating with Louis Catorze cuddles – which, despite everything, are always a treat – and fillet steak when we get home from our autumn walk. And, yes, Catorze will be getting a little sliver of steak with his dinner. (His preference is medium-rare. Thank you for asking.) 

Happy autumn to you all. Here is Sa Maj, resplendent among the Japanese anemones, heralding the new season in the only way he knows how: 

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Les oiseaux furieux

Cat Daddy and I have been struggling to sleep since returning from holiday. This is partly down to our post-holiday body clock stuffage, but also because of the Angry Birds, a flock of attractive but maddening bright green parakeets who have nested in the park across the road. Our neighbours hate them, too, and, if we are to hope for any sleep at all, we have no choice but to either keep the windows closed in the heat or to do Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who will be the one to get up and shut the windows once the racket starts at dawn. 

Cocoa the babysit cat is doing his utmost to keep their population down – and has had some success – but he has a way to go before he makes a significant difference. Not that we actually want to see them all killed but, after several consecutive nights of no sleep, we can’t help but cheer on Cocoa just a little bit. 

Sometimes a squawky magpie or two also join in, resulting in a cacophonous chorus of “Screech-screech-screech-screech-screech-screech-screech-screech-cawwwwww-cawwwwww!” It’s quite the most dreadful thing imaginable. 

Not long ago I was forced to get up upon hearing the hellish alarm call, because just lying there would have made me more annoyed. I looked out at The Back and saw about a dozen or so parakeets perched on the telephone wires screeching at something below them. And now I know what has been making the Angry Birds so angry. Most of them flew away when I went outside, but I managed to catch one bird with the object of its enragement:

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Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: what’s making them so cross is a little black sod, pitter-pattering about the garden, stopping occasionally to look up at them and meow back. As I watched, open-mouthed with shock, I observed that the meowing only made the Angry Birds’ screeching worse, which in turn made the meowing worse, and so on, just as it does with Oscar the dog’s barking. Oh. Mon. Dieu.

I have no idea whether the Angry Birds are screeching to alert their comrades of the potential predator danger, or whether they are just shouting insults and swear words (which, frankly, is much more likely). Whatever the reason, we apologise unreservedly to the neighbours who follow Le Blog and, erm, might just keep quiet about this when we bump into the neighbours who don’t.