Je chasse, donc je suis

Whilst most normal cats are opting for indoors as the temperatures drop, Louis Catorze has been doing the opposite. This will, of course, be of no surprise to anyone.

He has been spending more time outdoors than he ever did in the height of summer, even/especially when it’s raining. In fact, we have barely seen the little sod lately, except for the regular 3am drenched screamathons. Even Boys’ Club meetings appear to have been adjourned indefinitely. And this is because he has found a new hunting spot. Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: there is something in the virginia creeper.

The other day I just about managed to catch him mid-rummage (see photo). I am mystified as to what it could be as I can’t imagine birds would live so low down, nor do I think mice would live so high up. But whatever it is has been occupying every waking minute, and no doubt the mystery will be solved when we are woken in the middle of the night with a twitching, oozing corpse dumped onto our bed.

What more surprises could be winging their way to us during this cursèd month when psycho black cats are at their most powerful? (Not a rhetorical question: I genuinely want answers so that I can prepare myself.)

Le voyage des pèlerins

Hallowe’en is over for another year, which makes me a little sad, although living all year round with a black vampire kitty means that every day is Hallowe’en here at Le Château. And, yes, we succeeded in keeping Louis Catorze under lockdown on the night of the 31st, with the little sod only managing to escape once. 

Best moment of the Hallowe’en season? Catorze’s conspicuous indifference to the severed zombie hand. And, having transferred Le Blog to the new domain louiscatorze.com*, I can now post videos, so see below for some splendid non-giving of a merde from Le Roi: 

*Cat Daddy: “Louiscatorze.com? Why have you done this? You only need to do this if you’re going to sell Louis Catorze merchandise. Are you going to sell Louis Catorze merchandise? Please don’t sell Louis Catorze merchandise.”

This time of year is traditionally for remembering loved ones who have passed on. We have certainly been doing that, but I have also resolved to spend some time looking back at the Sun King’s visitors’ book and remembering the pilgrims who have come to pay homage to him. 

I have been pretty rubbish at printing out the pilgrims’ photos and, until now, they have remained pointlessly trapped in my camera roll. But, thanks to a friend kicking me into action, they are now all in the book alongside the pilgrims’ lovely little notes. Having a picture of Catorze with each visitor really does make the book and, better yet, we have a VERY special visit due later this month. The details shall be revealed nearer the time, but I am excited beyond belief and I know that Catorze is, too. 

Thank you to everyone who has been kind enough to visit Sa Maj and bring him gifts. He really does appreciate it, although he needs to work on showing it. 

Le meilleur ami de l’homme

One of my cat-loving friends has just got a DOG. If you are following Le Blog it’s likely that you are a cat person, so you will understand what an apocalyptically big deal it is for someone to leave our ranks and defect to the Dark Side. That said, given that dogs are loyal and loving and cats are psychopaths who don’t care if we live or die, it’s possible that our side IS the Dark Side and that my friend had to save herself by whatever means possible. 

I knew that she was thinking about getting a dog, because we spent a whole afternoon together Googling “Dogs that smell” and “Dogs that don’t smell” to help her to choose her breed accordingly. (Dog owners: sorry, but your houses can smell doggy. You don’t notice because you have become accustomed to it, and people don’t tell you because they are trying to be polite, but I’m afraid it’s true.) However, I didn’t know she’d actually got the dog until I went round to her place and her partner answered the door holding a trembling, honey-coloured ball of fur half the size of Louis Catorze. 

“Surprise!” my friend trilled. “This is Nala! I didn’t tell you about her because I wasn’t sure you’d want to come round if you knew she was here.”

“Erm, you’re right. I probably wouldn’t,” I replied. 

“I know you’re not a dog person,” she continued, “but she’s about the same size as a small cat, isn’t she? So, erm, maybe you could just PRETEND she’s a cat?” Right. 

Anyway, I spent the afternoon with little Nala and, apart from one pooing incident – fortunately nowhere near my person nor near my possessions – all went well. And, when I returned home, far from being repulsed by me (as he usually is), Catorze sniffed and nuzzled me, rolled all over me and purred like an aeroplane taking off. 

So does this mean that our cat is … part-dog? He certainly has some dog-like qualities (following people around, wagging his tail when happy, being irresistibly drawn to dogs even if they are displaying all the signs of wanting to kill him, etc.). The one area where they differ is their compliance with humiliating Hallowe’en outfits and, luckily, Nala has been able to compensate for Sa Maj’s shortcomings. 

As you can see, she was very obliging and happily dressed up whereas Catorze, despite usually being a lover and not a fighter, would tear my skin to shreds and watch me bleed to death if I attempted to put clothing on him. (Don’t ask me how I know this.) However, he and I did manage to produce a passable official Hallowe’en portrait this year, unlike last year when there was just one moderately decent shot out of about a hundred attempts, produced two months too late for the event.

Happy Hallowe’en from all of us (including Nala), and may your furry overlords of whatever species behave themselves tonight. 

Une image vaut mieux que mille mots

If you have a black cat, creating their official Halloween portrait is easy: you just place a pumpkin next to them, take a photo and that’s it, non?

Not so with Louis Catorze. Firstly, he’s not the most photogenic of cats. And, secondly, he doesn’t do as he’s told. The über-cool factor of a black vampire kitty with protruding fangs is utterly lost if we cannot capture this on camera for Halloween. And, alas, it seems that we cannot.

“Oh well,” said my sister, who visited this weekend for our annual Halloweekend tradition. “Maybe you can post those hilarious outtake photos instead?” Erm, those aren’t hilarious outtakes. Those are my best shots to date:

Friends have suggested the following strategies:

1. Place strips of jambon de Bayonne on the pumpkin to get Catorze to linger for longer.
2. Download a photo of a nicely-posed internet cat, paint the fangs on and pass him off as Sa Majesté.
3. Place the pumpkin on the floor and tell him that under no circumstances is he to go near it.

With 31st October gaining on us more quickly than I can say, “Dis ouistiti!” and still no official Halloween portrait in sight, I am starting to feel the pressure …

Le coeur vaillant

It’s a full moon tonight, which means more idiocy from the feline population of the planet. And, because we’re approaching Halloween, black cats, in particular, will be more idiotic than ever.

I got chatting yesterday afternoon to Bert the dog’s mamma, as we were putting out the recycling at The Front.

Now, Louis Catorze’s interactions with Bert are pretty minimal, which is why you haven’t heard much about him so far. Bert’s garden has lots of trees and shrubs against the fence, making it harder for Catorze to access it, and it also helps tremendously that Bert is getting on a bit, so his eyesight and hearing aren’t what they used to be. Not that this stops Catorze from making trouble when he feels like it; a friend who visited us once said, “I can’t believe what I’ve just seen. First Louis went over that fence [pointing to Bert the dog’s side] and pissed off that dog, then he went over THAT fence [pointing to Oscar the dog’s side] and pissed off THAT dog. Now the 2 dogs won’t shut up. Your neighbours must hate him – and you.”

Anyway, during our chat, Bert was happily sniffling and snuffling around his mamma’s feet. Louis Catorze had been asleep on the sofa but woke up, heard Bert and decided to follow me outside and scream at him.

Yes, I realise that normal feline instinct should spur him to run in the opposite direction from a dog. But this is Le Roi we’re talking about.

Bert’s mamma didn’t appear the slightest bit surprised by the screaming. In fact, she revealed that she often opened her front door to find Catorze on the doorstep, screaming away (at times when we knew he was at The Front but thought he was having a nap under our wisteria plant). And, apparently, if Bert was in the vicinity, our little sod would scream even more and sometimes try to shimmy past Dog Mamma and into the house.

Yesterday’s incident could have ended badly, but Le Roi’s royal arse was saved by the fact that Bert, incredibly, didn’t see or hear him. (No, I don’t understand, either, how anyone could fail to hear this whiny, searing meow that scrapes away at your eardrums like fingernails on a blackboard.) Then Bert’s daddy came out and said hello, which distracted Bert even further, allowing Catorze to tire of the screaming and pitter-patter back indoors.

This isn’t good, is it? Whilst I am glad that Catorze is confident and not a nervous, hunger-striking, pooing-and-peeing wreck, running screaming towards dogs isn’t exactly where I want him to be. I have heard of strategies to make a nervous cat more confident, but … making a fearless/stupid cat rein it in a bit? Is this even a thing?

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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’.

 

Compétiteur, prêt!

We have now lived through pretty much a whole week of having to medicate Louis Catorze three times a day. (Well, when I say “We”, I actually mean just me; somehow Cat Daddy has declared himself exempt from the task, just by being catastrophically bad at it.)

And, whilst the odd attempt was better than expected, it was mostly as one would imagine: a Mad Max-style, bare-knuckle fight to the death. That is, until a fellow cat freak had the genius idea of dropping the medication onto his fur and letting him lick it off, thus sparing us the jaws of doom. (Thank you, Caroline!)

Mind you, this only worked for a day or so; after that the little sod stopped licking it off, choosing instead to eyeball me menacingly as he let it air-dry on his body. And his rigorous grooming regime meant that it was all brushed out at the end of the day anyway. So we had to suffer his stiff, sticky, unpleasant-to-stroke fur and brush out the mess, whilst he got away with ingesting no medication whatsoever.

I had no choice but to revert back to the gladiatorial combat.

Luckily it’s all over now and Le Roi’s foot has healed, so we can enjoy counting down the final few days before his big night on the 31st. Let’s hope he manages to stay out of trouble until then.

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