Le crime de lèse-majesté

Cat Daddy and I decided not to bother with Dry January this year because, if you’re denying yourself something you like, January is just too difficult a month in which to attempt it. So we’re giving Dry February a go instead. February is just that little bit brighter and more hopeful, so embarking upon tough challenges somehow doesn’t seem quite so onerous. (Plus February is shorter.)

A friend recommended the “Dry January and Beyond” app to help track my progress, and it’s great apart from one thing: try as I might, I can’t enter my name into my profile. When I go into the settings and click on the name-changing bit, nothing happens. Now, this may not sound like la fin du monde, but I have selected one of my favourite Roi photos for my profile picture … and the generic default name alongside his photo is “null null null”. Which, unfortunately, is (pretty much) the French for “rubbish, rubbish, rubbish”.

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Cat Daddy thinks it’s the funniest thing ever to have the words “rubbish, rubbish, rubbish” next to a photo of Louis Catorze. “It’s what I’ve been telling you for ages!” he hooted. “But so what? It’s not as if he knows he’s being called rubbish.”

IT’S (KIND OF) FRENCH. HE’S FRENCH. OF COURSE HE WILL KNOW.

“Or,” Cat Daddy continued, “if YOU don’t care about being called rubbish, you could just upload a photo of yourself instead.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

“Oh. My. God. You don’t HAVE any photos of yourself, do you? Your camera roll consists ENTIRELY of cat photos!”

Oh. Ahem.

Anyway, I have contacted the good citizens of Dry January and Beyond to ask them how to change the name, although, naturellement, I have pretended that it’s I who objects to being called rubbish. I couldn’t really say “My royal French cat, Sa Majesté Louis Catorze, Le Roi Soleil, is highly offended at the très mal-fortunate juxtaposition of le portrait royal et l’insulte” because that might have sounded silly.

As for Catorze, I am hoping that his spelling is better than his, erm, other intellectual capacities, and that the slightly offish orthographe* will delay his realisation somewhat. Calling a monarch “rubbish” – three times, no less – is surely an act of high treason, punishable only by the guillotine?

*nul = adjectif masculin
nulle = adjectif féminin

Le portrait officiel du Roi

Our Gothic dining room which, of all the rooms in Le Château, does the most justice to a Halloween kitty with vampire fangs, is taking a little while to decorate fully.

Other rooms have somehow just worked, with us finding the perfect colours and furnishings through sheer good fortune (and the help of a fabulous project manager), but the dining room has, until now, remained with just table and chairs and very little else. I had an idea of what I wanted in terms of wall art – “rock and roll meets creepy Victorian Gothic” was about the best that I managed to articulate myself – but, unsurprisingly, this fabled work never appeared.

And then Cat Daddy found this:

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I kneel humbly at his awe-inspiring art-finding ability; this picture is sinister, humorous, unnerving, quirky … and absolutely perfect.

It may not actually be a picture of Louis Catorze but I am pretty certain it’s what he sees when he looks in the mirror, so, as far as his official Halloween portrait goes, it will have to do. And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the portrait were to slowly deteriorate whilst Catorze, despite a hedonistic lifestyle of steroids and party powder, retained his kittenish looks. Oscar Wilde would be très proud.

La salle à manger is now officially open to the Sun King’s pilgrims.

Le livre d’or

IMG_9957Thanks to our lovely new friend from Mexico, Louis Catorze now has a visitors’ book.

Cat Daddy: “Visitors’ book? Not even we have a visitors’ book!”
Me: “Yeah, but, to have a visitors’ book, you need visitors. Who’s coming to see us in the next couple of weeks?”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

The magnificent book is a work of art like no other, with textured letters on the front cover, spiral binding, stylish ribbon closure and photos of the little sod. There are also thick, onyx-black pages for pilgrims to write declarations of devotion to the Sun King, using special white and metallic pens also gifted by our generous guest.

The only problem was how to backdate entries from the throngs of pilgrims who have already been? Luckily, upon learning of the visitors’ book, they have taken matters into their own hands by vowing to return to Le Château to see Catorze again and write messages to him. We already have a provisional booking for 2 people for late September, and I suspect that October will be insane as everyone starts to crave their Halloween vampire kitty fix.

I thought about ending this blog entry with: ‘Book soon to avoid disappointment’. However, Cat Daddy says he would prefer to go with, ‘A small, black portion of disappointment will be served on arrival’.

 

Le locataire du Château

Cat Daddy and I have a guest staying with us at Le Château. Now, for most cats, a big deal such as a new housemate would need to be brokered with expert skill and precision; however, because this is Louis Catorze, and because our guest is male, we had a feeling everything would work out fine.

Mind you, I wasn’t prepared for Louis Catorze to love Houseguest Matt more than he loves me, nor for Houseguest Matt to be quite so smug about it.

This is how things have gone so far:

– Seconds after Houseguest Matt’s arrival: Catorze runs to welcome him
– Day 1: snuggly selfies on Houseguest Matt’s bed
– Day 6: Catorze steps over my lap to get to Houseguest Matt’s
– Day 7: Catorze starts sleeping on Houseguest Matt’s bed at night instead of ours [although Houseguest Matt has just read this over my shoulder and he informs me that, in actual fact, this began on Day 3]
– Day 11: The pair of them invent their own meowy language that only they understand
– Day 14: Houseguest Matt and I do that thing where you sit at opposite ends of the room and both call the cat’s name at the same time … and it doesn’t go well for me

I feel partly responsible for this as I should have stomped down on it after Day 1. But I was too laissez-faire, and now it’s probably too late.

And, far from feeling bad about stealing our cat, Houseguest Matt finds it hilarious. His standard response is: “He’s MY cat now! Mwahahahaha!”

The upside of all the treachery, of course, is the fact that we could do a lot worse than a guest who dotes on the little sod and looks after him better than we do; it certainly beats those who are neutral (as a couple have been) and those who take one look at him and run away, screaming (yup, this has happened, too). Le Roi has no idea how much he’s lucked out with Houseguest Matt … but, fortunately, we do.

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Tremblez, tyrans!

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Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: Louis Catorze has finally encountered another feline visitor to Le Château.

We saw the pair of them narrowing their eyes at each other, not quite sure which way things were going to go and feeling anxious as this dude was larger than Le Roi. Then Cat Daddy yelled, “Shit! Louis has gone for him!”

We don’t know whether Louis Catorze lunging at the interloper was an attack or a “Youpi! Let’s play!” But the photo was (hurriedly) taken just as he had chased Ginger Impinger into the greenhouse, and GI was desperately seeking an escape route. He suddenly knew that he was cornered, and Louis Catorze (possibly) realised then that his nouvel ami didn’t want to play. It may also have dawned on Catorze that he was at a major disadvantage, not only in age and size but also in height, with GI having taken an elevated spot high up on a shelf. Neither of them quite knew what to do with themselves, and that was when we decided to intervene and escort the newcomer off the premises.

Whilst this wasn’t the most successful of meetings, we were relieved that our boy had chosen to play/defend instead of scurrying indoors, terrified. In fact, after coming indoors briefly to refuel, he was straight back out there within minutes, demonstrating that he’s either very brave or just plain forgetful.

So Le Château is still the solid royal stronghold that it always was, the monarchy remains intact, and pesky challengers to the crown have been well and truly dealt with. Tout est bien qui finit bien.

J’adore faire la moue

In the almost-11 months that Louis Catorze has lived with us, I have experienced the Post-Meds Sulk. I have also been on the receiving end of the Post-Meds Mega-Sulk. I once even thought I was being shown a Post-Meds Mega-Sulk With Hunger Strike but, in actual fact, Louis Catorze is both stupid and unmotivated by food, so it’s likely he just forgot to eat. However, yesterday he introduced me to a whole new phenomenon: the Selective Sulk.

The SS is so insidious that you barely know it’s happening; or rather, the Sulk is very much present but the Selective element sneaks up on you somewhat. After medicating him and subsequently being ignored during what I believed to be a PMS, Cat Daddy came home from work and I vented my dissatisfaction about Louis Catorze’s miserableness. Seconds later, the little sod slinked out of La Cage and was on his daddy’s lap for their nightly Club Des Garçons cuddle session.

Not long after that, my friend came round and we sat outside with some drinks. Again, not long after I complained about my grumpy sod of a cat and told her not to expect to see him that evening, he meowed for her attention and trotted up to her with his tail up, purring and nuzzling. Sigh.

This must be what it’s like to have a kid who is sweet-as-candy to everyone else but is a total arse when you’re home alone. As well as this not being very nice, it makes you come across as a fantasist or a liar when you bleat about his objectionable behaviour. “What do you mean, he misbehaves/sulks/treats you like dirt? Look at him! He’s so cuddly and sweet!” Yeah, because I really have the time and the inclination to make this shit up.

At worst, rather than simply disbelieving you, they actually blame you. “Maybe it’s because you smother him,” Cat Daddy helpfully said recently. Ok, so when our only Louis-compatible duvet needed cleaning and we were forced to use an allergy-triggering feather one, who paid for an expensive same-day clean because they thought Louis Catorze “looked sad” shut out on the landing? Not moi.

I could buy the most amazing shoes with the money I’m spending on an allergy test for this ungrateful boy of mine. In fact, I’ve already seen some that I want …