Le personnel domestique est de retour

Cat Daddy and I have been away for a few days; this was our first mini-holiday in years, due in part to my inconsistent health but also to the fact that Louis Catorze used to require medication every other day, and we didn’t think it fair to make a neighbour or a cat sitter do battle with him. We returned home on Friday to a strikingly glossy, healthy-looking Roi who was delighted to see his daddy again. (Me, not so much.)

Oscar the dog’s folks looked after him magnificently well in our absence, and we are super-grateful to them. (They came here to feed him, obviously; he didn’t go and live with them, although part of me thinks it would have been funny to try it.) Not only were we able to go away with peace of mind, knowing that the little sod would be loved, but their kindness also meant I didn’t have to write the embarrassing advert: “Wanted: cat sitter for tiny black cat with annoying voice that could strip paint. Must be prepared to referee turf wars with dogs and dispose of rats, birds, slugs and other assorted wildlife, living, dead or somewhere between the two.”

As you can see, normal service has very much resumed, with both daddy-love and newspaper impingement in progress. And Cat Daddy has come up with a solution to the newspaper problem: take advantage of the lack of binding or staples in a newspaper and separate it as soon as you see the cat approaching. Just make sure you end up with the decent half, and that the cat sits on the boring property bit.

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La liberté de la presse

Cats and newspapers. Every single time. WHY? I wish I knew what they put in the ink/paper to make newspapers such irresistibly comfortable cat mats.

But, of course, this never happens with old newspapers lying around, nor with ones that you’re not interested in reading. It only happens when you are mid-read and completely gripped by the civil war report (or sex scandal – depending on the calibre of the newspaper).

Cat Daddy thought he’d successfully outfoxed Louis Catorze by keeping a second newspaper handy and deploying that each time the first was sat upon, but the second newspaper is never as good as the first. It is invariably an older copy which Cat Daddy has already read from cover to cover, therefore something of a compromise read. I once suggested that he buy 2 copies of the same newspaper each time he visits the newsagent, but that didn’t go down too well; I got the same look that I get when he catches me putting ice cubes into le royal wine glass on a hot day.

So, unless you are ungallant enough to just shove the cat off, I guess there is no solution to the problem. Not even Cat Daddy is prepared to go that far. The last photo shows him delicately lifting his dear boy’s paws to read underneath them: