Un chat sans parfum

After le silence total for a couple of days, Louis Catorze finally sneezed on Thursday night. So we have been giving him Metacam in his food AND HE HAS BEEN EATING IT (wish I had known it were this easy when I was Greco-Romaning it to him in the past). We have not yet attempted the sauna treatment, although it’s on the agenda for discussion at the next Boys’ Club meeting.

However, as a precaution, the vet did suggest that we do an audit of any new household or skincare products which could have caused an allergic reaction. So I have started to tighten up my usually rigorous control which lapsed a little during the summer months, resulting in a few cheeky perfumed items sneaking their way into the inner sanctum of Le Château. The lapse was partly because Louis Catorze was spending more time outdoors and therefore it didn’t matter so much, and partly defiance on my part: if Catorze couldn’t be bothered to spend time with me, I didn’t see why I should knock myself out making things nice for him and his silly nose.

It also didn’t help that the airline lost our bags when we went on holiday, and we were forced to go shopping for toiletries that didn’t fit our usual exacting specifications. Rather than throw them all away when we got back and create more unnecessary waste, I have been frantically using them in the hope that they will be gone by the time the weather turns and Sa Maj decides to return indoors.

The more time passes, the less convinced I am that his skin issues were directly caused by an allergy to scent, and I am fairly sure that his sneezing was caused by something else (most likely him just being an idiot). That said, I am not sorry that I cut down the scented products and, having got him to a healthy, drug-free state – no Gabapentin or steroid shots since summer 2017 and no Atopica since FOREVER – I am not prepared to take any chances by allowing too many of them back into Le Château again.

When I let retailers know that I’m looking for low- or no-scent products because of my sensitive-skinned cat, it’s amazing how many of them turn out to be cat people. I receive lots of nice comments and questions about Sa Maj and, if I send a photo along with my enquiry, they often say how handsome he is. (Cat Daddy: “Trust me, they’re just trying to be polite.”) And, every now and again, someone truly goes the extra mile and does this: 

Bravo et bien joué, Scent Trail. Sa Majesté wholeheartedly approves, as you can see from the photos in which he is conducting his official royal analyse de contrôle de la qualité. 

Louis Catorze loves Scent Trail and highly recommends, in particular, their lime and vetiver candle, which appeared to have a calming effect on him during his stressy, tail-chewing days. Their products can be bought here: 

https://www.scent-trail.co.uk/ourshop/

L’amour et le parfum se trahissent toujours

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It had to happen sooner or later, Mesdames et Messieurs, and today is the day: Louis Catorze has pitter-pattered in smelling of man-perfume. And it’s not Cat Daddy’s, because he only wears man-perfume very rarely. LITTLE SOD HAS BEEN SNUGGLING ANOTHER MAN.

Cat Daddy: “You mean he’s been snuggling at least one other man, as far as we are aware. It’s like serial killers. There are always more victims than it would initially seem.” Merci.

Whilst this discovery is, in itself, not wholly surprising, what’s bizarre is that Catorze smells of man-perfume RIGHT TO THE TIP OF HIS TAIL. So it seems that Le Snuggleur Mystérieux has been getting quite intense with Catorze, leaving no inch of his fur, erm, unloved.

There is also the possibility that Catorze broke into someone’s house, knocked the bottle of man-perfume to the floor and had a good old roll around in it. So, at some point today, one of our neighbours will, at best, discover a ruined bottle of man-perfume and be quite cross, or, at worst, step in the broken bits of glass and slowly bleed to death.

So, once again, we have that awkward dilemma of whether to ‘fess up or shut up. Do we casually enquire among our neighbours with a view to offloading our guilt quickly? Or do we wait until someone mentions spending their Easter Sunday having their feet stitched up in Accident and Emergency, and then sheepishly offer our apologies?

I don’t think even 40 days of prayer and penance are going to fix this one for us.

 

La menthe au citron vert

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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.

D’où vient ce citron vert?

Louis Catorze still smells of lime, and has done so ever since the day I first noticed it.

Whilst the smell has faded, re-intensified and faded again over time, it has never really gone away … suggesting that Le Roi keeps returning to the source. On some days it has been so strong that I haven’t bothered with the scented candles and have just let him pitter-patter about the house, with the sweet scent of lime wafting through the air.

I don’t mind this at all as I find it very pleasant, but it must be really annoying for the mysterious citrus parfumier. (My gut instinct still tells me that it’s a vexed neighbour who is trying, and failing, to keep the little sod away with lime-scented spray.)

Someone I know suggested attaching a mini camera to Louis Catorze, but those things are quite cumbersome even for normal-sized cats; with a CatCam around his neck I think our teeny-tiny boy would struggle even to lift his head, let alone rampage through TW8 angering neighbours. I also thought about plastering trees and lamp posts with “Has this cat been annoying you? If so, please call us so that we can apologise personally” posters, but Cat Daddy said he’d move out if I did.

Even Siri is at a loss (see photos).

So it seems we have no choice but to live with the lime, and to be grateful for the fact that Louis Catorze could be coming home covered in much, much worse; lime isn’t so bad, given the alternatives (i.e. blood, chemicals or anything brown).

Quelle est cette odeur agréable?

Curious things are afoot once again at Le Château: last week, Louis Catorze trotted in through the cat flap, tail aloft, smelling from top to toe of lime essential oil, and he’s smelled of it ever since.

We pondered the following possible explanations:

1. He has been rubbing up against some sort of strange plant.
2. Someone who uses lime-scented body lotion or perfume has been snuggling him during the day, whilst we are at work.
3. He’s annoyed the crap out of some poor person, who has sprayed their surroundings with an anti-cat concoction after reading that cats hate citrus.

We like to think it’s option 2. But, knowing Louis Catorze, it’s far more likely to be option 3. We can understand someone being exasperated with him to the point of desperate measures; we know that feeling very well. And, judging by the lime dearth in the supermarket, it seems that Catorze is displeasing either all of the people some of the time, or some of the people all of the time:

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Not that any of this bothers him in the slightest; he’s kite-high on his steroid shot so, to be quite honest, we could dunk him in anything right now and he wouldn’t notice or care. And it’s made cuddling him in bed so much more pleasant.

A friend of mine asked me how I felt about someone else snuggling Louis Catorze when we’re not around. I guess some people may not feel at ease with this, but, as long as he’s happy and he’s not being given any food, I don’t mind. I even thought about Sellotaping his Atopica and syringe to his body, with a polite note asking the unknown snuggler, while they’re about it, if they’d kindly oblige. Deux oiseaux, and all that.

The same friend also asked how I felt about the idea of someone spraying citrus all over the place to keep Catorze out. Cat Daddy chimed in, “If he’s even HALF as annoying to them as he is to us, I’ll hand them the spray myself.” Right.

I don’t suppose Le Mystère du Citron Vert will ever be solved – Roi mysteries never are, #becauseRoi – but, for now, I shall take heart in the fact that he’s never smelled better. Lime with a hint of flowers certainly beats his usual aroma of overripe-Brie-meets-dead-sheep.