If Louis Catorze and I were a celebrity couple, we’d have broken up ages ago due to “Conflicting Work Schedules”; we’re simply not home and awake for long enough, and at the same time, to really make the most of each other. However, today, most unusually, he actually wanted to hang out with me during the day. And, because this was the first time in ages that I could look at him in proper daylight (the lighting in Le Château, like Le Roi himself, is not the brightest), I got to see the shocking state of his dear little face. Look away now if you’re in any way squeamish.
His under-chin area is a mass of what looks like both dried and partially-dried blood, and I suspect it needs cleaning but I daren’t try myself for fear of making it worse. Every so often he rubs his chin against my knuckles and whimpers, presumably because it hurts, and, the last time he did this, he rubbed so vigorously that the skin broke and clear fluid went all over my hand. Quite frankly this made me feel ill, but I’d rather he scratched in a controlled way against my soft fingers than in a frenzied way with his sharp claws whilst itch-yelping. Ugh. The sacrifices we make for our “pointless pieces of fur” (which is what Cat Daddy calls Louis Catorze when he’s cross with him).
The only reason I’m not rushing him to an emergency vet right now is because, inexplicably, he’s purring, relaxed and happy to be around me. In fact, he won’t leave me alone. But I think he’s going to have to go to the vet at some point next week.
Please wish him – and the poor veterinary staff – good luck.
Louis Catorze has been high on the attention from his visitors since the weekend, racing about, constantly demanding attention and generally being a pain in the arse. However, yesterday he was brought rapidly back down to earth with a trip to the vet, for the vaccinations that he was unable to have the last time.
I wasn’t able to take him so he went with Cat Daddy instead. After the previous shockers that we’ve had, I had expected something like the apocalypse, only worse … but I’m happy to report that all went well. Apart from a minor waiting room débâcle in which he roused his other feline comrades into some sort of mass sing-song/protest session, the whole experience was without incident.
The vaccinations took place smoothly, his temperature and weight were fine (he’s put on another 150g and now tips the scales at a portly 3.6kg), and overall the vet was delighted at his improvement. In fact, she told Cat Daddy, “Is this really Louis? As in, skin problem Louis? I can’t believe how much better he looks!” Better yet, there was no Post-Vet Sulk upon getting home; in fact, he was all over Cat Daddy, who was working from home yesterday, and annoyed the crap out of him all afternoon. Here he is having a rest from it all:
How lovely to have some good news for a change. We couldn’t be more thrilled.
Louis Catorze looks terrible at the moment, so much so that I’m having to resort either to using oldish photos on this blog, or ensuring that the angle/focus/distance are such that the worst bits of his face aren’t visible. (Obviously if you are reading this then you’re an animal lover so you will sympathise, but I understand that not everyone wants to see something that looks, to the untrained eye, very like a severe case of animal neglect.)
It’s been hard to monitor his condition given that I barely see him in daylight hours, but I’ve just had a look at his face during some very rare garden rolling-around time and he looks horrendous. He’s lost pretty much all the fur on one side of his jawline, and a lot of the fur on the other side of his jaw and under his chin (only visible from the side and underneath – from the front he still looks normal-ish). He also has bloodied cuts on his face, presumably from over-vigorous scratching, and just now, when I witnessed one of his scratching sessions, he put his paw so far into his ear that I thought it would never come out. So could it be that something in his ears is causing this bother? Yet another question for the vet tomorrow, along with the zillions that I already have.
My debit card is donning its battle gear in preparation for the battering it’s going to get tomorrow. I haven’t dared even ask what the cost is going to be for vaccinations plus the skin scraping test plus possibly an antibiotic injection (I’m sure he has an eye infection) plus possibly an ear mite treatment (not confirmed but wouldn’t surprise me). I’m fully expecting tomorrow to empty out what’s left of Louis Catorze’s sick fund, although I’d spend a million pounds to get results for him. What pains me at the moment is that I’m spending money, but he’s not getting better. In fact, he’s getting worse.
It’s now more apparent than ever that his grumpy moods are directly proportional to his flare-ups: when he’s well, he’s alert, energetic, playful and sociable. Now he hides all day, runs when he sees me and only feels safe to come near me when I’m asleep. I’m desperate beyond belief for this skin scraping test to tell us something. Please send the little sod all the good wishes you can for his vet visit tomorrow, and please pray for the poor staff who are going to have to deal with him.
Alas, no, I’m not talking about the moon anymore, but about Louis Catorze’s general temperament: his demeanour is blackening rapidly and, as ever, it appears to be proportional to the deterioration of his allergy (which I’ve not pictured as it’s pretty awful). The fur around his eyes is thinning, and the underside of his chin feels terrible: not just rough, but weepy and positively cavernous with scabs. (Sorry if you’re reading this over dinner.) When he scratches – which is pretty much all the time – he lets out his awful frustrated itch-yelp which is painful to hear. Happily it’s not QUITE as severe a flare-up as the one he had last winter, but it’s still enough to make him a miserable sod.
Although he’s very affectionate when we’re in bed (presumably because he knows we can’t medicate him whilst lying down), we barely see him these days, which is a pity as I’m on my summer holidays so I’m home all day. And, when we do see him, he eyes us with the suspicion reserved for someone who were about to assault him, and he skittishly edges past us and hides. His routine is to get up with us at around 8:30, eat, go out, then come back in and spend the rest of the day in his Secret Sulking Spot that we haven’t yet managed to locate. (I’ve looked in all the usual places – La Cage, the Forbidden Greenhouse, the suitcase, under beds – but to no avail.) Then we don’t see him again until bedtime, when he will reappear and snuggle up with us. That last point reassures me somewhat that he doesn’t totally hate us, but for most of the day it’s as if we don’t have a cat.
The only possible explanation for this recent allergic breakout is Louis Catorze’s illicit forays into the Forbidden Greenhouse; in fact, I am still mystified by the fact that dust didn’t register in either of his allergy tests despite the fact that he relapses EVERY TIME he comes into contact with it. The dust mite controllers are whirring away, the beeswax candles are burning, he’s being Atopicaed and Piritonned regularly (I need to up his Piriton, in fact, from a couple of times a week to twice a DAY, which is going to make me even less popular), yet it’s all a wasted effort if he sneaks past me and into the dustiest places I know.
So we’re powerless to do anything at the moment but take comfort in the fact that it will pass, and that he will snap out of it. I just hope that this will happen soon.
Louis Catorze is pretty unconcerned about all the fuss and furore caused by his test results. Here he is, displaying his best “pretty unconcerned” look:
However, he’s also looking super-healthy, with glossy fur, virtually no scabs or broken skin, and bald patches that are slowly filling in. And he’s chatty, chirpy, swishy-tailed and full of energy. Something we’re doing is working for him right now; let’s hope it continues to do so for as long as possible.
We’ve had no news as yet from the vet about the skin scraping, so I’ve been looking into other possibilities. Some very kind friends recommended a bioenergetics company who analyse animal hair samples and prescribe a toxin-free remedy, so I’ve been in touch with them and requested a testing kit. The best thing about the remedy is that it can be dropped into Louis Catorze’s drinking water or onto his skin, as opposed to being syringed into his mouth after terrifying the life out of him with a surprise attack. Sometimes it’s all about the delivery: the best cure in the world is no good to me if violence and bloodshed are involved.
At £100 this remedy is not cheap but it has to be worth a go, just in case the western medicine route sends us down another dead end. I’m not sure if Cat Daddy will agree as he thinks alternative therapies are for hippy-dippy airheads who eat fairy dust and pink sparkles; that said, he never reads this, so I might just try it anyway and see how long it takes him to find out.