À genoux devant Le Roi

My Laziness With Cat knee injury is no better and, in fact, if anything, it appears to be getting worse. So, this week, I went to see a physio to find out why and to try to get it fixed.

Physio: “So how did you do it?”

Me: “Erm … ahem … I sat with my feet extended outwards, and my cat resting on my legs.” [I mutter the last bit under my breath in the hope that she might mishear, but she hears perfectly well and now it actually says on my notes: “Sat with legs stretched out and cat on knees.”]

Her: “Oh dear. That’s not a good position to be in with nothing supporting the backs of your knees. Especially with a heavy cat on you.”

[I can’t quite bring myself to tell her that Louis Catorze is actually gossamer-light and that the injury more likely came about because I didn’t budge from that sofa for about 10 hours quite some time, so I just nod at this point. Nor do I mention that I kept crisps and champagne within arm’s reach so that I wouldn’t have to disturb Sa Maj by getting up for food and drink.]

Anyway, it seems that I have over-stretched my knee and some tendon is inflamed, so I have had an ultrasound treatment with that wet jelly stuff to bring down the inflammation. The knee is now strapped up with that weird black tape that athletes use which, whilst not pretty, is moderately better than the TubiGrip and gives some authenticity to the story that I am some grande sportive with a training injury. And, as we edge nearer to the date of the half-marathon in which I pretended to be participating, at least now I seem to have the perfect excuse not to do it (or anything, come to that).

Here is Sa Maj, disapproving of my sloth even though he is partly to blame for it:

Toute blessure guérit, sauf les blessures du chat

It’s official: Louis Catorze is bad for our health. Three weeks ago, whilst Cat Daddy was away, I sat with Catorze on my legs and my my feet outstretched and resting on the coffee table. We spent the day fixed in that position watching back-to-back X Files together, including that episode where Agent Scully has to deal with a barking, snarling dog infected with an alien virus. (And, no, Sa Maj didn’t even flick a whisker at the barking and snarling. This is no doubt because he carries the same alien virus and therefore he knows his own kind, in the same way that zombies never attack other zombies.)

Anyway, at the end of our 10-hour fairly lengthy spook-marathon, I tried to get up but I couldn’t. My left leg (upper calf, lower thigh and behind the knee) had completely seized up, and it has been painful ever since. I don’t suppose sitting at length with my legs in an over-flexed position, and with a 3kg weight on them, was the best thing to do, but it’s too late now.

As a result, I am struggling to walk and my daily routine now includes the attractiveness of a limp and a thigh-to-ankle TubiGrip. Naturellement people have been asking what happened, and I have been too embarrassed to admit that it was a Laziness With Cat injury but I have lost track of which lie I have told to which person. (I know, I know, I should have just told the same lie to everyone instead of telling some people that I tripped on a wonky paving slab and others that it was a half-marathon training injury, but I didn’t think this through.)

These last few weeks of the school year have felt like months. And this picture of Sa Maj just about sums up my place in it all; I am like a portrait cat trying to fit into a landscape sun puddle:

L’homme fort cherche le danger

Louis Catorze and Cat Daddy have had to review their Boys’ Club rough play sessions.

To an outsider looking in, these sessions would look rather like animal cruelty: Cat Daddy flings Louis Catorze up in the air, throws him around and digs hard into his belly, with Catorze squirming and squeaking throughout. But, as soon as he lets him go, the little sod shakes himself down and goes back for more.

A couple of days ago, however, when Cat Daddy flipped him upside down and slammed him onto the sofa like a pro wrestler (sounds bad, I know), Catorze let out a sad whimper. And, this time, when he limbered up for Round 2, his poor little left knee gave way under him.

Cat Daddy was absolutely distraught that he’d hurt his boy. Fortunately the knee popped back into place again and Le Roi forgave him, coming back immediately for (gentler) cuddles. But Cat Daddy is now very nervous indeed, not so much about Boys’ Club shenanigans – which are easily controlled – but about the petit filou potentially hurting himself when we’re not around to help him. I reassured him that Catorze doesn’t wander far enough to get into proper trouble and that, in the unlikely event of him being stuck somewhere and unable to walk home, the whole darned neighbourhood would hear his screams for help.

So it looks as if our complicated boy is going to need some extra-special care from now on. Luckily we saw this coming, and we’re ready for it.

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Nous sommes trop ennuyeux pour notre chat

It seems I have written a new instruction manual on how to be the worst person on the face of the planet. It goes something like this:

1. If your cat chases his tail, laugh at him.
2. If he keeps doing it, laugh some more.
3. If he does it for several hours through the night, curse him for being such a shit.
4. Don’t bother to actually check his tail unless he bites it so hard that he yelps, at which point you may discover that he has eaten it down to the skin.
5. Make an appointment at the vet’s, then get home late due to an accident on the motorway and miss the appointment.

“Don’t worry,” said Cat Daddy. “I’m sure he still loves you as much as he did before. Mind you, that wasn’t really a lot, was it?”

Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.

Anyway, we finally made it to the vet this evening, and the good news is that she found no sign of injury. “He doesn’t seem to be in pain when I touch the tail,” she said. “He’s yelling a lot, but then he yells a lot when he comes here, anyway, doesn’t he?”

More silence, tumbleweed, crickets.

We were advised to keep an eye on Louis Catorze’s tail over the next few days. The vet then shocked the life out of us by telling us that, in the event of it not deteriorating physically, the tail-chasing was more likely to be boredom-related and that we were to give Catorze more stimulation.

This hit me and Cat Daddy like a punch in the guts. So … we are not interesting enough for Sa Majesté.

To make matters worse, I know that, when I attempt to play with him, he declines in favour of toys that he can use on his own. So it seems that Louis Catorze has been trying to tell us for some time that we’re dull, and now we have just paid £25 for the joy of being told the same thing again.

We’re too boring for our cat. What d’you think about that?

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La loi de l’emmerdement maximum

How to make your cat sick: brag to all your friends about how well he is. Sod’s Law – or, in this case, Little Sod’s Law – decrees that all will turn to merde after that.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and my family had arranged to come over today for a 2pm birthday lunch at our favourite pub. So, naturellement, Louis Catorze picked 1:30pm to start walking with a limp, shaking his back right foot and swearing at anyone who tried to take a closer look at it.

Whilst I would have been ok with leaving it until the next day given that the little sod was moderately content and not in the worst agony, the vet isn’t open on Sundays. And I didn’t dare leave it until Monday in case it was something awful. So Cat Daddy drew the short straw and agreed to take him to the only available appointment today, which was right in the middle of our lunch.

Usually we are seen on time and are out of the vet’s within 15 minutes. Not today. When Cat Daddy got there there was a dog and a cat in the queue ahead of him, and Louis Catorze managed to rouse the cat into some sort of angry rap battle during the long wait. When that cat was seen, he turned out to be a complicated case and wasn’t out for ages.

The good news is that Louis Catorze only has a minor cut on his foot. The bad news is that Cat Daddy had to pay £80 for the treatment and missed his main course at my birthday lunch. And the even worse news is that we have to give Catorze 2 lots of medication by syringe (an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory) a total of 3 times a day for a week. This is quite a horrifying thought, not only because he will shred us to pieces but because we haven’t had to assault him with medication for some time now. The trust that had started to build up over the last few months will now be gone in an instant, and he will probably never come near us again.

And oh my goodness: I have just checked the medication, and one of them is a weird powder that has to be transformed into a liquid. So I’ll need to perform some sort of spooky alchemy before I can even give the darned thing to him.

Please wish me luck. I’m really going to need it.

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La chasse de trésor

Cat Daddy is back after his 2-week business trip to the States, and he came home laden with gifts including this fabulous cushion cover.

imageI had a feeling that his return would either calm Louis Catorze down a little or send him into an even more excitable and annoying frenzy. I was right about one of those.

The little sod won’t leave his papa alone and has been yelling, climbing all over him and staring at him with crazed, psycho eyes. And, as we all know, some cats are known to bring gifts to staff on such occasions as returning after an absence, but Le Roi has taken it a step further and has devised a sort of twisted treasure hunt.

On the morning of Cat Daddy’s return, I had to clean 2 perfectly round, 5p-sized drops of fresh blood from our bedroom floor. There were no other smears or trails, just 2 solitary drops. Yet a thorough inspection of Louis Catorze – well, as thorough an inspection as he would allow without slicing me up – revealed that he was neither hurt nor in distress.

This could only mean that the blood came from another entity. And there was every chance that this entity could be somewhere within the walls of Le Château.

My mistake was cleaning up the blood before Cat Daddy had seen it because, bien sûr, he didn’t believe me when I told him about it. His theory is that it could have been nail varnish (?), ignoring my protests of “But I only own 1 bottle of nail varnish and it’s glittery silver, not red” and the rather more pertinent “I think I know the difference between nail varnish and blood.”

So this thing, whatever it may be, remains unknown and unfound, despite our best efforts (or, rather, MY best efforts, as Cat Daddy refused to help me look for an imaginary corpse that had shed imaginary blood). And I know that, if we fail to find it by sight, in time it will deploy the next clue: the come-hither stench of death, to help us locate it by smell. Let’s hope Cat Daddy finds it before I do.

Flotte comme un papillon, pique comme une abeille

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Louis Catorze is strutting around Le Château as if he were the heavyweight champion of the world.

Mind you, by “world”, we really mean a small patch of land in TW8 measuring about 10 metres by 6 metres. And weighing in at 3.48kg (as he did at his Christmas Eve vet visit) is hardly, by any reasonable interpretation of the word, “heavyweight”. Come to think of it, given that we haven’t seen the condition of his opponent and can’t conclusively state that Catorze delivered the knockout punch, even “champion” is a bit of a stretch.

Apart from all that, though, he’s the feline incarnation of Muhammad Ali, sans doute.

He is utterly unconcerned about the fight and is full of feisty confidence. (I like to think this is because he’s such a fearless warrior, but in reality he’s probably just forgotten about it.) People who haven’t seen him for a while – even Cat Daddy, who was away for a day or two – remark upon how thick and soft his fur is, and how meaty and well he looks. His ear, on the other hand, looks rather like a gnarled, 900-year-old tree root, and I expect it will continue to look this way as it heals, but it’s much less red and sore than it was. Plus it adds a little grit and character to his neatness, rather like a tattoo, a piercing or an extreme sports injury (not that Louis Catorze has any friends to impress).

As this year comes to a close and we prepare to welcome in the new one, this is a great place to be. All of us at Le Château wish you a very Happy New Year, and we hope that 2016 brings joy to you and your furry overlords. Xxx