Psycho kitty, qu’est-ce que c’est? (Partie Deux)

Louis Catorze is bringing psycho back. Not that it ever really went away. 

Latest habits include: 

  • Screaming when he wants to be stroked 
  • Screaming when he wants to play
  • Screaming when hungry
  • Screaming when not hungry
  • Forcefully headbutting hands that ignore the screaming 
  • Stomping around the house at night (a small cat can be surprisingly noisy on wooden floorboards) 
  • Bouncing around on our bed whilst we are trying to sleep, doing that closed-mouth whine which is softer than a scream but which still wakes us up
  • Knocking things off our bedside tables in the middle of the night 
  • Demanding wild play at times when we are busy doing other things and, when we finally give in and do the Dark Lord’s bidding, deciding that he no longer wants the play and walking away

Cat Daddy had the genius idea of taking him to the vet, but they’ll only say that there’s nothing wrong with him and that he’s just enjoying life. 

Sadly we’re not – in fact, we are being run ragged with his behaviour – but, as any cat owner will confirm, it’s not about us.

L’homme fort cherche le danger

Louis Catorze and Cat Daddy have had to review their Boys’ Club rough play sessions.

To an outsider looking in, these sessions would look rather like animal cruelty: Cat Daddy flings Louis Catorze up in the air, throws him around and digs hard into his belly, with Catorze squirming and squeaking throughout. But, as soon as he lets him go, the little sod shakes himself down and goes back for more.

A couple of days ago, however, when Cat Daddy flipped him upside down and slammed him onto the sofa like a pro wrestler (sounds bad, I know), Catorze let out a sad whimper. And, this time, when he limbered up for Round 2, his poor little left knee gave way under him.

Cat Daddy was absolutely distraught that he’d hurt his boy. Fortunately the knee popped back into place again and Le Roi forgave him, coming back immediately for (gentler) cuddles. But Cat Daddy is now very nervous indeed, not so much about Boys’ Club shenanigans – which are easily controlled – but about the petit filou potentially hurting himself when we’re not around to help him. I reassured him that Catorze doesn’t wander far enough to get into proper trouble and that, in the unlikely event of him being stuck somewhere and unable to walk home, the whole darned neighbourhood would hear his screams for help.

So it looks as if our complicated boy is going to need some extra-special care from now on. Luckily we saw this coming, and we’re ready for it.

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Protéger et servir

Cat Daddy and I are going on holiday in a few days’ time, and we have a friend coming all the way from Paris to look after Louis Catorze in our absence. Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: Le Roi is going to have an ACTUAL French person as his full-time, live-in majordome/esclave.

“Do you speak French to him all the time?” she asked us. “Because I intend to. So, by the time you come back, he won’t take any notice of anything you say.”

Louis Catorze, not following instructions? Whatever next?

Anyway, Cat Daddy and I are currently putting together a set of manuals for her reference. The Château manual was complete some time ago, and contains the following sections:

1. The Sonos multimedia system
2. The kitchen appliances
3. Local places of interest

The Roi manual, which is proving to be rather more of a lengthy task, contains the following sections so far:

1. Food
2. Drink
3. Play
4. Catnip (for medicinal purposes)
5. Nocturnal gadding about
6. Brushing
7. The vet
8. Dog warfare
9. Prey, dead
10. Prey, living
11. Prey, partially-living
12. Lockdown at The Front, and how to manage escapees
13. Health and safety drill for Ocado delivery drivers

“It’ll be fine,” said Cat Daddy. “What’s the worst that could happen …?”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.]

He continued: ” … Apart from us returning home to find the place knee-deep in dead vermin like some post-apocalyptic horror film, and our poor friend crying in the corner?”

Right. Où est ma valise?

You will notice that there is no “Medication” section in the Roi manual, and that wasn’t an oversight: notre cher ami has officially been given the all-clear from his favourite vet, who is back from her travels for a short while. No more Gabapentin! He has had no relapses at all during his tapering-off detox programme and, whilst we will miss the little sod for the next couple of weeks, we know that he will be fine and that our friend will look after him wonderfully.

We just hope that he will be equally considerate in return.

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Peins-la en noir

Cat Daddy and I have spent a disturbing amount of time monitoring Louis Catorze to try and understand his tail-chasing habit. And, yes, this has been just as dull as it sounds, with the exception of the unsettling moment when he actually HISSED at his own tail.

The strange thing is that Catorze doesn’t appear to be going for his tail in response to anything physical. It seems that the SIGHT of the white bony bit – which stands out against his black fur – is what triggers him, perhaps because he thinks something is stuck to his tail, or because he thinks the white blob is a worm or a bug. And this is most odd as he’d surely have had to go for the tail a few times in the first place, in order to thin the fur and expose the white bony bit?

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“Which do you think came first: the tail-chasing or the white bony bit?” I asked Cat Daddy.

“I don’t know,” he replied curtly, not even looking up from his laptop, “but I bet historians and scientists the world over are agonising over it.”

Sigh.

“It’s right up there with all the other ‘Which came first?’ debates: the chicken or the egg, life on earth or a habitable environment …” Cat Daddy’s voice trailed off, his eyes remaining down.

I thanked him for his insightful comment and bade him good day – although I couldn’t resist Googling both the chicken and the egg and the life on earth thing, as soon as I left the room.

The question now is: what do we do about it? Short of colouring the white bony bit with black marker pen – Cat Daddy’s idea, and he wasn’t joking – we can’t think of a single feasible solution.

Are there any historians or scientists out there? A little help, s’il vous plaît?

Tromper, jouer, trahir

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We are still reeling from the vet’s revelation that Louis Catorze has resorted to eating his own body parts because he’s so bored. Cat Daddy, in particular, has taken it quite badly.

“I don’t have a problem with being called boring,” he said, “but … too boring for him? FOR HIM? He’s the dullest cat ever! He does nothing! What does that make us?”

He has a point.

I attempted a play session this morning, as advised, but the little sod just sat with his arms/front legs folded, tail flicking away, and made zero effort to join in. And, in a creepy sort of way, I had the feeling he had the upper hand and that he was playing with me, not vice versa.

I went berserk with the feather on a stick, trying desperately to elicit some sort of reaction, and Louis Catorze just stared back as if to say, “Danse, mon petit singe, danse!” Then, after I gave up and discarded the toys, he went out to chase some leaves. Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: EVEN DEAD LEAVES ARE MORE FUN THAN ME.

I don’t know where we go from here. M’aidez!

Nous sommes trop ennuyeux pour notre chat

It seems I have written a new instruction manual on how to be the worst person on the face of the planet. It goes something like this:

1. If your cat chases his tail, laugh at him.
2. If he keeps doing it, laugh some more.
3. If he does it for several hours through the night, curse him for being such a shit.
4. Don’t bother to actually check his tail unless he bites it so hard that he yelps, at which point you may discover that he has eaten it down to the skin.
5. Make an appointment at the vet’s, then get home late due to an accident on the motorway and miss the appointment.

“Don’t worry,” said Cat Daddy. “I’m sure he still loves you as much as he did before. Mind you, that wasn’t really a lot, was it?”

Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.

Anyway, we finally made it to the vet this evening, and the good news is that she found no sign of injury. “He doesn’t seem to be in pain when I touch the tail,” she said. “He’s yelling a lot, but then he yells a lot when he comes here, anyway, doesn’t he?”

More silence, tumbleweed, crickets.

We were advised to keep an eye on Louis Catorze’s tail over the next few days. The vet then shocked the life out of us by telling us that, in the event of it not deteriorating physically, the tail-chasing was more likely to be boredom-related and that we were to give Catorze more stimulation.

This hit me and Cat Daddy like a punch in the guts. So … we are not interesting enough for Sa Majesté.

To make matters worse, I know that, when I attempt to play with him, he declines in favour of toys that he can use on his own. So it seems that Louis Catorze has been trying to tell us for some time that we’re dull, and now we have just paid £25 for the joy of being told the same thing again.

We’re too boring for our cat. What d’you think about that?

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Santé!

Do cats have an OFF button? Or, at the very least, a LOW POWER button? Louis Catorze is driving us crazy with his naughtiness at the moment.

His lust for play has reignited, and he’s started to let out little “Waaah!” sounds as he chases his toy. If he sees us in the kitchen through the patio doors, he refuses to use the cat flap and screams to be let in. He can be frighteningly convincing, pawing at the glass and looking utterly fearful for his life yet, if we ignore the little weasel for long enough – usually a minute or two – he will come in of his own accord, up-tailed, chirpy and smug, as if saying, “Et voilà! I didn’t need you after all.” He’s also starting to go out for longer at night, as his big brother Luther used to do, and rolls in just before my alarm goes off, soaking wet, shrieking in my ear and with that vile, stomach-churning wet dog smell. Yuck.

His eyes now look exactly like the eyes of a normal cat, with no leathery, bald bits. The horrible under-chin scabs are disappearing, with fur growing back. And I suspect his annoyingness is down to the fact that he’s happier and feeling much better. So, in all, things are looking up for the little sod.

This time last year he looked like crap and was sad, and the year before he was even worse, so I’m excited beyond belief at the prospect of Louis Catorze’s first festive season, to my knowledge, in good health. Here he is, drinking to that!

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