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.)

La menthe au citron vert

image

In an effort to solve LimeGate, my latest “thing” is to pick Louis Catorze up and thrust him into people’s faces so that they can try to identify the source of the scent. Whether they want to or not.

Here are some of the reactions so far:

Friend 1: “Ooh, yes! Lovely and citrusy!”
Friend 2: “He smells very clean and fresh. Do you bathe him?” [I reminded her of his tendency to fight like a grizzly bear when cleaned or examined. She retracted her question.]
My mum: “I’ve got a cold, so I can’t smell anything.”
Cat Daddy, without looking up from his laptop: “Go away. I’m trying to work.”

Conclusion: inconclusive.

The single helpful piece of advice came from a friend who discovered that there is a lime mint plant; now, although I had heard of chocolate mint and apple mint, lime mint is a new one to me. And the thought of Louis Catorze writhing about in this plant is considerably easier on my nerves than the prospect of a cross person subjecting him to what is basically an acid attack (kind of).

All I need to do now is find out which neighbour owns such a plant. And work out whether a photo of Catorze, plus the words “Do you have a lime mint plant? And has this cat been trashing it? If so, please call us so that we may apologise personally and replace your squashed plant”, would all fit onto an A4 poster without looking too cramped.