Je suis venu comme un boulet de démolition

D204A87E-B936-48E7-BD3F-F254CE20741BCat Daddy is furious because someone or something has been into the Forbidden Greenhouse and trashed his precious chilli plant seedlings. I asked if the motive for this heinous crime had been toilet use, but this just made Cat Daddy more angry as the garden provides more than adequate cat toileting areas. He snapped that he didn’t know and wasn’t prepared to dig in and find out, but that I was welcome to do so myself if I wanted to. (I didn’t.)

The sliding door of the Forbidden Greenhouse had been left open the tiniest amount, which means that the culprit was either a largish rat or Louis Catorze (although Cat Daddy has just muttered that there isn’t much difference between the two). This, along with Catorze’s penchant for sneaking unnoticed into places that he has no business being, makes him a highly likely suspect for this crime. 

The other piece of evidence in the case of Cat Daddy versus The Crown is the curious set of pawprints seen in the picture. Bizarrely, they lead INTO the scene of the crime but there are no prints leading out. This would appear to vindicate the defendant, as it’s not possible to cavort about in soil and leave with clean feet, but unfortunately Catorze has previous when it comes to this; in the past I have found muddy paw prints in the centre of our bathroom floor but none leading into, nor away from, that point. The only way of doing this would have been to levitate in, gad about on the floor with dirty paws and then levitate out again.

Cat Daddy: “If I ever catch him doing anything like this again, he’ll be levitating for sure: right off the end of my foot after I kick his arse.”

Oh dear. No further questions, Your Honour. It’s not looking too hopeful for the defendant, is it?

Anyway, Cat Daddy is now on a mission to protect the rest of his plants from further destruction: the seedlings in the Forbidden Greenhouse are now under much better protection with the door fully closed, and the outdoor salad leaves are secure behind a mesh barrier. 

So, what say you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury? Do you find the little sod guilty or not guilty?

Le lit découvre tous les secrets

Louis Catorze has a Château full of comfortable beds at his disposal, with soft anti-allergy bedding and freshly-laundered duvet covers. So, naturellement, he chooses to sleep in … a grubby Hounslow Council plastics refuse sack, in the equally grubby Forbidden Greenhouse. You couldn’t make this up … and, to prove that I really haven’t, here he is, narrowing his eyes at me with no shame whatsoever: 

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Could he BE any more low-brow and unbecoming of a Sun King? 

Cat Daddy: “If you gave him enough time, probably, yes.”

L’effet de serre

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During the 30+ degree heat of last week, when most of us were desperately seeking shade, the Sun King, apparently, wasn’t warm enough, and spent much of his time in the greenhouse.

A word of warning if, like us, you happen to have both a greenhouse and an incredibly stupid cat: please be careful. Le fichu con was trapped there for about 3-4 hours one evening – thankfully after the worst of the heat had passed – and, because he is highly adept at slipping unnoticed from one place to another, we are prepared to bet a Roi’s ransom that it will happen again if we don’t watch out.

Catorze had just had a visitor and had been cuddled and spoilt beyond measure, so it would have been easy to assume that he were sleeping off the evening’s excitement somewhere. But it was unusual for him not to join us for Movie Night, so eventually we decided to go out and look for him. After being alerted by the pathetic wailing coming from the greenhouse, we were able to release him – and, fortunately, he was perfectly fine and unharmed, just mildly outraged at the inconvenience of it all. A few cuddles later and he had completely forgotten about his ordeal.

Even if your cat wouldn’t be that stupid/nosey, be prepared for the fact that other neighbourhood cats might. Cats sneak into sheds and outhouses all the time and are usually fine, even after days of entrapment, but greenhouses are like ovens in this weather so the consequences could be disastrous. And, although it may seem illogical for any creature to actively seek shelter in a greenhouse when it’s this hot, trust me, they still do it.

Please, please check carefully before closing up for the day/night, especially if your greenhouse has lots of nooks and crannies in which a silly (or lost) animal could hide. Or, better yet, if you’re in any way unsure, don’t close up completely at all, and leave an escape route for said silly/lost animal to use in an emergency.

 

On parle du loup

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Louis Catorze’s new favourite place to sleep is the laundry basket. This is not ideal, by any means, as dead skin cells on dirty clothes are like an all-you-can-eat banquet to dust mites, but I guess it’s slightly preferable to the Forbidden Greenhouse. (I asked Cat Daddy if we could lay a clean towel on top of the pile of clothes in the laundry basket, to prevent Louis Catorze’s body from making contact with the dirty clothes. He said no.)

Unfortunately the allergy is back, in spite of our sustained efforts with the anti-allergy and anti-dust mite measures. The edges of his eyes are starting to look thick, bald and puffy again, and his chin area is quite horrible to look at and touch. On the positive side, it doesn’t seem to be affecting his spirits too much and he’s still managing to drive us insane with his stupid shit.

His latest “thing” is to become super-vocal, and by this I don’t simply mean he meows more: he’s taken to howling when he comes into the room, simply to announce his arrival, and he actually flings his head back with his chin pointing to the sky, like a coyote baying at the moon. It’s quite hilarious to watch at times. Mind you, I wish someone would tell him that 4am is not one of those times. And, naturellement, Louis Catorze won’t do it whilst being filmed.

This week he needs to have a fur sample retested by the bioenergetics company, and his pendant – which I’ve only just found again after he kicked it under the bed – reprogrammed in line with the new results. I don’t know how they will do it or whether it will help, but, as the silly sod has over-scratched and drawn blood yet again, I need to do SOMETHING.

Le Roi est rapide: vive Le Roi!

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We had Louis Catorze at “Bonjour” … or so we thought. I lured him into bed with fake cuddles whilst Cat Daddy snuck downstairs and placed some mineral water bottles in front of the cat flap to stop him running out. When I knew that the syringe was loaded and ready (which was communicated in code by text message), I herded Louis Catorze downstairs like a sheepdog with a gaggle of geese. (Is it even possible to “herd” just one animal? Oh well. I did.)

Louis Catorze trotted unsuspectingly towards the cat flap, where Cat Daddy waited with the syringe hidden behind his back. Then, as if somehow alerted to what was about happen, he gathered speed, whipping past Cat Daddy’s ankles and leaving him clumsily grabbing at thin air, shimmied around/through (I couldn’t say which preposition were more appropriate, as it happened too fast) our mineral water barricade and escaped into the safety of the garden. Before we could even say “le petit salaud”, he had scooted to the end of the garden where, alas, he was foiled by the clothes horse. Cat Daddy promptly caught up with him and got him well and good.

“Oh well,” said a friend, when I recounted the tragic tale later on. “It’s not as if you have to do this very often. It’s only once a month, isn’t it?”

“Erm, no. Two to three times a WEEK,” I replied.

“Oh!” she gasped, taking an extra deep breath. “In that case, you should be better at it by now, especially if he’s as thick as you say. It’s a bit embarrassing that you were both almost outwitted by a stupid cat.”

Thanks. YOU come and medicate him next time, then.

Le Roi est sorti: vive Le Roi!

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I’m thrilled to report that, after a few days of entrapment, Le Roi’s face is looking much better. He still looks very scabby around the edges and, if you saw him in the street, you’d be forgiven for mistaking him for one of those feral cats who live on landfill sites and are riddled with fleas and mange. But his open wounds are healing nicely so, on Saturday, we let him outside for the first time in a few days.

Poor sausage was so delighted that he galloped out at top speed and has pretty much been outside ever since, rolling, chirping, chasing bugs and, very occasionally, having a cheeky wander into Oscar’s territory. In fact, even though it’s raining right now, he’s still out there, happily allowing himself to be rained on and absorbing all that lovely rain water to rub all over our sheets later.

Saturday was one of the hottest days of the month so far, but nevertheless Cat Daddy cleared out the greenhouse to make it more pleasant for his boy. Until we bought Le Château it had been in the same family since it was built in 1884, and there were things unearthed in the clear-out that I swear had been lying there decaying in the greenhouse since that very date: fish bonemeal garden fertiliser (no idea what this is, but it sounds bad), various museum-piece garden tools which could probably double as torture instruments in horror movies, and about a zillion terracotta pots of varying sizes, all of which were sticky with cobwebs and dust. So everything that had the potential to be Roi-unfriendly was cleaned, put away or dumped. The greenhouse will never be the ideal place for him to go rolling about in, but it’s now considerably improved.

The next steps will be the food overhaul and the rather more daunting garden makeover, which will be especially tricky as we have no clues whatsoever to guide us. But I feel we still ought to do SOMETHING. I will never, ever stop looking for things that could make my boy’s life more comfortable.

Le Roi se sauve: vive Le Roi!

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This summer holiday hasn’t quite been as I’d expected. I was so looking forward to 6 glorious weeks at Le Château with Louis Catorze, drinking cocktails in the garden with him at my feet, listening to “Just The Two Of Us” by Bill Withers, that kind of thing. For a very short while, that’s how it was. But as soon as Louis Catorze’s allergy kicked in, I lost my sweet, affectionate little boy to the evil clutches of the Forbidden Greenhouse and Le Rouleau Suisse. (The picture is a month old, taken before his Mega-Sulk started, because his allergy is too unpleasant to photograph.)

I made the decision to close the door to the Forbidden Bedroom containing Le Rouleau, which was tricky as it’s impossible to check whether or not he’s actually in Le Rouleau first. I had many failed attempts whereby I would spy him in the corridor and race him to the Forbidden Bedroom to shut the door, but he would always sense when I was on my marks and beat me to it, bouncing deftly over the boxes and into Le Rouleau before I could even clutch the door handle. Luckily, I’m just as stubborn as he, so I just kept up my attempts until, eventually, I succeeded. And, fortunately, it hasn’t driven him into the Forbidden Greenhouse, as I had feared: his New Sulking Spot of Choice is now under our bed, but I’m happier about this as it’s cleaner and has had a dust mite controller fizzing away for well over a month.

What also hasn’t helped his sulkiness is the fact that I’ve had to increase the frequency of his meds; not only does he déteste being medicated (and what cat doesn’t, apart from that white YouTube cat who happily laps up medicine from the end of the syringe as if it were liquid Dreamies?) but he knows when I’m even THINKING about it and makes himself scarce. He’s also learned to grit his teeth when I administer it, so that it looks set to be a successful session but in fact the liquid rebounds off his teeth and goes all over the floor. If you imagine that prank we all pretend we played as children (but in fact we weren’t clever enough to think of it) – the one where you cover the toilet bowl with taut cling film and wait for some unsuspecting person to pee – that’s EXACTLY what it’s like.

Repeat after me: “This cannot go on indefinitely … This cannot go on indefinitely …”