Le trésor enfui

It seems I must have been on the Naughty List, because Santa’s gift to me was a positive Covid test result. To add insult to injury, the text message came through in the early afternoon of Christmas Day, when I was in the middle of opening my presents. I suppose it’s sort of funny now.

Cat Daddy is not remotely amused; in fact, he’s livid that he’s now stuck indoors with me for the next few days and can’t go on any walks or bike rides. The isolation time is ten days from when symptoms started so we don’t have THAT long left although, bizarrely, I had none of the classic symptoms: no temperature, no continuous cough, no loss of sense of taste or smell, just what I believed to be an especially brutal teacher-cold. I only bothered to take the test because a family member had also tested positive in mid-December, with cold-like rather than text-book Covid symptoms.

In short, Louis Catorze is the only one of us who is allowed out. And he is making the most of this by, erm, burrowing deep into his winter igloo.

In other, equally rubbish news, our glorious outdoor winter wonderland has been vandalised by the depraved squirrels, so we can’t even enjoy that during our period of house arrest. They’ve chewed through our solar-powered outdoor lights, and the other day we caught one red-handed/pawed/clawed (no idea what one would call whatever squirrels have on the ends of their creepy little arms, and I daren’t Google to find out) trying to make off with one of our baubles:

Not really in the festive spirit.

Some of the baubles have been fully unhooked from the virginia creeper; in fact, we watched in horror as this chunksome thug did exactly that, before flinging it into That Neighbour’s garden. Other baubles have been snapped off, leaving the gold wires and the little clasp things dangling pointlessly on the bare twigs. It’s hard to say how many we’ve lost but it’s four that we can prove, and no doubt countless others that we can’t prove … at least, not until our neighbours do their springtime planting, when they will wonder what the heck’s been going on when they dig through the soil and unearth thousands of buried baubles.

Now, are the squirrels so dozy that they think the baubles are food? Or perhaps they are just feeling the magic of the season and want to make their dreys look pretty? Either way, Cat Daddy refuses to dismantle our display because he’s “not giving into bloody vermin”. He has installed a Squirrel Stick by the bifold doors at The Back, to pick up and poke threateningly in the direction of the thieving varmints when they come by.

Luckily there is a cat who has noted the problem and who is doing something about it. Sadly it’s Blue the Smoke Bengal and not Catorze.

Here is Blue (below), doing his civic duty. Catorze, meanwhile, has been in his igloo, doing sod all.

Blue on Squirrel Watch.

Mourir debout ou vivre au genoux?

Cat Daddy and I could not be more relieved that Louis Catorze’s recent problems were caused by his patellar luxation and not by some other heinous thing. That said, having now researched his condition, we are not quite sure what we will be able to do about it on a day-to-day basis.

For the moment, the recommended treatment from our vet is just pain relief. And – merci au bon Dieu – because he is eating his Pill Pockets quite happily, this has not been a problem so far. However, online advice also recommends “limiting exercise and access to running and jumping”.

I don’t tend to take online advice and, if I did, I would only have three words for this particular snippet: Not. Gonna. Happen.

Now, if Catorze were a normal cat, he would be taking it easy at his age and trying not to do too much. But he’s not. Quite the opposite. Everything he does is everything that’s inadvisable for his condition and, short of locking him up, I don’t know how we can stop him.

Apparently surgery could be an option, although the advice is “the sooner the better”. Now, if they’re referring to the severity of the patellar luxation, Catorze would probably be a good candidate as he is only at the lowest level. However, if they mean age, at ten years old I fear it might be too late. Catorze is an old boy with the constitution of a swatted gnat, so I can’t see him recovering well from surgery.

Plus: six weeks of cage rest? Catorze, sitting quietly in a cage? Nope. We would need ALL THE SEDATIVES. And maybe we would even give some to him.

Anyway, he still looks frightful with bald patches and crusty eyes. But his knee has behaved itself well since last weekend and has only caved in once (for about four seconds). And Cat Daddy had to eat his lunch standing up the other day because Catorze was being such a pest – clambering all over him, purring, screaming – so I guess this means the little sod is doing ok.

On his favourite lap.