La place d’un chat est au sommet

A few nights ago I glimpsed Louis Catorze jumping from our fence post onto the roof of Oscar the dog’s folks’ new extension. As they weren’t home, I didn’t feel any urgent need to drag his arse down (not that I could have done so, even if I had wanted to). Then, as Cat Daddy and I settled down to watch television, we kind of forgot about Catorze.

Cat Daddy went into the kitchen some time later to make tea, then returned looking perplexed (and with no tea). “I don’t understand it,” he said. “I can hear Louis screaming but I can’t see him. He can’t still be on next door’s roof?”

He was. And he was stuck, meaning he had probably been screaming for about two hours. 

I went upstairs and leaned out of the guest bedroom window to try and grab the little sod, but he remained just out of reach, screaming himself silly. Cat Daddy then pulled open the kitchen Velux window and climbed onto the worktop in a second attempt to rescue him, but Catorze did the same again, pitter-pattering just out of reach and his screams ringing out across TW8 like an air raid siren. (The aborted rescue mission is pictured below.)

“I don’t know what to do,” Cat Daddy sighed, wincing visibly at the screaming. “If he’s refusing to come to us then I’m tempted to just leave him there, but he’s disturbing the whole neighbourhood’s peace. It’s embarrassing.”

I then went out into the back garden and called Sa Maj. I knew he wouldn’t come running and leap into my arms like nice cats do in romcoms, but I had no other ideas and, somehow, it seemed more useful than laughing and taking photos doing nothing.

When Catorze heard my voice coming from the garden, it was as if he only then remembered how he had got onto the roof in the first place. With each step punctuated by a scream, he pitter-pattered towards the edge of the roof, jumped back onto the fence post, picked his way gingerly along the top of the fence and then down from the brick barbecue. He was then promptly fed and watered and spent the rest of the night purring away on his papa’s lap, as if his misadventure never happened.

Cat Daddy: “Cats are meant to have a sense of instinct. Surely he can’t be so thick that he just FORGOT to retrace his steps? Thank God [Oscar’s folks] weren’t home.”

On this occasion, no. But it’s only a matter of time until he’s stuck there when they ARE home, his screams flip Oscar’s “Urge To Kill” switch and the neighbourhood comes to a standstill once more.

Apologies in advance to the good people of TW8, especially the Dog Family.

La vieillesse est un art

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You know when people of a certain age raise their eyebrows at anyone who was born after 1989, and wonder how on earth these babies manage to crawl about the planet on their own? Well, it’s exactly the same with cats. When people post pictures online of their cats aged 1 or 2, I think, “Where did all these YOUNG kitties come from?” And it makes me realise that Louis Catorze is no poulet de l’année.

Sa Majesté is 8 today. Even my mum thought he was only celebrating his 6th birthday. People can scarcely believe the truth because of his diminutive stature and baby face; he is a real-life, feline version of Dorian Gray (well, minus the “romancing the ladies” bit), whose youthful, kittenish looks belie his excessive past of syringes, pills and party powder. 

Bon anniversaire, little sod. We love you beyond words.

Louis Catorze doesn’t know it yet, but he will be donating his birthday treat money – including the kind gift from my mum – to Lilly’s Legacy, a voluntary rescue run by one of his favourite people in the world. If you would like to donate to them, too, you can do so here: 

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/annie-perkins

La princesse irlandaise

We returned from our holiday a few days ago to a still-standing Château and – thanks to the love and care of our French friend and Oscar the dog’s folks – a shiny, shouty Louis Catorze. It seems that he was a very good boy during our absence. Apart from an intermittent cramp/limping scare, which will need further investigation, and an uninvited wander into Dog Daddy’s man-cave – clearly if Boys’ Club cannot come to Catorze, then Catorze will seek out Boys’ Club – the two weeks passed without major incident.

Cat ladies are never off duty, not even when they are on holiday, and no holiday would be complete without a (potential) cat intervention. Meet Bri:

Her name sounds like the cheese but, in fact, we named her after Brigid, Ireland’s patron goddess. This sweet, ageless girl, with a meow like a squeaky bicycle wheel, was our companion during our 3 days at the eco-glampsite in County Mayo. I say “ageless” because she was very kittenish in size and demeanour, yet something tells me that such fur colouring – an all-black head with a mottled body – comes from black fur that has changed over time, rather than being true tortoiseshell.

After ascertaining that Bri didn’t have a family – our nearest neighbours were all farming people who tend to see stray cats as vermin – I contacted a local rescue and sent them a picture of her. Sadly we weren’t able to find a suitable transportation pod, catch her and deliver her to the rescue’s designated vet, all within limited bank holiday opening times, but plans are now in place for the rescue to set a trap soon. I have given them the contact details of the site owner and recommended the best place for laying the trap, and I hope beyond hope that we have good news soon.

I wish we could have done more for Bri during our stay, but one thing that I am really, really glad we did was to give her a spot-on flea treatment. (I am not in the habit of carrying flea treatment in my handbag, as my crazy catness has not quite elevated to such a level as yet, but I was lucky enough to find some in the one shop that was open on a bank holiday Sunday.) Dear little Bri sat perfectly still for me and purred all the way through, as if knowing I meant well – and, yes, I am aware of the irony of a feral cat behaving impeccably for flea treatment when my own little sod first tries to kill me, then rolls the liquid off onto all our soft furnishings and clean laundry. Minutes later, a visible cloud of fleas rose from her body, which was satisfying and horrifying in equal measure. Hopefully they will stay away and give her some relief.

I have been asked a few times whether we would have brought Bri back home with us. Believe me, we wanted to – although Cat Daddy’s condition was that we took her instead of Catorze, not as well as – but it’s not quite as simple as, “See a stray cat, put it in your bag and go home.” Cat Daddy and I tend to regard cats in the same way that we regard fruit and vegetables: best sourced locally. I have mixed feelings about subjecting Bri to a long journey to London when there must be plenty of people in Ireland who would be thrilled to have her. Also, I am not convinced that she would have made a good urban cat: as well as having zero fear of cars – she happily rolled around under ours, even with the engine running – she seemed very content in a rural environment. I think she needs somewhere just like her current place but with a regular person feeding, flea-treating and worming her and not leaving her to the mercy of the elements during the low season.

Nothing would give me more joy than to post here in a few weeks’ time, announcing that Bri has a new home. In the meantime, if you would like to help other cats like her, please support Mayo Animal Welfare, who have quite a task on their hands in terms of changing attitudes to neutering, microchipping and suchlike. You can donate to them here:

https://fundrazr.com/euyT0?fb_ref=share__c5K3Zd

 

L’amitié perdue, l’amitié retrouvée

Last weekend, as Cat Daddy arrived home, a lady in the street stopped and said, “Excuse me: is this the home of Louis Catorze?”

You just couldn’t make this up, could you, Mesdames et Messieurs?

When Cat Daddy shamefacedly confirmed that she had the correct house, she introduced herself: “I’m Ginger Impinger’s mum.”

Actually, “Ginger Impinger’s NEW mum” would have been more accurate: after concerned reports emerged on a local forum of an increasingly thin and unkempt GI appearing at various houses in the neighbourhood, a rescue organisation trapped, chipped and snipped him and treated him for a few minor surface ailments. Sadly, whilst he was under house arrest at the rescue’s veterinary surgery, not a single poster went up locally regarding his whereabouts, indicating that the poor boy didn’t have any people (or, at least, none who cared enough), but the happy news is that he is now in a lovely new home.

The TW8 network of who-knows-whom is tighter than a gnat’s behind, so his new mamma and I have been able to find and message each other. And, because Le Blog documents virtually every one of her boy’s visits to Louis Catorze, she has been able to read all about their exploits together. The large area that he covered came as something of a surprise, but GI’s mamma was also comforted by the fact that, throughout his time on the run, he had a little playmate and a safe haven of sorts at Le Château.

She loved the name “Ginger Impinger”, too, and I think she may even have been half-tempted to keep it, were it not for the fact that, if a place is officially one’s home, strictly speaking one can’t impinge. The name she has chosen for him is Dosti – “friend” in Hindi – which is highly appropriate as he was such a good buddy to Catorze, coming to collect him for little jaunts together, dropping him safely home afterwards and generally showing us all that an unneutered (as he was then) male isn’t always the ubiquitous bullying troublemaker.

The meaning of “Dosti” has a bittersweet tinge when I think that Louis Catorze will be losing his only friend; now that he has a permanent home he is not going to be visiting us anymore and, if he does, I am to let his mamma know immediately because, understandably, she doesn’t want him wandering that far. But we have now gained a new friend in his mamma and, most importantly, dear little Dosti finally has the family he deserves. Here is the lucky boy, relaxing in his new place:

On a 7 ans!

Today is Louis Catorze’s birthday, according to his paperwork, although it’s actually the anniversary of the day that he first pitter-pattered into the rescue. The staff there probably tend to celebrate 20th July instead, which is the day that we took him off their hands and ended his reign of money-draining. (He was, and, as far as we know, still remains, their most expensive cat ever.)

At 7 years old he is now officially either Mature or Senior, depending on one’s source. Yet he is still the same tiny, kittenish little scrap of a thing that (we imagine) he was at a year old, which is quite impressive; how many humans could claim to look 1/7 of their actual age?

I had the idea of a huge neighbourhood birthday extravaganza with accordion music, Sun King bunting and party poppers that scatter Dreamies and party powder instead of shredded paper and glitter, but Cat Daddy vetoed it.

“We have had a whole house built and furnished to his specifications,” he sighed. “We have spent, and continue to spend, a fortune on anti-allergy paraphernalia. He has better food and health care than we do. So he can go whistle if he thinks he’s getting a party or presents.”

And that was that.

Don’t feel too bad for the little sod, though. He doesn’t know that it’s his birthday, for a start. And he will have a perfectly pleasant day here at Le Château with us, eating his usual ruinously expensive food imported from Canada and playing with the many lovely toys that pilgrims have kindly given him. And we will be raising a glass to him and thanking the universe for his good health. It will be no different from any other day in his life, but, trust me: this is good.

We hope you are having an equally lovely bank holiday weekend with your furry overlords, and that every day feels like their birthday.

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Le Roi est reconnaissant: vive Le Roi!

I am constantly in humble awe of the wonderful people who contact me to offer advice on Louis Catorze and his condition. Some people have even been generous enough to send him get-well gifts, and he has received some lovely things in the post recently.

It has been especially appreciated at this time; he seems to have turned a corner now, but I have had some dark moments over the last couple of months during which I have wondered whether my boy were truly having any quality of life, being drugged to the point of appearing dead. I am thrilled to say that he is almost back to his “normal” self now.

We are very grateful to all his supporters, but today we would like to thank the following people in particular:

– Sally and Steve, for PERSONALLY delivering a toy, some organic catnip and a new supply of party powder (because Sa Majesté won’t eat the Nutracalm that the vet recommended)
– Tally, for sending not 1 but 2 Cônes for him and a magnificent French cat poetry book to cheer me up
– Tony Green, for the distance reiki sessions that have given Catorze – and us – some decent nights’ sleep
– Kate, for organising the reiki sessions
– Alissa, for the mysterious gift that is on its way
– Marc from Katzenworld*, who sent Catorze a valerian cushion (which has made him go even MORE glassy-eyed and psycho – see photo – but it takes his mind off the tail) and a whizzy new Cône with a front bit that detaches for eating and drinking

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*Marc’s fabulous site is well worth a visit: http://www.katzenworld.co.uk

Thank you also to those of you who have kindly offered donations to help with Le Roi’s medical treatment. As you may be aware, he is not insured because he came with such a long list of pre-existing conditions that we didn’t feel it worthwhile, hence Le Royal Sick Fund.

Whilst we are very grateful for the offers, we shan’t accept, mainly because Cat Daddy and I knew what we were getting ourselves into with Louis Catorze. (The 80-page medical record and repeated disclaimers and warnings from the rescue gave us a clue!) Le Royal Sick Fund should be enough to keep us going for the foreseeable future, especially as we now know what’s up with him and therefore no longer need the eye-wateringly expensive MRI scan.

If you still wish to donate on behalf of Louis Catorze, THANK YOU, but please don’t give to us personally. Below are three worthy organisations that would very much appreciate the help:

– Lilly’s Legacy, an organisation which rescues abandoned and stray kitties; their PayPal account name is lillyslegacy@hotmail.com
– Project PI, set up by a South African vet to treat cats with immune disorders; their PayPal account name is admin@easternvet.co.za
– The Mayhew Animal Home, who spared no expense in treating the little sod; you can donate to them at https://themayhew.org/donate/make-a-one-off-donation/

Je m’occupe de Maman

Can cats feel love? If they could speak, I doubt very much that they would be able to agree on what love is – after all, humans don’t. But Louis Catorze, who is usually a confirmed non-giver of shits, shocked me senseless this weekend by showing a sweet side of him that I have never seen before. (Cat Daddy says he sees it all the time, when they have Boys’ Club together after I’ve gone to bed. Good for him/them.)

Yesterday morning I slipped and fell on the stairs. (Mum, if you’re reading this, don’t worry: I AM FINE.) To my utter astonishment, the first person on the scene was Louis Catorze, who came hurtling through the cat flap upon hearing my scream and hovered around me, sniffing and nuzzling. He then pitter-pattered upstairs to his daddy, and my first thought was, “Typical: even in my hour of need, he’d rather be with his favourite human.”

But it turned out that the little sausage had actually gone to get help. Cat Daddy had been awakened by my yelp but later told me that Louis Catorze had been bouncing around the bed, seeming agitated. This photo shows nothing more than an incidental yawn, but I like to think Louis Catorze is screaming, “Papaaaaaa! Au secooooooours!”

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“How weird that he heard you from outside, and that he came to fetch me,” Cat Daddy said.

And not only that but, having successfully alerted his daddy, he also pitter-pattered back downstairs and hung around to see how I was.

So, whilst I don’t know whether cats can feel love, it seems that even thick ones are capable of thinking, “You may only be my second favourite human, but I still want you to be ok.”