Un chat dans Le Château en vaut deux dans la rue

1C3040C7-180B-4363-9E46-7B2340ED3E7BNon, non, non, Louis Catorze! This is just one of the many reasons* he is not allowed out at The Front unsupervised; rolling around on the dirty pavement that dogs have used as their toilettes is not what we want and, quite frankly, it makes me feel a little sick. 

*The other reasons are: 

  1. Picking fights with dogs
  2. Picking fights with foxes 
  3. Screaming outside neighbours’ houses, forcing them to return him to us when they can’t stand the racket any longer 
  4. Accosting neighbours as they are attempting to leave their houses and either not letting them leave, or following them, screaming 
  5. Rolling around in exactly this same way but IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD 

On this occasion he slipped out as soon as Cat Daddy opened the front door to go to work. Naturellement, just as I sat down to have my tea, he was screaming at the door to be let in again, much to the amusement of a family passing by. 

And, whilst the little sod usually avoids me, after returning from his exploits at The Front he was suddenly desperate to show me affection and to rub his gross, dirty fur all over me. He was chasing me around the house in exactly the way I do with him when it’s time to take him to the vet. 

It seems that he is starting to unleash his Summer Psycho. He’s a bit early. But I don’t suppose he cares about that. 

Le lion a suffisamment de dents pour se sentir bien dehors

Have you ever seen one of those 1980s movies where the small-town neighbourhood bad boy is undignifiedly hauled home to his parents by the local sheriff? (I haven’t, but I am sure that it must have happened in some 1980s movie at some time.) 

Well, Louis Catorze’s troublemaking-about-town has reached such a level that neighbours have started knocking at our door to return him to us. Cat Daddy is BEYOND mortified about this although, curiously, he fails to see that it wouldn’t be a problem if we* were more vigilant about keeping The Front under lockdown.

*HE

The first time that this happened, Catorze had slipped out unnoticed at The Front and his screaming could be heard from the living room of one neighbour, disturbing his TV viewing. A couple of weeks ago, he had slipped out unnoticed again and had tried to get into the same neighbour’s house as their dinner guests were leaving. And the most recent incident involved him slipping out unnoticed YET AGAIN (I think I may detect a pattern here) and ambushing Oscar the dog’s mamma and sister, screaming, as they left the house. They politely knocked at the door a few nights ago and said, “Louis is outside at The Front, and we just wanted to check that you knew?” Erm … no. 

I never know what to say when the little sod is returned to us. I can’t even lie and say, “He’s never behaved like this before” because it tends to be the same people who keep bringing him back, and they all know what he’s like. 

I am trying EXTREMELY hard to be careful at The Front, but Cat Daddy is somewhat more, erm, relaxed when he puts out the recycling. With Hallowe’en – which I am spelling authentically for the first time ever – around the corner, and the very real danger of Catorze being mistaken for a novelty vampire cat toy and scooped up into some kid’s treat bag, we need to up our game. (Yes, most cats would probably loudly and violently object to being carried off by a gang of sugar-high youngsters, but this is Sa Maj we’re talking about.)

And I have just checked my calendar and realised that it’s a full moon tonight which, let’s face it, adds another complication into the mix that we really don’t need. Someone needs to intercept The Mothership’s transmissions très rapidement. 

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Thank you to Emily for this amazing photo of the little sod who is, most unusually, moving AWAY from the front door

L’hiver arrive

Even though Actual Winter doesn’t start until the winter solstice, the first snowfall of the season means that Psychological Winter has begun. We had delightfully thick, chunky flakes falling yesterday and, whilst the ground was too wet for them to settle for as long as I’d have liked, we have so little snow in London generally that I will happily take what I can get. So this was a glorious, wondrous thing to behold.

My social media feed yesterday was inundated with photos of cats frolicking in the snow or, at the very least, placing a cautious paw on the frozen wasteland that was once their garden, then backing away. Louis Catorze, on the other hand, spent the entire morning lounging in bed with us and didn’t set so much as a whisker outdoors. We couldn’t decide whether that was incredibly lazy, or smarter than the rest of us who insisted on schlepping around all over town despite the weather warnings.

“The met office are saying you shouldn’t make non-essential journeys,” said Cat Daddy, as I pulled out my puffy, red “Santa’s duvet” coat from the cupboard. “Are you sure you need to make this trip to your friend’s place?”

She has cats, so YES. Catorze yawned.

“The snow is getting thicker and thicker,” continued Cat Daddy, peering nervously out of the window. “Are you sure about this?”

Catorze twitched and flicked his tail.

“Right,” Cat Daddy eventually sighed. “Don’t blame me if your train is cancelled and you end up stuck on the other side of London.”

Catorze stretched and rolled. And, when I got back several hours later, he was still in exactly the same spot.

“He’s not even been outside to go to the loo,” said Cat Daddy, “which either means he’s saving it up for later [fine by me] or he’s done it somewhere in the house [not really fine].” If it’s the latter, no doubt our senses will detect that tantalising, come-hither fragrance at some point.

Winter is coming. Mind you, Sa Majesté can be seen resting les fesses royales and not doing much all year round.

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Sésame, ouvre-toi!

Louis Catorze is spending more time outdoors now that the weather is warmer. He comes and goes freely at The Back but is also showing more interest in The Front, where he is only allowed under supervision, and these supervised sessions usually look like this:

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Yes, the little sod has FINALLY realised that there is a whole world out there and he happily passes time sitting on the window sill, watching people, dogs and birds go by, whilst we keep an eye on him through the window. When he’s had enough he pops back in again – or, if the window is open at the top rather than the bottom, he meows at the door and we let him in.

Yesterday afternoon a couple of passing kids stopped to talk to him. We couldn’t hear exactly what they were saying because it had rained that morning so the windows were shut, although we did catch the gist of a debate about whether he was a boy or a girl. (Much to Cat Daddy’s chagrin, they appeared to settle on the latter.)

Then, after several minutes of happy cooing and cuddling, there was a knock at the door. My heart froze. My first thought was that Louis Catorze might have scratched one of them, although we hadn’t heard a scream, and such behaviour is VERY unlike him because he’s great with kids. Deep down I knew that this probably wasn’t the case, but I’m a little paranoid about passers-by and cat attacks ever since a couple of Halloweens ago, when our previous street’s resident Ginger Impinger sat on our front window sill, convinced everyone that he was part of our Halloween window display, and ended up scratching one of the trick-or-treaters.

Cat Daddy eventually answered the door. It was one of the kids, who cheerfully informed us that our cat wanted to come in. Then her slightly older sister/buddy chimed in, “She looked as if she’d had enough attention and went to the door, so we thought we’d knock and let her in.”

Cat Daddy thanked them, but was mortified beyond words that passers-by would have to stop and let Louis Catorze into his own house. But, if Larry the Downing Street cat can have a designated duty police officer to open the door for him (that’s why that police officer is employed, right?), then why shouldn’t the Sun King call upon random strangers to do the same thing?

I wanted to say that to the kids. But I’m not sure they would have got it.