Qui a peur du Roi Soleil?

My friend, with whom I stayed last weekend: “Our cats never give us the cold shoulder when we get back from holiday. They’re really good.”
Me: “Yes, Louis Catorze is the same.”

What a pile of merde. This was our welcome back from Sa Majesté on Sunday:

16h00: Ear-splitting screaming
16h10: Little sod goes out to sit by himself in the rain (and, odd though this is, frankly we are relieved)
16h30: Little sod comes in when I go upstairs for a shower and rolls his gross, wet body all over Cat Daddy (ha!)
16h50: Little sod goes out again the minute I return from my shower
17h10: Little sod comes back in when Cat Daddy’s (male) friend stops by, and screams incessantly at the pair of them
17h15: I go and hide in the living room, and the screaming continues
17h30: I shout from the living room, “What the hell is wrong with him?” but nobody can hear me because of the screaming
18h00: Cat Daddy sees his friend out, then comes to hide with me in the living room and complain about the screaming
18h01: Little sod finds us
18h05: Boys’ Club – and silence – for the rest of the evening

Cat Daddy is already planning our next weekend away, to get some peace. But not before we invest in some sedatives (for us as well as for Catorze).

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Il y a de l’orage dans l’air

Louis Catorze doesn’t like storms. Who knew?

Well, I didn’t. But I do now, thanks to his decision to inform me at regular half-hourly intervals, all the way through last night. And, comme d’habitude, Cat Daddy slept through both the storm and the whining.

I understand that thunder and howling gales aren’t everyone’s thing, but telling me once would have sufficed. And, if you don’t like them, you’d just stay away from them, right? NON! Judging by the wetness of Sa Majesté’s fur each time he woke me up, it seems that, for reasons that I cannot fathom, he chose to keep going out and sitting in the rain for at least 15 minutes before then coming indoors to express his outrage. I just don’t understand it at all.

Just one blog post ago, I was bragging that, perhaps, I had underestimated the little sod’s intelligence. Now I am wondering exactly what planet he’s on.

Cat Daddy: “Probably Uranus.”

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Le cadeau de bonne chance

I started a new job on Wednesday. It’s a job that I have wanted ever since I set eyes on the ad, and I poured every fibre of my being into both my application and the interview to make sure they were as good as they could possibly be.

Cat Daddy knew that I would have a fitful night’s sleep on Tuesday due to nerves and excitement, so he showed his support by making me a relaxing cup of teapigs Snooze tea before bed and wishing me luck.

Louis Catorze gave zero shits about my sleep, so he showed his “support” by bringing a mouse to the bedroom and gadding about with it like an idiot at 3:45 in the morning.

I awoke to the sound of unspecified scrabbling around, and knew immediately that Catorze was up to no good. I switched the light on and saw, to my relief, that it was a mouse and not a rat, and that it was dead, so I got out of bed to fetch a piece of tissue in which to wrap it. However, because it was raining outside, and because the little sod and the mouse had been rolling their gross, drenched bodies around the room, the floor was wet … so over I went, landing in a mangled heap and jarring my ankle when it walloped the bedside table leg.

Of course, having hobbled to the bathroom for tissue, wrapped up the mouse, disposed of it and hobbled back to bed again, I was then wide awake, remaining that way until sunrise, and I went to my first day at my new job feeling utterly ravaged and angry with the world. Cat Daddy, on the other hand, slept through the entire thing, and went to work daisy-fresh.

On a completely unrelated matter, I know of a small, toothy, black cat up for adoption. Free to a good home – or even a below-average home, if anyone will have him.

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Quelles montagnes russes!

“A true Catorzian rollercoaster” is perhaps the best way to describe this week.

Tuesday was just AWFUL. I spent the whole day feeling excruciatingly guilty about putting my poor boy through such stress at the vet’s, and the day closed with a very sticky Louis Catorze whimpering under the bed after Cat Daddy was a little over-zealous with the ear drops. Wednesday appeared somewhat more promising when I was greeted after work with happy squeaks and an up-tail, and Louis Catorze even had the energy to go outside to wind up Oscar the dog next door. When he came back in, Cat Daddy nodded discreetly towards the bottle of ear drops and said, “Let’s get him now” … and, the second he heard that, Catorze spun around on his paws and went straight back out again.

“Shit – he knows,” said Cat Daddy. “But he’ll come back eventually.”

He didn’t.

We waited and waited. It started to rain and he still didn’t return. When it rained harder, he wedged himself into the tunnel in the wall which connects his cat flap with the outside world and sheltered there, keeping an eye on us, keeping dry but firmly and decisively NOT coming in. Eventually I gave up and went to bed, thinking, “I bet he’ll wait 5 minutes and then join me, just to be an annoying little sod.”

I was wrong. He waited 1 minute.

Of course the stupid ear drops weren’t within reach, and I didn’t dare get out of bed to fetch them because I knew Catorze would then take off. So I texted Cat Daddy, who was downstairs watching the football, and asked him to bring them up to me. No reply. I then phoned him. Still no reply. Eventually he managed to tear himself away from the match to get a drink and, when I heard him open the living room door, I seized my chance and yelled at him to check his phone. These words had barely tumbled from my mouth when Louis Catorze dived under the bed, where he remained for the rest of the night.

I usually start a new year full of energy, hope and optimism. This time, however, we’re just 2 weeks in and already I’m exhausted after being toyed with by a cat (and a thick one at that). I don’t know whether to be glad that the weekend is upon us, or scared out of my mind at the prospect of 48 whole hours with the smug little tail-aloft psycho.

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Sous mon parapluie, pluie, pluie

This afternoon and evening they issued a severe weather warning in some parts of the U.K.: gales, heavy rain, possible flash flooding, you name it. How typical, then, that Louis Catorze should choose today to slip unseen out of the house whilst Cat Daddy was chaining up his bike outside, and end up stuck out at The (Forbidden) Front for ages.

On my arrival home, after working late, I was greeted by a yowling black cat in the front garden, and I knew immediately that no other cat would be stupid enough to be out in this weather. Luckily for Catorze, when our new media unit arrived we dumped all the packaging temporarily in the front garden, along with the old unit (I know – we’re a classy bunch) so he had been using it as a kind of makeshift Anderson shelter. And it was somewhat reassuring to know that he’d probably been there the whole time and hadn’t felt the slightest inclination to go wandering.

Le Roi is now safe, dry and pitter-pattering about Le Château, chirping and trilling. “It sounds like he’s asking us to switch off the storm so that he can go out,” said Cat Daddy. “Well, even if I could, I wouldn’t. He doesn’t deserve it. He’s a little shit.”

J’adore la pluie

Anyone looking out of the window today would know immediately from the weather that it’s a bank holiday Monday: grey skies, torrential rain and general misery. Most people with any sense will have stayed at home and kept dry. Louis Catorze, on the other hand, is outdoors.

No, we haven’t shut him out, nor is he lost or disorientated and unable to find his way back. The cat flap is accessible, the back door is ajar and there’s nothing in the house which is scaring him away except, perhaps, for me. He has chosen, of his own free will, to sit in the flower bed, blink at the raindrops like a lunatic and get soaked. (No photo available because that would, of course, involve going out there myself, and I’m not going to do that.)

Although I’ve very much accepted that my cat isn’t normal, this behaviour really takes the gâteau. I can see the appeal of freshly-washed laundry, perhaps even cardboard boxes, but getting cold and wet when you don’t have to? WHY? Someone suggested that perhaps the rain was soothing on his sore skin, which is fair enough, but then why not stay out for just long enough to be sufficiently soothed and then come in? Why wait until you’re utterly drenched, come in shouting indignantly about it (even though it was your choice) and then rub your disgusting, wet body and muddy paws all over our bed?

News just in: he’s now run indoors, looked back outside through the glass doors and done the bird-chatter noise at the rain. There isn’t a single bird in sight (probably because even they have the sense to stay out of the rain). This is BEYOND weird.

I guess a normal cat wouldn’t give me nearly as many blogworthy moments. But then, are any of them normal?

Le Roi est sorti: vive Le Roi!

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I’m thrilled to report that, after a few days of entrapment, Le Roi’s face is looking much better. He still looks very scabby around the edges and, if you saw him in the street, you’d be forgiven for mistaking him for one of those feral cats who live on landfill sites and are riddled with fleas and mange. But his open wounds are healing nicely so, on Saturday, we let him outside for the first time in a few days.

Poor sausage was so delighted that he galloped out at top speed and has pretty much been outside ever since, rolling, chirping, chasing bugs and, very occasionally, having a cheeky wander into Oscar’s territory. In fact, even though it’s raining right now, he’s still out there, happily allowing himself to be rained on and absorbing all that lovely rain water to rub all over our sheets later.

Saturday was one of the hottest days of the month so far, but nevertheless Cat Daddy cleared out the greenhouse to make it more pleasant for his boy. Until we bought Le Château it had been in the same family since it was built in 1884, and there were things unearthed in the clear-out that I swear had been lying there decaying in the greenhouse since that very date: fish bonemeal garden fertiliser (no idea what this is, but it sounds bad), various museum-piece garden tools which could probably double as torture instruments in horror movies, and about a zillion terracotta pots of varying sizes, all of which were sticky with cobwebs and dust. So everything that had the potential to be Roi-unfriendly was cleaned, put away or dumped. The greenhouse will never be the ideal place for him to go rolling about in, but it’s now considerably improved.

The next steps will be the food overhaul and the rather more daunting garden makeover, which will be especially tricky as we have no clues whatsoever to guide us. But I feel we still ought to do SOMETHING. I will never, ever stop looking for things that could make my boy’s life more comfortable.