La menthe des chats

So … cats and cat mint: who knew?

Well, ok, we all knew, but it’s still very funny to watch.

As you may be aware, Louis Catorze was a regular catnip user during his time at the rescue (for medicinal purposes) and, every now and again, we let him indulge in the dried stuff. In fact, when I cleared out his medicine cupboard – whose contents looked more like police-seized contraband than pet supplies – I discovered TWO containers that I had believed to be empty or near-empty, but which still contained enough gear for a couple of good sessions.

Honestly, Officer, that stuff isn’t mine.

However, I had never seen Catorze with the fresh herb until Cat Daddy, Puppy Mamma and I went to the local flower market and came home with heaps of lovely new plants. Puppy Mamma bought some cat mint as a gift for Sooty and Sweep, her babysit cats, but, when she stopped by at our place for a cup of tea before going home, someone got to the cat mint first.

Cat Daddy and I had also bought some cat mint for Catorze. When presented with his own stash, he chewed it, then rolled around on the patio – not the way you’d imagine a cute little cat roll, but more like the terrifying death roll of a crocodile drowning its prey – eventually returning to Puppy Mamma’s bag, all psycho-eyed and stoned, having decided that forbidden herbs intended for others were more fun than his own.

Below is a photo of said bag invasion, although I wish that I’d videoed it instead of taking a static picture. Catorze’s scrabbling, my laughter and Puppy Mamma’s cries of “Noooo! My Turkish delights are in there!” would have added a certain something to the whole viewing experience.

Not his bag, not his gear.

Le Roi attire tous les garçons à la cour

Louis Catorze has had a new visitor to Le Jardin and, once again, it appears to be an unneutered male. I don’t know why it is that unneutered males are drawn to him like iron filings to a magnet, but we’re just thankful that they don’t want any trouble.

When Le Roi caught sight of le visiteur in our mint patch and pitter-pattered over to him so fast that his little paws were a blur, we thought, “Mon Dieu, this isn’t going to end well …” But it turned out that our boy was desperate to kiss him. I’m not joking. I’d have preferred him to hold back a little and not offer his heart so readily but, y’know, I guess you can’t help it when the urge hits you.

This first photo isn’t the best quality but Catorze’s body language clearly shows that he is the one unashamedly making all the moves. At this point Cat Daddy had his face pressed up against the window and was actually screaming: “He’s kissing him! OH MY GOD, HE’S KISSING HIM! What a tart!”

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Here they are again, more clearly, in post-kiss awkwardness:

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Le visiteur was even brave enough to let me stroke him a little and I am quite confident that, at some point, he will let me attach a paper collar bearing the words, “Please do the responsible thing and empty the loose change from these money bags” or something to that effect. I do hope he will be back because he was very easy-going: no fighting, spraying or havoc-causing, just casually hanging out.

Even Cat Daddy is a little bit in love with him. “Now that’s what a proper cat should look like,” he said. “I wish we could keep him.”

(Unfortunately he meant instead of Louis Catorze, not as well as.)

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.)