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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On se méfie

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We decided not to bathe Le Roi after all.

Well … when I say “decided not to”, I mean “were too scared to”. You’ve read about The Vet Incidents, therefore you know full well what a horror he can be. So, instead, we asked the vet’s advice when we took the little sod for his monthly steroid shot yesterday.

Between all Louis Catorze’s whining, struggling and kicking, the vet suggested that we sponge him down with plain water if he became too grotty. She also added tactfully, “The only problem with washing cats is that some of them don’t tolerate it.” Which is polite vet speak for, “Try it, and you will die.” Oh dear.

In other vet news, the next fun medical event in Catorze’s life, in a couple of months’ time, will be a blood test to check how his body is handling the steroids. Our vet knows what to expect and is preparing her battle gear already.

Le diable en moi

Today’s trip to the vet was traumatic beyond belief. To be honest I could do with a week or two to allow my heartbeat to return to normal before writing about it but, if I don’t do it now, I shall wake up tomorrow and think I dreamed it all.

As expected, Louis Catorze needed another steroid shot – this time the longer-lasting one – and an antibiotic shot. But, after I reported seeing him shaking his head and shoving his back feet deep into his ears, the vet checked him as best she could under the circumstances* and said he would also need treatment for an ear infection.

(*I say this because the little sod really didn’t make it easy for her to check: he struggled, kicked and yowled so badly that I began to think we needed an exorcist, not a vet.)

The ear treatment process was twofold and, unfortunately, Louis Catorze writhed and complained like crazy throughout both parts, shaking the cleaning fluid and ear drops all over me, the vet and himself. And, because the whole ordeal had to be repeated on both ears, by the time it was over he was soaking wet and looked as if we’d tried to drown him. It was quite heartbreaking to see the fear and confusion in his face when the torment just didn’t ease up. The relentless attack of the cleaning solution followed by the ear drops followed by the antibiotic shot followed by the steroid shot terrified the poor sausage so much that he ran into his daddy’s arms and clung to him for dear life.

“How often do we need to give him the ear drops?” I asked, praying that the vet wouldn’t say “every day”.

“Ideally a couple of times a day …” she replied.

[Thudding sound from my sunken heart hitting the ground]

” … But I can see that it’s, erm, going to be a challenge,” she continued. “Maybe once the steroid kicks in and he’s a bit more comfortable, he won’t mind you doing it so much.”

Hmmm.

Anyway, Cat Daddy is now pouring himself a big glass of Merlot, Louis Catorze is having an apocalyptic sulk under the bed and I’m wondering how the heck I’m going to get the ear drops anywhere near him without him kicking me to death. We need to take him back to the vet in a week’s time so that they can check on his ears again, but I just don’t see them being able to do it unless they sedate the whole darned lot of us first.

Le Roi est de retour!

The vet called at about 7:30 last night to let us know there had been a cancellation, so Cat Daddy took Louis Catorze in this morning for his blood test. I felt quite guilty not feeding him but, because he doesn’t really like food, rather than bugging me, he just watched me eat my own breakfast and slow-blinked politely. The photo above shows him mid-blink (please excuse the surrounding laptops, wires and crap – cropping the photo did virtually nothing to improve it).

The veterinary nurse had previously told Cat Daddy that they would try pinning Louis Catorze down again, “using more people” (more than 4!) and resorting to the sedative only if that didn’t work. We told them that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES was that to happen, and that they were to bypass the brute force and go straight for the sedative; some will disagree with this, I know, but, when a 3kg cat suddenly develops the strength of a grizzly bear and 4 people can’t contain him, it’s because he’s terrified and fearing for his life. I thought, and still think, that sedation was the kinder option.

And, having raced home like a nutter to see my boy, I’m happy to report that he’s fine: eating, drinking, trotting around with his tail up and rubbing gross hairs and cat arse all over our (once-)clean ironing. It seems that he’s already forgotten what happened: one of the joys of having a thick cat!

So we’re £345 poorer but the results will be back next week, and I’m going to be like an annoying child in the run-up to Christmas, fidgeting, calendar-watching and willing the days to pass. In the meantime, I’m to give Louis Catorze 5ml of liquid Piriton twice a day, “whenever he feels itchy”. So that’ll be all the time, then. But … not today. Today is all about cuddles and enjoying Dreamies irresponsibly.

Aux armes, citoyens! 


This evening we took Louis Catorze to the vet for his blood allergy test. The easy bit was getting him into La Cage, as the dopey saucisson has been using it as a bed all week. The hard bit was, well, just being there. If anyone has a cat who enjoys the vet experience and co-operates fully, I would love to know about it (and possibly also swap cats).

The nice nurse asked us to remain in the waiting room whilst they did the test. We asked how long it would take, and she replied, “That depends how well-behaved he is.” Gulp.

Minutes later she reappeared, looking flustered. “We just can’t do it,” she gasped. “He’s leaping around all over the place. He’s just too strong. Are you able to bring him back on another day, when more nurses are available to help? It’s just 2 of us today.”

Oh. Saint. Jésus.

“Erm, could we come through and help, maybe?” I suggested.

“You could try. Would he be better behaved with you?”

Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.

So, there we were: 2 nurses (estimated weight: 55kg each), me (63kg), Cat Daddy (93kg), all simultaneously pinning down a tiny 3kg cat. And … no. We couldn’t do it between the 4 of us, either.

Then Cat Daddy said, “I don’t understand it. He isn’t normally like this.” Yup – when things are this dire, lies always help.

So now we need to take him back on Thursday morning, have them do the blood test under sedation, and then collect him after work. They didn’t charge us this time – probably because they were so traumatised that they forgot – but no doubt the next time will be more expensive than the originally-quoted £280, due to the sedative and the extended stay.

And Cat Daddy will be taking him, given that I can never show my face there again.