Le mal que les chats font

Yesterday I pinged my calf muscle whilst running across the road to catch the bus. (The urban legend is true, Mesdames: ultra-flat ballet pumps really are worse than heels due to their lack of support.) Cat Daddy has been showing his support by cooking for me and bringing me ice packs and cheer-up champagne. Louis Catorze showed his support by bringing me a dead bird at 4:45 this morning.

I was jolted awake by the sound of his screaming, in particular because it didn’t sound like his usual voice. I thought he might be hurt, especially as I had heard noises yesterday afternoon which sounded just like gunshots. (We don’t live in that kind of neighbourhood, but Cat Daddy said that he could very well imagine one of our neighbours finally snapping and losing it with Catorze.) However, it soon became apparent that the screaming was different because the little sod had something stuffed in his mouth. 

Our previous cat, Luther, was able to purr even with a mouse in his mouth, my hands around his throat and my knee digging into his back. But Catorze’s ability to scream through a mouthful of dead animal has shocked me to the core.

I bounded out of bed to wrestle whatever it was from him, forgetting completely about my calf muscle. As I toppled, winced and steadied myself, Catorze dropped his prey and I was able to lurch towards him and drag him away. I then saw that it was a tiny baby bird and, thanks to the bastard cat, I now know what baby bird ribs look like. This is not something I ever thought I would know, nor do I ever wish to see such a thing again. 

Cat Daddy rolled over sleepily and asked if he could help. I told him that I was fine but, in the time it took me to hobble to the bathroom for some tissue in which to wrap the bird, bad Catorze had picked it up again and chewed off the little remaining flesh. I then realised that I wouldn’t be able to manage this on my own, so Cat Daddy had to don his dressing gown and deposit the poor bird in the park bin opposite our house.

This bin has become the final resting place for many of Catorze’s victims, and I hope it’s not the same person who empties it each time and who wonders why someone is throwing away so much wildlife.

Cat Daddy was able to fall asleep not long after returning from the park. I, however, am still awake, and have written off all thoughts of sleep. Somehow it seems more productive to sit in front of the TV and document this tragic incident than to lie in bed, clock-watching and cursing this horrid cat.

And the little sod is curled up on my lap without a care in the world. 

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A genoux

We are so grateful to our eagle-eyed French friend who, during our absence, reported cramp-like symptoms in Louis Catorze’s back left foot, causing him to limp and whine a little.

Because this only happened a total of 3 times during our 2-week holiday, and never for more than a minute each time, we didn’t ask her to bundle Louis Catorze into his pod and take him to the vet. But, when I witnessed it twice the day after our return, I decided to take him myself. And, fortunately, I also took the precaution of filming the limping, because I knew that the little sod would refuse to demonstrate it to the vet when it really mattered.

I had been quite upset the night before the appointment, wondering whether he was on some sort of painful, nerve-related, post-Gabapentin comedown, so it was actually a relief to be told that he had dislocated his knee. Apparently there are 4 levels of severity when it comes to dislocated joints, and Catorze’s is the lowest level due to the fact that it pops easily back into place each time, enabling him to walk normally again immediately afterwards. But there’s nothing we can do about it other than give him Metacam for pain relief and monitor him to make sure that it doesn’t deteriorate.

The vet also told us not to allow Louis Catorze to become overweight, as excess chub would put stress on the knee joint. I assured him that, because Catorze doesn’t like food of any kind, this would be no problem whatsoever.

Cat Daddy, later: “Another defect to add to his list of defects. I guess it’s all part of being the runt of the litter.”

Actually, given that Cat Daddy himself has knee problems, and that my neck pain sometimes requires me to have steroid injections, it would appear that Louis Catorze is … turning into his parents.

Here he is, treating his dislocated knee with the sensible caution that it deserves:

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