Le pouvoir du Premier Chat

Blimey, Westminster. We turn our backs for five minutes, and now this! Despite being on holiday, Cat Daddy and I have been following the plot twists and turns with great interest. This has been better entertainment than all the best episodes of Jeremy Kyle* fused together.

*Non-Brits: ask your British friends who didn’t work 9-to-5 jobs between 2005 and 2019.

In short, the U.K. government has just imploded and, whilst this is a wonderful thing because Boris Johnson is one of the most abysmal human beings there is, we are now somewhat nervous as we await the news of what will happen next. Ministers have been resigning in their droves, and just about the only government post still occupied is that of Larry the cat, Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office.

Larry has lived at 10 Downing Street since 2011, although a resident cat has, apparently, been a feature of the Office since the reign of Henry VIII. Larry remains a constant presence whilst Prime Ministers have come and gone. (Incidentally, Cat Daddy thinks it’s a wonderful idea for the cat to belong to the house, and for each set of departing humans to leave it behind for the next suckers.) It is said that Larry wasn’t especially keen on David Cameron, something to which I’m sure many of us can relate since he was the one who started all this mess in the first place. Larry also had troubled relations with Palmerston, former Chief Mouser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and their physical fights once led to a lost collar for one party and an injured ear for the other.

At the time of writing this, we had no idea who Larry’s new humans would be, but our country never fails to surprise us every time we think, “It can’t possibly get any worse than this”. The most noxious turd may well have been located, but we still need to fully scoop it out of the litter tray. And then there’s the business of the remaining piss-soaked nuggets and their stubborn stench which, sadly, will linger for some time.

Here are Larry and Palmerston, doing what they do best. Even as an in-fighting coalition, they would be better at leading the country than any member of the Conservative party:

I’d vote for Larry even if he puked in my shoes. (Photo from bbc.co.uk.)
Palmerston is flanked by (left to right) his Feeder, Groomer, Door-Opener/Closer, Toilettes-Cleaner, Kill-Binner and Chief Cuddler. (Photo from mirror.co.uk.)

Vive la Roipublique

Merde, merde and thrice merde: my alternative bunting didn’t arrive, despite me paying an eye-stingingly expensive delivery charge to have it in time for the weekend. So I guess it will have to wait until the next noteworthy royal event, and luckily it’s the kind of timeless design that will keep.

Cat Daddy: “Is it the kind of thing that’ll draw attention to our house?”

You could say that, yes.

At least the platinum jubilee is over now, although its efforts to drive me insane worked a treat. Last week I was so far gone that I swore I could see Boris Johnson’s face in Louis Catorze’s bald patch. You can see it too, right?

Cat Daddy thinks the bald patch is expanding, yet I think we’ve had some regrowth since the above photo was taken. I don’t really care which of us is right because the most important thing is that it doesn’t look like Boris Johnson anymore. It now looks like Ghostface from Scream or Edward Scissorhands, depending on the angle and the light, but either of those would be far preferable to Boris Johnson.

In any case, it’s still not bothering Catorze. And I’m happy to just leave it for now, but I’m ready to whisk him back to the vet should I spot any cuts, soreness or changes of temperament/habit.

Parmi les autres nouvelles, we were given a flower bouquet recently which contained evil lilies. Lilies are highly toxic to cats so, if we ever receive them, we gently fish them out of the bouquet and dispose of them, leaving the cat-harmless flowers in place. On this occasion, Cat Daddy put them into the garden waste recycling bag in an unobtrusive corner of the garden, far from inquisitive Catorzian paws.

Naturellement, despite never usually venturing into this part of the garden, Catorze suddenly decided that the green waste recycling bag was the most interesting and attractive item in the world. Luckily we were able to whisk him to safety and Cat Daddy rearranged the bag, rolling it tightly like a Swiss roll* and placing a few bricks on top to seal in the contagion until the next collection (although no British person has the faintest idea when this will be, since the double bank holiday has stuffed up our bin days).

*Younger followers: don’t bother asking your Swiss friends. Ask your older relatives who lived in the U.K. during the 70s or 80s.

I had hoped that, in his advanced years, Sa Maj might show SOME sign of stopping all his nonsense. But it’s no real surprise that he hasn’t.

We have no idea what this was about.

Le dernier repas

It’s all kicking off here in the U.K. and we Brits are the laughing stock of the world. Again.

During lockdown, when we weren’t supposed to be seeing more than one person outdoors, parties took place at the Prime Minister’s residence. The person hosting the parties initially denied that there were parties, and has now admitted it but claims that he thought they were work events. The person originally investigating whether or not there were parties, attended one of the parties. The person who wrote the Covid rules and who decides whether or not they were broken, also attended one of the parties. The newly-appointed person investigating whether or not there were parties, works under the person who hosted the parties.

I know. It couldn’t be more absurd if it tried, although it certainly explains why Louis Catorze behaved so badly during my online lessons and meetings: clearly he thought he was at a party. And, to be fair, there were a couple of occasions when things were completely chaotic and/or I was drinking neat Absolut Vanilla from a tea mug at 3pm, so I can’t really blame him.

Meanwhile, Catorze’s war against mealtimes is waging on. Cat Daddy has weighed Catorze’s food on our new set of precision scales, and it turns out that we are only supposed to be giving him three scoops per day. In actual fact we have been giving him around 978 scoops per day.

Now, I wouldn’t normally advocate overfeeding a cat but, since the vet told us that the little sod needed to chub up, we aren’t in a rush to change the overall quantity of food. We have, however, been reconsidering his feeding times and, instead of feeding Catorze whenever he asks, we decided that would give him set mealtimes, just like normal cats.

Catorze came downstairs from his nap one afternoon at around 4pm, then began to creepy-stare for food.

Cat Daddy: “Look at him, trying to bully us.”

Catorze continued to creepy-stare.

Cat Daddy: “Ignore him.”

Catorze continued to creepy-stare.

Cat Daddy: “In fact, let’s take his bowl away.”

I put Catorze’s empty bowl into his food cupboard.

Then the screaming started.

Mon Dieu: I know I have said this numerous times before, but you really could strip paint with his voice.

Our new tough love regime lasted a whole minute and a half before we reverted back to our previous system, because I just couldn’t stand the screaming. So here we are – again – at the mercy of this shouty, toothy little dictator.

He really is the worst. And we are pathetic beyond belief for allowing it.

“Feed moi.”

Une chance pour tous

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It is said to be bad luck when a black cat crosses your path. So what can it mean when one runs at you, screaming, and tries to trip you up as you retreat?

This is what happened to the Conservative party candidate when he came canvassing today. And Cat Daddy is punch-proud that his boy “has finally done something productive”.

Could this be a bad omen for the Conservative party? I will let you know as soon as the results are in on 3rd May.

*EDITED AFTER THE RESULTS CAME IN: the Conservative party were well and truly spanked.