Me, myself and HIM: guest blogger Cat Daddy on his woeful life

When I retired, I fully realised that I’d be at home on my own for a lot of my time as Cat Mummy (AKA Cat Freak Wife or simply CFW) plans to carry on working for some years to come. To be honest, that didn’t worry me at all. In fact I was quite looking forward to “time on my own” with the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want, without interruption. Bliss.

I’d clearly forgotten one thing: HIM. Le Roi, as we all know him.

For some inexplicable reason and despite my consistent approach of complete indifference towards HIM, I appear to have become the human in the house that HE is most attached to. Lovely as that might sound to some, it’s certainly not what I had contemplated when considering my future time at home.

There are too many annoyances to mention in one blog, so let me try to take you through a very “average” day spent in retirement. With HIM.

CFW leaves for work. I sleep in. I’m awoken by HIS screaming at the bedroom door to come in. Some cats have a meow that soothes. HE doesn’t. HIS meow is caustic, sounding like an elderly Verruca Salt not getting her way. “Meoaaawww.” And so begins the day. I usually give in and let HIM into the bedroom. We cuddle until I get bored. Not long.

Breakfast used to be an ordeal as HE would meoaaw around me and try to barge into my hand for more cuddles whilst I’m trying to drink my tea. So I have developed a new routine: I make a point of putting out our recycling at The Front. HE follows me. I shut the front door once he’s out and settle down for a relaxed breakfast alone and get on with stuff retired people do.

Surprisingly, this trick works every day. I think HE forgets. When HIS screaming at The Front eventually becomes a threat to our good neighbourly relations, I let HIM in. We cuddle.

I’ve learned that I must get out in the mornings to do stuff that retired people do. HE sees me preparing to go out, looks me in the eyes and lets out a very pitiful meoaaw.

Undeterred, I escape. Freedom.

By the time I return HE is usually doing what cats do best: sleeping somewhere in the house. I tiptoe around so as not to wake HIM, doing retired people’s stuff and, weather permitting, escape to our backyard.

Shortly before retiring I asked one of our neighbours, who is a carpenter, to build some seating at the back of our yard. He named it my “retirement bench” and it has become just so: a lovely tranquil place to sit and read. Until HE appears out of nowhere with an excited meoaaw. We cuddle.

Alternatively, if the weather is rubbish, I’ll listen to music indoors which obviously alerts HIM to my presence so HE joins me for a boys’ music club. Thankfully, the music tends to drown out his meoaaw. We cuddle.

My solo time with HIM ends when CFW returns from work, usually much to HIS disgust. HE sulks a bit, maybe disappears off somewhere but eventually returns.

“Meoaaw!” Group cuddle.

Pre-trickery breakfast.
Retirement bench interruption.
“Don’t leave me!”

Nous sommes sans cesse mis à l’épreuve

We are just a couple of days into Cat Daddy’s retirement, and already I’ve had it with the males in this household.

It’s bad enough that Boys’ Club seems to have taken a darker turn and gone underground – and by this I mean Catorze purring and cuddling with Cat Daddy when I am not around, then disappearing if I try to join in the fun and eventually reappearing and picking up from where he left off if I go away again. But now they are both colluding to ruin my film-watching time, and this is utterly unforgivable.

I have known for some time never to watch a film with Cat Daddy if he’s seen it before but I haven’t, because he ruins every minute by saying things like, “Ooh, this bit’s really good!” or by providing some inane, plot-spoiling commentary. However, I now also know never to watch a film with him if neither of us has seen it but it’s based on a true story that he knows but I don’t. (In fact, this is exactly the same thing as the first scenario, so I should really have figured this out long ago.)

Last night we watched that film about those two racing drivers who didn’t get along, then one of them was hurt in an accident and the other one felt bad. Cat Daddy drove me mad with rage by randomly dropping in pieces of Formula 1 trivia and telling me who was going to win/crash/die next. In the end I stopped the film halfway through.

Me: “Right. Have you finished? Because I’m not starting the film again until you stop talking. If you have anything more to say about Formula 1, say it now and get it over with.”
Cat Daddy: “I was only trying to give some context.”
Me: “I don’t want to hear the context right now. I just want to watch the film. You can tell me the context afterwards.”
Cat Daddy: “Ok. Sorry.”
Me: “I’m serious. No more talking.”

[I pick up the remote to restart the film]

Catorze, jumping onto my lap: “Mwahhhh!”
Cat Daddy: “Bwahahahaha! Just as you say “No more talking”, HE pipes up!”

[Catorze sticks his tail and arse in my face and blocks the screen]

Me: “Move!”

[Catorze moves, but only to turn his body the other way around so now I have the other side of his tail and arse blocking the screen]

Cat Daddy: “You see? Louis appreciates the context.”

And so on, and so on, until what would have been an excellent cinematic experience – and which might even have made me like Formula 1 – had it not been for their stupid interruptions, finally limped to an end.

Mesdames et Messieurs, this sort of thing is no longer just an isolated, silly incident in my life. This is now my actual life.

Qui a chats n’a point de paix

The three of us managed to survive the hottest day since time began. However, it was the following night that posed more of a problem, and now I have a new “worst night’s sleep of my life”.

I changed bedrooms three times – with Louis Catorze in tow each time – in an effort to cool down. And, when each attempt yielded no satisfactory results, I ended up sleeping in the kitchen with the back door open, just as I did that time when Catorze wore his cone and couldn’t get through the cat flap to use les toilettes.

Then, when the storm came at around 2:30am, the little sod whooped with joy and pitter-pattered out to seek the highest point – our shed with the sedum roof – and to scream at the clouds.

Anyway, on a more positive and less weird note, Cat Daddy’s last few days at work are almost here and I am trying to persuade him to write a guest blog entry in the future about what it’s like to be permanently at home with Catorze. Sadly he’s not keen on the idea.

(I actually meant not keen on the idea of writing a guest blog entry, but it turns out that he’s also not keen on the idea of being permanently at home with Catorze. Just the other day I overheard an exchange of meows and “Shut up!”s from the next room, followed by, “Do you hear this? This is a sign of my life to come!”)

Cat Daddy does, of course, have plans for his retirement, and I don’t suppose being followed around Le Château by a vampire-toothed, screaming, psycho animal is one of them. But writing is incredibly therapeutic and stress-relieving, even if the subject matter is the cause of your stress. And Cat Daddy is forever complaining that I portray him as far meaner than he really is (“You make me out to be a complete ****” is his usual refrain) so this would be a perfect way to ensure accurate representation.

Qu’en pensez-vous, Mesdames et Messieurs: a new incarnation for Cat Daddy as a guest blogger? If enough of us bully and pressure him show some support and enthusiasm, perhaps he will change his mind …

Photo taken during one of their many alfresco Boys’ Club sessions: