Les merveilles de la cire

On Monday morning, the beautician came over for a mammoth waxing session. Not the most seemly activity for a day of sombre reflection, perhaps, but quite enough people have lost money due to events being cancelled (bar staff and so on). Monday is the beautician’s day off and our appointments are always on a Monday so, provided she was happy to do battle with the transport, I was happy for her to come.

She was due to arrive at 9:30am. However, because of the travel disruption caused by the funeral, she was forty minutes late. And, as bad luck would have it, she happened to finish waxing my legs and begin on, erm, other areas just as the service started. Had everything run on time, she would have finished and been out of the door well before this point.

Obviously I wasn’t watching the service in the same room; that would have been weird. But I could hear the strains of dour choral music drifting in from the attic bedroom, where Cat Daddy was watching. And it was still weird.

Just as I thought it couldn’t be more awkward, Louis Catorze rocked up. However excruciating a situation, he can always be relied upon to make it worse. I had taken the precaution of closing the door, for fear of this very thing happening. However the beautician, upon hearing him screaming, was excited to see him. So she let him in, and I was too slow to stop her.

“Hello, Lewis!” she said. Catorze mwahhed back. He then jumped onto the bed to oversee the proceedings.

So there I was, on a day of national mourning, having hot wax slapped onto very delicate areas with funeral music accompaniment, whilst a screaming cat watched. Saint Jésus.

After a few minutes, Catorze went upstairs to pester Cat Daddy, jumping onto the bed and pointing his rear end at the funeral cortège on the television screen. Yes, Cat Daddy did take pictures. No, I won’t be sharing them here, despite Cat Daddy daring me to do so.

I am prepared to show this, though: a still from the video that I took for my friend to demonstrate Catorze’s shocking timing, and you will see him utterly entranced by the magic that is the bikini wax. I know. So much wrong in one picture but, trust me, it could be far worse:

Yes, that’s my foot sticking out.

Dans des moments comme ceux-ci

This fine gentleman is Mr Fu:

How do you do, Mr Fu.?

He is friends with Louis Catorze’s frère-from-another-mère, Antoine, and Antoine’s usurper stepbrother, Boots.

Well, I say “friends” but, in actual fact, they’re only friends in the same way that Catorze is friends with Cocoa the babysit cat and his sister, Chanel. It’s the humans who are friends. The cats have never met and I’m pretty sure that, if they did, there would be carnage and bloodshed. But it’s nice to pretend, non?

Most places in England, including vet practices, are closed today for the Queen’s funeral. (No doubt the corgis asked for this; I bet they’re overjoyed that their most hated place in the world is closed.) So, naturellement, Mr Fu thought this would be a good time to go out scrapping and end up with a fight wound that required medical treatment. A lump appeared on his head on Saturday afternoon and had deteriorated by the evening but, luckily, by that time, his humans had managed to bag one of the last available slots on Sunday.

One prescription (Metacam and antibiotics) and one bill later, Mr Fu is doing fine. Pulling a stunt like this when the whole country is closed for the long weekend is beyond evil, yet also utterly typical of cats and what they do. I bet the little sod had been planning this for months.

I wish there were an option for those of us with, erm, untrustworthy cats, which allowed us to book vet appointments for inconvenient times and cancel at the last minute in the unlikely event of the cats behaving themselves. It’s my birthday next month and the whole family are coming over for lunch, and I am giving serious consideration to booking such an appointment for Catorze. He doesn’t need the vet (at the moment). But it would be just like him to do something stupid on that day, leaving us scrabbling around for the last remaining appointment right in the middle of our main course. And, if you don’t believe Catorze would stoop that low, have a look here.

So … do I book the appointment, with the fear that I might forget to cancel 24 hours beforehand and end up being charged and/or blacklisted as an infidel no-show? Or do I leave it and risk Catorze crawling in from the Zone Libre, bleeding from the eyeballs, drooling black vomit and dragging his lifeless back legs behind him, just as we are all leaving for the pub?

I suspect that whatever we do will end up being the wrong thing. Bastard cats.

Antoine: “Stupid humans!”
Boots: “Pathetic humans!”
Catorze: “Whatever. Couldn’t really give a merde.”

Le spectacle doit continuer

It was a full moon last night, as well as the start of Mercury Retrograde. And the chaos began in the morning, with an enormous rabbit lolloping through the Zone Libre and Louis Catorze, despite being half its size, trying his luck anyway. The goldfinches at the feeder did not approve of this one bit and screeched up a storm, destroying the neighbours’ hopes for a peaceful start to their weekend. Sorry, people of TW8.

Cat Daddy and I were supposed to have gone to Southampton yesterday, with Puppy Daddy and Cocoa the babysit cat’s daddy, for the football. However, all Premier League matches have been called off in light of recent events in the U.K. – or, rather, ONE in particular. Cat Daddy is the most disappointed of us all and, to prove this, bought two cases of Louis Jadot from Majestic Wine on Friday. I daren’t look to see how many bottles are left.

The one fragment of silver lining is that Catorze is thoroughly enjoying Cat Daddy being home. Whilst other events have been cancelled, It’s business as usual as far as Boys’ Club is concerned. The little sod has been pitter-pattering from Storm Watch to his papa’s lap and back again, stopping only to sip occasionally from his outdoor bar. I had spent the last week wondering why on earth he hadn’t been drinking any water from his glass and debating whether or not a vet visit were required when, in fact, there is nothing wrong with him and he’s just been doing this:

If you knew what our river water was like, you’d do the same.

Here at Le Château everything is as harmonious as ever – well, as harmonious as it can be when one is living with a demon cat who wants to devour our souls – but, the instant we step out into the world, it all feels rather odd. Nobody quite knows what to do or say, especially us non-royalists who aren’t feeling the pain and the grief but also don’t want to be rude. So we just nod sagely when anyone says anything about the Queen. It’s very strange hearing people refer to “the King”, though. For the last eight years, the only king we have known has been our little Sun King.

Here is Catorze, pictured during Storm Watch and right after the Zoom call with Cat Daddy’s boozy pub mates. His glare in the first photo is to remind us that he is the only king we need:

“You will bow down to MOI.”
Just catching up with les gars.

And, if he had to choose a queen to rule alongside him, it would be this one:

Picture from boredpanda.com.

Des affaires importantes

The Queen is no longer with us. However, it’s the same old nonsense here at Le Château as far as the King is concerned.

Cat Daddy and I went out the other day, at around 4:30pm, with the intention of feeding Louis Catorze before leaving. But we completely forgot.

The little sod was sound asleep on the outdoor sofa when we left the house and, when he’s not annoying us, it’s actually quite easy to forget to feed him. We only remembered when we were at the pub and tucking into our own meal but, of course, by then, it was too late to do anything about it.

As we journeyed back from our evening out, we chuckled wryly at the prospect of being greeted by an indignant, screaming cat. However, we opened the door to silence and emptiness. Cat Daddy went outside to look for Catorze but there was no sign of him.

This was very unusual, especially as he hadn’t been fed. We were convinced that he would show up soon, bellowing at us for neglecting our duties, but he didn’t. When he still hadn’t returned in the time it had taken us to make some tea, I went out with my torch and searched the garden.

Once again, he was nowhere to be found. Even Cat Daddy had started to worry by this point, and he feared that a red kite, whom he has seen hovering around lately, had managed to have Catorze as an amuse-bouche. As for me, I went to bed mentally planning Catorze’s WANTED poster and feeling a bit sick.

I woke up the next morning, a few minutes before my alarm, to an outraged Catorze, and a message on my phone from Cat Daddy, sent at 00:03, saying that the little sod had just rolled in. I have since found out that, upon finally making an appearance, he scoffed down three scoops of Orijen (his allowance for the WHOLE DAY), sat purring on Cat Daddy’s lap for ten minutes and then went back out “on high alert, as if something were still outside”.

So he wasn’t hungry. And the screaming, the wide-eyes and the circling of his empty bowl like a hungry great white shark, were all lies.

Whatever ICB it was, so pressing that he disappeared all evening and only managed ten minutes of Boys’ Club, appears to be ongoing. Here he is, off again:

En route to Twiggy the greyhound’s place.

The Queen is dead; long live the King.

Les banderoles royales

I am very disappointed to report that my alternative “God save the king” royal bunting didn’t work out.

Alas, despite paying a premium for express delivery so that it would make Le Château the talk of the street during the jubilee, it didn’t arrive on time. When it did arrive, three days late, we weren’t home (because, obviously, we hadn’t planned for it to arrive on that day) and so we had to make the perilous, Dariénesque journey to the sorting office in Hounslow to collect it.

When we collected it, Catorze’s face looked like this:

What the hell?

And, when they reworked it and – eventually, three weeks later, after some quite odd emails from them which read as if written by a semi-literate bot – sent me a digital proof to approve, it looked like this:

WHAT THE HELL?

Is it THAT difficult for someone to centre a picture? Well, ok, obviously it is.

At that point I told them not to bother, so I asked for a full refund, and they happily obliged. Yes, happily. They seemed quite chipper about the fact that they’d given me shambolic service and a shambolic product.

It’s such a shame as it would have been perfect not only for the jubilee but also for today, which is the birthday of the human Louis XIV. But, luckily, the little sod wouldn’t know whether or not we put up bunting and, if he did, he wouldn’t care.

This was what I originally had in mind when I started my search for jubilee bunting:

Hilariously, in the run-up to the jubilee these were all sold out.

And somehow I feel that, even at the height of their naughtiness, the Sex Pistols (younger followers: ask your grandparents’ cooler friends) would have been less troublesome than Le Roi.

Typical noblesse, sitting on their thrones and living a life of luxury whilst we peasants languish.

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 jubilé de platine

Today marks the Queen’s platinum jubilee and, apparently, there are around sixteen thousand street parties being held around the U.K. this weekend. Neither Cat Daddy nor I are royalists and we find it all rather grotesque and distasteful, so we won’t be joining in any celebrations. Also, since we are already being bled dry to fund the luxurious lifestyle of a certain member of the French aristocracy, we have neither the time nor the wherewithal to fuss over another monarch.

My friend Lizzi sent me this a few days ago (see below). At first I thought it was a meme, but it’s actually more like a reminder. A Polite Reminder*, in fact, politely reminding us that, if we aren’t already providing our feline overlords with royal feasts, tributes, castles and thrones, we flippin’ well ought to:

It’s a full house for Sa Maj.

*Non-Brits, ask your British friends and they will tell you that a Polite Reminder is the opposite of what it appears to be. Polite Reminders also vary in their level of politeness, for instance the one above is moderate, but we have a far less polite Polite Reminder affixed with Blu Tac above the sink at work, typed in Comic Sans font with the message: “POLITE REMINDER: STOP LEAVING DIRTY MUGS AND PLATES IN THE SINK!!!!!!!!”

Just like the Queen, Louis Catorze has multiple celebratory days which are all about him. In fact, he has more: 30th April (his birthday), the summer solstice (simply because he’s the Sun King), 14th July (la Fête Nationale, which is entirely the opposite of a salute to the monarchy but he’s claiming it anyway), 20th July (his moving-in day aka the Ascension to the Throne), 17th August (Black Cat Appreciation Day), 27th October (National Black Cat Day) and 31st October (Hallowe’en). However, this is by no means an exhaustive list and Catorze reserves the right to assert ownership of further days, as and when they take his fancy. In fact, when he sees the jubilee party taking place tomorrow afternoon in the park over the road, he will naturally assume that it’s all for him, whether we go or not.

Anyway, whilst the rest of TW8 celebrates the Queen, we will be celebrating the Sun King, and I’ve even bought my own, erm, alternative bunting for the occasion. I haven’t told Cat Daddy about it yet but, by the time this weekend is over, the whole street will know about it.

“Polite reminder: feed moi.”

La Reine

image

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.