L’oiseau

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Yesterday I was having a bit of an off day, mainly due to frustration that my recovery is so slow. Cat Daddy had sent me a text to cheer me up, which read, “You just have to be patient. You have a lovely house in which to recover, summer weather, TV and wifi, a huge bed in which to stretch out and, of course, the most amazing cat in the world.” (I pretended not to notice that that last bit was sarcastic.)

Then it happened: my beautiful little bubble of convalescence was cruelly broken by the sight of Louis Catorze walking casually past me with a dead bird in his mouth. And, before I could stop him, he had trotted under the coffee table and dumped the bird on top of Cat Daddy’s apocalyptically-expensive new wireless headphones. Oh. Mon. Dieu.

Getting a 3.2kg cat to leave a place that he really doesn’t want to leave, when you are not meant to be lifting weights of more than 2kg, is much more of a challenge than one might imagine. But, after a brief skirmish, I managed to separate Sa Majesté from his loot, kick his arse out of the room, ignore his unearthly screams to be let back in again (see photo) and call Cat Daddy to dispose of poor birdy. He was surprisingly good about it, with “That’s what cats do” falling from his lips not just once but several times. Before I could say “Sennheiser Momentum”, the headphones were disinfected and back on his head as he relaxed on the patio with Louis Catorze on his lap.

It later transpired that Cat Daddy had mentally claimed the bird as a gift to him, given that it was left on his headphones, and was actually secretly pleased that his boy had been so thoughtful.

I, however, am starting to see that being the second favourite human has its benefits.

Ce n’est qu’un au revoir

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On Tuesday I’m going into hospital for a (common and minor) operation, and my first thought on the matter was, “Will Louis Catorze be ok?” I briefly toyed with the idea of smuggling him in with me in my wash bag – yes, he is small enough – but then had terrifying visions of him escaping and going on the rampage through the hospital. I can just see him accidentally hooking his stupid periscope tail through a patient’s drip and ripping the needle bit out of their forearm, tripping up staff as they carry hazardous chemicals or, even worse, pitter-pattering into Intensive Care, nuzzling a plug socket and inadvertently switching off someone’s life support.

“He probably wouldn’t want to come to the hospital anyway,” said Cat Daddy, “because his favourite person is me, not you.” He is right. Who am I kidding: far from missing me, the little sod will be elated to get rid of me and have 3 uninterrupted days of Boys’ Club avec son papa.

So there will be a few days’ respite from the idiocy of the Sun King, although no doubt said idiocy will restart again the minute I get back. When I had spinal surgery 2 years ago, he welcomed me home by jumping onto my torso, then using it as a launch pad for a further jump, so I can’t wait to see what delights await me this time around.

See you all on the other side. A plus tard!

La crème de menthe

Quelle semaine! Louis Catorze was correct in predicting that we’d vote Leave, was disastrously wrong in predicting the results of the France v Ireland game and, to top it all, is still limey and we’re no further forward in finding a reason why.

Every time I think the smell is about to fade, the little sod goes and tops up from somewhere. I have recently begun to believe that somebody’s lime mint plant could be responsible for the zesty aroma of his fur and, since catnip and mint belong to the same family, this is more or less equivalent to him going off and getting high on a neighbour’s gear. We don’t know whether to be impressed or ashamed (probably a bit of each).

The only way to know for sure, of course, was to test Catorze. So I ordered my own assortment of mint plants (including a lime mint), and the plan was to arrange them in a row and turn Catorze loose upon them. If he dived head-first into the lime mint and started snorting, we would have a winner.

Cat Daddy rolled his eyes when I told him of my plan. “There’s no mystery to solve,” he said. “Louis Catorze is healthy. His fur smells of a healthy cat. All cats smell like that.”

THEY DO NOT. My mum’s cat doesn’t. My sister’s cat doesn’t. Cocoa the babysit cat doesn’t. And you don’t even want to know what Luther smelled like.

Anyway, Cat Daddy’s objections were overruled and the test was conducted anyway. This was the pitiful sequence of events:

1. Plants are lined up (left to right: evening primrose control/decoy plant, chocolate mint, lime mint, strawberry mint – see photo 1)
2. Test subject approaches, ignores all plants and instead rolls on patio
3. Laughter from me, more rolling from test subject (see photo 2)
4. Wind blows lime mint plant over which, along with more laughter, startles test subject (see photo 3)
5. Test subject loses interest and wanders off
6. The end
7. Conclusion: inconclusive

Seriously, you couldn’t make this up if you tried. (And, yes, I’m aware that it sounds as if I have.)

Je devrais rester ou je devrais partir?

The EU referendum vote will be taking place today. We have had a number of conversations about it at Le Château, and Louis Catorze has made some insightful and thought-provoking observations:

Me: “What do you think of the referendum, Louis?”
Le Roi: “Mwaah!”
Me: “Meow twice for Remain and once for Leave.”
Le Roi: “Mwaah!”

Me, a few seconds later, to make sure that that last “Mwaah!” wasn’t an accident: “What do you think of the referendum, Louis?”
Le Roi: “Mwaah!”
Me: “Meow once for Remain and twice for Leave.”
Le Roi: “Mwaah! Mwaah!”

Oh. I see.

Me, some time later: “But you realise that, if we left, your Château stronghold could be in jeopardy? I mean, you’re a French migrant …”
Le Roi: “Mwaah!”
Me: “… And you’re living off British taxpayers [me, Cat Daddy and all the pilgrims who have brought him gifts] and not working …”
Le Roi: “Mwaah!”
Me: “… And you don’t have many skills that add value to society …”
Le Roi: “Mwaah!”
Cat Daddy: “MANY skills? Name one skill that he has.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

I haven’t the faintest idea which way the vote will swing. But, since Louis Catorze has declared out (twice), and given that he is the crappest of the crap when it comes to making predictions, I think the chances are we will be staying in.

And, so as not to be accused of influencing anyone’s vote – although I would be SERIOUSLY worried about anyone allowing Catorze to dictate their decision – here is the fickle and unintuitive Sun King, this time exercising his right to remain neutral:

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Tout était d’or dans le ciel

Today the summer solstice and the full moon combine, which is a very rare occurrence indeed: the last time was in 1948. Louis Catorze’s weirdness seems to heighten during the full moon alone (one (compound) word: BubbleWrapGate), so I am expecting nothing less than Armageddon.

This picture of Louis Catorze shows the exact moment when he realised I was onto him:

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The fact that he ate both Dreamies yesterday, thus correctly predicting a draw, whereas I urged people to bet on the opposite of what he said, is just the beginning. I dread to think what is coming next; the prospect of the little sod getting things right is almost too crazy to bear.

Please let me know whether your furry overlords and overladies also play up.

La France prospérera?

I don’t know why we’re bothering, but here we are. Again.

And Cat Daddy has done a massive U-turn: not only did he agree to letting Louis Catorze make a prediction for the France v Switzerland match, but he took responsibility for researching an appropriate representative for the Swiss plate. The result of his efforts is, erm, a Swiss mountain dog.

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This time Le Roi bouffed both Dreamies, but curiously lifted the Swiss one away from the plate first before eating it off the floor (bottom left photo). What could this mean, Mesdames et Messieurs?

My view: a French win (based on Catorze’s form for the last match, i.e. a result that is not in any way indicative of what takes place on the predicting plates).

Cat Daddy’s view, expressed after I asked him for the 4th or 5th time whilst he was engrossed in a TV debate about the EU referendum: “Oh, for God’s sake, I don’t bloody know. It probably means he was hungry.”

On verra …

Le Roi se trompe: vive Le Roi!

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Oh, Louis Catorze: you are a sweet cat, but a rubbish psychic.

Luckily he doesn’t know that he’s rubbish. He thinks he’s doing great. After the final whistle of France v Albania, he came screaming into the room, tail up, as if to say, “See? Wasn’t I just MAGNIFIQUE?” Erm, not really. But I cuddled him anyway and he purred, wafted sweet lime into my face and then trotted out, none the wiser.

So, France v Switzerland on Sunday: is there any point in a last-ditch attempt at that one? Cat Daddy says no. In fact, his very words were: “He’s shit. It’s beyond humiliating now. Please stop.”