L’appel du réveil

Apparently U.K. pubs may open in April, but without alcohol. I KNOW. I’m not even drinking at the moment (because we’re doing Dry February) and I still think it’s a stupid idea.

When I am drinking, I far prefer to do it at home; I can have the wine that I want instead of being forced to have Compromise Prosecco, I always get a seat and there’s no queue for the bathroom. Yet Cat Daddy and I often reminisce about pubs and wonder when we will be allowed to go back. (I am talking about Covid, by the way; we haven’t been barred.)

A few nights ago, we remembered one particular occasion which was most certainly blogworthy but, for whatever reason, I didn’t write about it at the time (most likely because Louis Catorze had already done 652 stupid things that week and there wasn’t time/space). That night I returned home from the pub early, leaving Cat Daddy out on the rampage with our friends (and, more worryingly, with my debit card).

Unfortunately we had only taken one key with us and I had brought it home, so Cat Daddy was keyless. Not only that, but I forgot to leave him a spare one in our secret safe place. By the time he came home and realised that he couldn’t get in, my phone had switched to night time setting so all his calls went straight to my voicemail. Not even his knocking at the door woke me up, which was very unusual.

Merci à Dieu, then, for Catorze. For where our lack of organisation, our technology malfunction – even though it was, in actual fact, functioning as it should – and my uncharacteristic sleep-deafness let us down, his ear-imploding screaming saved the day. I came downstairs in the early hours to investigate the God-awful sound and found him sitting by the front door, psycho-eyed and puffed-chested, alerting me to his daddy’s predicament with all his might.

Cat Daddy later: “I don’t understand why he sat by the front door and screamed at me. Why didn’t he go upstairs and scream at you?”

I don’t suppose he needed to. I heard him. And so, I would imagine, did most of the street.

Yes, neighbours, THAT’S what that noise was. Sorry about that.

“Au secours!”

Je crie, donc je suis

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A couple of nights ago, Cat Daddy and I decided to go to our lovely local pub for dinner. It’s only at the end of our street – a short, 3-minute walk – so well within my diminished physical capabilities. Naturellement, as soon as we opened the front door to leave, Louis Catorze shot out like a speeding bullet and refused to be caught.

“Never mind,” I said. “We’ll only be an hour or two. He’ll just have to sit at The Front until we come back.”

Mais non: Louis Catorze had decided not only that he was coming with us, but that he would announce this fact very loudly to all within earshot.

“Oh dear,” I said, as we continued walking. “I’m sure he’ll shut up and go home in a minute.”

Mais non: the little sod continued to follow us, tail up, his screams ringing out embarrassingly through the street.

“Oh God,” said Cat Daddy. “He’d better not follow us all the way to the pub.”

Luckily, he didn’t: at that point, he decided to duck into a neighbour’s garden and carry on screaming.

Now, had that neighbour been an unknown person, we would have just left Sa Majesté to it, pretended we were nothing to do with him and kept walking, then picked him up on the way home. But, unfortunately, he happened to choose the house of someone whom we know quite well and who knows Catorze by sight. So, had they come out of their house to investigate the diabolical racket, it would have been shameful beyond words.

“We’re going to have to catch him and take him home, aren’t we?” said Cat Daddy. “And, seeing as you’re still not meant to be lifting things, I suppose I’m going to have to do it?”

Mais oui.

So Cat Daddy marched back down the street to where Louis Catorze still sat screaming, scooped him up with one hand like a fairground claw machine grabbing a soft toy, and carried him home. Not much is funnier than the sight of a highly annoyed man striding purposefully down the street, cradling a tiny, floppy, screaming cat.

We know quite a few of our neighbours and are on good terms with them (so far). Thank goodness none of them witnessed this.

La Reine

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This little sweetheart, whom we’ve nicknamed La Reine, turned up at our local pub a week ago, and has been there ever since. We met her last night when Cat Daddy and our friend Alex went out for a meal, and she just walked up to me and let me pick her up. I held her for ages, to the point where other customers started staring, clearly thinking, “What kind of total lunatic would bring their cat to the pub?” (Mind you, I would if I could, and the only reason I haven’t so far is because I didn’t think of it.)

We don’t know whether La Reine is male or female, although we suspect the latter due to her small size and delicate pixie face. She let me cuddle her whilst Cat Daddy and Alex finished their meals, then she cheekily went to beg some fish from another customer. Cat Daddy has always said no to the suggestion of getting a brother or sister for Louis Catorze, but something about this sweet little thing melted his heart and – in front of witnesses (I’m writing that as a reminder to him) – he said, “If she’s not claimed after a month, we can keep her.” Fair play to the persuasive power of a few pints of London Pride; it’s so lethal that I’m surprised they don’t use it as an enhanced interrogation tool.

This is a neighbourhood where everyone knows each other, so anyone new coming to live close to the pub would have been common knowledge ages ago. Also, the pub staff know which locals are cat people and have already asked them whether they recognise her: no luck as yet. I asked the staff if they would mind me taking her to the vet to see if she was microchipped, still slightly haunted by the fact that my sister and I recently helped to reunite a lost cat in E3 with her family but only after I stupidly sat on her photo for 3 weeks and did nothing with it. Cat Daddy thought it too soon, but if it were my cat I wouldn’t want someone to hang around before checking, especially as Louis Catorze looks like a diseased stray who has led a torturously rough life and who is in grave need of veterinary attention.

I went back to the pub today a few minutes before the vet surgery opened … and La Reine wasn’t there. So I’ve lent them La Cage and asked them to give me a call if she reappears.

Please feel free to share her picture with anyone in or around the TW8 area.