Faire flotter le drapeau bleu

Where would you go on a shopping spree?

Does it count if the spree wasn’t supposed to be a spree? If so, Louis Catorze would – and did – go to, erm, Kitbag, the sports equipment supplier.

We had a Code Bleu situation recently, when Boots – usurper stepbrother of Louis Catorze’s frère-from-another-mère, Antoine – lost his collar again. Catorze visited the Kitbag site and bought three new collars which bore the name of Boots’ favourite football team. However, the delivery didn’t arrive.

Catorze is usually very firmly Team Antoine, since Antoine is a fellow Chat Noir. However, Boots has a shady past and his collar performs the function of an electronic tag, with the bell informing his household of his whereabouts. So, whilst Catorze might appear to be betraying the cause, in actual fact he is doing his frérot a service. And the fact that Boots supports Chelsea gives a clear indication of the kind of cat he is and why he needs a tag.

Très chic.

Because Boots has previous when it comes to losing collars, his mamma has a stash of them in various snazzy styles. However, when she picked one from her supply and tried to put it on Boots, it wouldn’t fully open. Now, ALL collars open … don’t they? Anyone designing a cat collar that requires pulling down over the head, surely can’t ever have seen a cat before?

Poor Cat Mamma tried it anyway, but the spanner in the works was Boots’ fat head (see below). And, since Catorze’s gift had gone missing, this meant that miscreant Boots was collarless and on the rampage. This simply would not do.

Nope – not gonna happen.

I contacted Kitbag to explain the situation and received a lovely reply from Bailey, who said, “I can certainly understand.”

Excusez-moi? So … Kitbag are FAMILIAR with queries regarding fat-headed, Chelsea-supporting cats and their missing collars?

Further investigation revealed that the failed delivery was due to, erm, user error. The collars had been sent to entirely the wrong post code, and I don’t just mean a couple of letters/numbers off; I mean that, of the six characters required, four were wrong. I shamefacedly confessed this to Bailey, who informed me that it would not be possible to redirect or cancel the order.

Catorze then placed a second order and, happily, Boots now has his Chelsea collars, so all is well in his world. The original order, I imagine, will keep going to the made-up post code (which is actually a real post code, just not the one where Boots lives) until someone accepts it.

If you live in the CR0 area, look out for random cats wearing Chelsea collars. None of them will be Boots, since he doesn’t live there, but tant pis.

EDIT: By some miracle, the lost delivery somehow made it to Boots despite the wrong post code, so he now has SIX Chelsea collars. Photographing him in one is something of a challenge as his fluff splays out and covers it, so his mamma needs two hands to separate the fluff, and a third to take the picture:

There really is a collar under there somewhere.
Snoozing happily whilst his mamma manhandles him.
Smart boy.

Les chatteries en pensent quoi?

A few nights ago, I was listening to Sky Sports news. (Well, I say “listening” but I was zoning in and out whilst sending cat photos to my friend on WhatsApp.) One thing, however, did make me sit up and take notice, and that was when the reporter said, whilst discussing French football, “And what do the catteries think of this?”

Excusez-moi? What do catteries have to do with football … unless we’re back to the topic of Kurt Zouma again? And I imagine the catteries would be as disgusted as the cat households, non?

The British public haven’t seen a great deal of Kurt Zouma lately because he’s been out of action with an injury, but I am delighted to report that, one year on from That Incident, his team, West Ham, are on a disastrous downwards slide. At the time of writing this, they are only a couple of points away from the dreaded bottom three of the table:

Oh dear.

Obviously I can’t prove that West Ham’s misfortunes are because one of their number was mean to a cat. But I can’t prove that they’re not, either. And, had Kurt Zouma’s cat been a Chat Noir, there would have been no doubt in my mind whatsoever.

Here is Louis Catorze, so unimpressed with the West Ham performance against Brighton that he can’t even bear to look:

“C’est scandaleux.”

He feels sorry for them. But in an “I pity you” kind of way, not in an empathetic way.

EDIT: after replaying Sky Sports news, it turned out that they were saying “Qataris” but, unusually, they had rhymed it with “batteries” and not with “safaris”. I think I like this pronunciation better.

Le chat qui meugle (Partie 2)

The last time that Cat Daddy enjoyed a drunken Boys’ Club, he adapted an existing Manchester United football chant to make it about Louis Catorze, and it went as follows:

“Hello, hello, we are the Louis boys. Hello, hello, we are the Louis boys. If you are a doggie fan, surrender or you die. We all follow Catorrrrrze!”

If you happen to be one of the two or three people on the planet who care what the original version was like, substitute “Busby” for “Louis”, “City” for “doggie” and “United” for “Catorze”. (And, yes, I realise that that last one doesn’t fit.) Neither Manchester United nor Manchester City even played on that day, nor does Cat Daddy support either club, so I have no idea why he would have thought to do this.

Cat Daddy: “Are you feeling the love, Louis-boy?”

Catorze: “Mooo!”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.]

Me: “Did he just …?”

He did.

Did we catch it on video?

We did not.

Sadly, unless I were to turn Le Château into the Big Brother house and have cameras on Catorze at all times, the chances of me ever catching the moo on film remain zero. Le moo royal will become like a Cthulhu or a manticore, a thing of myth and legend, retold to future generations but with believers becoming the object of ridicule.

However, we all know the truth, don’t you? We may not have actual evidence, but the eight years spent documenting other Catorzian atrocities/absurdities go SOME way to making me a credible witness, non?

A typical Boys’ Club tail hug.

La nouvelle recrue

Football tournaments are usually a big thing in this household, but I haven’t felt inclined to throw myself into the Qatar World Cup in quite the same way that I have for other tournaments.

However, I have just found out that England defenders Kyle Walker and John Stones have decided to adopt the stray cat who appeared at the England training ground in Qatar. The cat has been named Dave and, at the time of writing this, he is undergoing his medical in preparation for his transfer to Manchester City (read more about it here).

Initially, the players had pledged to take Dave home if England won the World Cup. As you are aware – in fact, if you live in England, you’ll be hearing about very little else for the next four years – that wasn’t to be, but it turns out that they couldn’t bear to be parted from their new feline friend and decided to take him anyway.

Photo from independent.co.uk.

How is it that the sun can’t shine on the whole world at once, yet The Mothership manages to beam messages to every cat simultaneously? Clearly, whilst telling our U.K. cats to do whatever stupid shit they were doing at 3am, she was also giving step-by-step instructions to Dave to help him impinge his way into the lives of his target humans. Talk about multi-tasking.

“Let them stroke you … that’s good … now look a bit pathetic, as if you haven’t been fed for weeks. Come on, Dave, these dudes are rich. If you can pull this off convincingly, you’ll be set for the rest of your life!”

Photo from talkSPORT.com.

Obviously it’s going to take time and money before Dave’s transfer is complete. And, no doubt, there will be people complaining about wealthy footballers throwing their resources at one overseas cat when there are plenty in the U.K. who need help. But when young, privileged men show kindness to an animal and set an example to the millions of kids who follow them, that’s surely a good thing, non?

Kurt Zouma, are you reading this? THIS is how it’s done, mon coco.

Good luck to Dave in his new life with whichever of his new cat daddies eventually takes him in. Louis Catorze can’t wait to teleport to the housewarming party, especially if lots of men will be invited.

Peace on earth: non. Goodwill to all men: OUAIS.

Le cri de la panthère noire

Brentford FC have had two games in the last week, and Cat Daddy and I have just listened to one of the post-match podcasts by our friends Billy and Dave, who run Beesotted, the Brentford fanzine.

Billy has quite a loud, booming voice so, when the podcast is on, we can’t really hear much else around us. An atomic bomb could drop and we wouldn’t realise.

You know which way this is going, don’t you?

During the ninety-minute podcast I was making dinner and, an hour or so in, I decided to put some empty glass jars in the recycling. As soon as I opened the door, Louis Catorze ran in. The little sod had been out at The Front the whole time and, because we’d been listening to the podcast at full volume, we hadn’t heard the screaming.

Unfortunately, two blokes in the park clearly HAD heard it. And they were looking over and laughing.

As I continued to tidy up after dinner, more stuff needed to be put out for recycling. I didn’t want to go out there in case the blokes were still in the park and I couldn’t face them again, but Cat Daddy persuaded me that they had probably gone home and/or that they may not have been laughing at Catorze anyway. And, like an idiot, I believed him.

When I went out again, I saw that the two blokes had been joined by a friend. And the THREE of them were looking over and laughing.

Oh. Mon. Dieu.

I wish I could say that this were the most embarrassing Catorzian thing ever. However, regretfully, I know that it’s only the most embarrassing Catorzian thing this week.

On his docking station, charging up for the next round of nonsense.

L’envahisseur de l’espace (Partie 2)

Cat Daddy and I are in the Outer Hebrides. Louis Catorze would have loved the ferry from the mainland; firstly, they have priority seating for pet owners and, secondly, it’s right next to the men’s toilets:

We will disregard the fact that they’ve pictured a DOG.

They are right about the trip hazard, too; Catorze would be weaving in and out of men’s feet, purring and rolling, if he were here.

Before leaving Glasgow, we took a walk along the Clydeside Expressway and were lucky enough to come across this beauty:

If any Scottish followers know the story behind this, we would love to hear it.

Meanwhile, back in London, these were the scenes at the château of Catorze’s cat-cousin King Ghidorah recently. Might I add that my sister and her family have one (1) cat:

Erm …?

Hang on a second … this all seems remarkably déjà vu, doesn’t it?

*Checks back through previous Le Blog entries*

IT IS. I posted these very words in April. Same shit, different cat.

This time the impinger is a known one, called Samba, and he lives down the street from Château Ghidorah. Whenever my sister mentions him, I cannot help but hear Samba de Janeiro, by Bellini, in my head. And, now, so will you. If you’re a football fan you will recognise it as the song that Norwich City play whenever they score, although it didn’t have much airtime last season and, as a result, Norwich have since been relegated.

Regretfully, relations between King Ghidorah and Samba are all a bit Brazil-Venezuela, as you can see:

Sempre assim.

Samba’s humans have had him for six weeks of which they have been letting him out for three, and this seems to me like a short time of house arrest. Not that I’m in a position to criticise as we let out Louis Catorze’s big brother, Luther, after a few days. Well, I say “let out” but in actual fact he escaped, managing to bypass our supposedly impenetrable airlock system. And, on reflection, the fact that we were outsmarted is far more shameful than just being plain irresponsible.

However, Luther knew where his home was. Samba doesn’t. Or perhaps – and this is far more likely – he knows exactly what he’s doing, but just doesn’t care.

Here is Samba, reminding me of another famous namesake: Brice Samba, who plays for Nottingham Forest and who is also known for wasting people’s time and taking the piss.

Well, don’t mind us. You just take your time.

Les pantoufles de Cendrillon

Kurt Zouma has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service and been banned from keeping animals for five years. As he left court, he was greeted by this:

Photo from dailystar.co.uk (SORRY).

No, this isn’t me. (Only because I didn’t think of it.)

We don’t yet know what the community service will be, but I hope it will involve cleaning animal excrement of some sort. Alternatively, he should be made to wear these for the whole of the new football season, on and off the pitch:

Photos taken from adidas.co.uk.
Reminds me of absolutely nobody in particular.

These shoes have been inspired by Snowball II from The Simpsons. But, since Snowball II happens to be a black cat with vampire teeth, we’ll claim it and happily pretend that Louis Catorze is Adidas’ muse.

Aren’t the shoes splendid? The only problem is that they don’t make them in adult sizes so, since I can neither wear them myself nor buy them for Kurt Zouma, I shall, instead, have to choose the least resistant of my nieces and nephews to be the wearer.

This is how much I fancy my chances, with 0 meaning utter compliance and 10 representing an unyieldingness harder than diamond:

Mr Mint Green: 8; Miss Floral, at the back: a solid 12, on a good day; Miss Turquoise: 1; Mr Dark Blue: 4; Tiny Miss at the front: 0 before she learned how to take off her own shoes, closer to 6 now

Un plat qui se mange froid

Remember Kurt Zouma? Remember what he did? The British public certainly do and, given that he’s now being prosecuted AND he had the ignominy of an own goal against Spurs a few weeks ago, it seems that Lady Karma is doing her thing.

However, we certainly weren’t about to pass up an opportunity when West Ham came to play Brentford on Sunday. Now, I’m not one of those who shouts abuse at sportspeople, no matter what they’ve done. Instead, I decided to take a leaf from the Catorzian Playbook of Unsettling Behaviour and just creepy-stare, with the help of one of these:

Good grief.

These items, unbelievably, are not props from The Purge but part of a kids’ party pack of a dozen animal masks, of which seven are cats (and one is a fox but looks sufficiently cat-like from a distance). There isn’t a fully black cat, as you can see, which upset Cat Daddy far more than he will ever admit, so he picked one of the tuxedo cats, which were plain black on the reverse, and wore it inside out.

I bought two sets of masks and handed them to anyone who would agree to wear them. However, it seems we needn’t have bothered, because the rowdy blokes in the West Stand were on it. Not only did they boo every time the ball went to Zouma, but they blasted him with two new, never-heard-before chants. The first was “R, S, P-C-A, R-S-P-C-A!” to the tune of Oops Upside Your Head (aka Louis Catorze’s Chubbing Up Song). And, when Zouma hobbled off, injured, after twenty-nine minutes, he was hailed with a chorus of “Put him down, put him down, put him down!” to the tune of Stars and Stripes Forever.

I would never wish an injury on anyone, not even Zouma. But there was something about it that felt like a karmic coup de foudre.

At the start of the game, one of the blokes who sits in front of us asked me for my score prediction, and I said, “2-1 to Brentford, with Zouma being sent off.” And that’s so eerily close to what ended up happening that I can’t help wondering whether The Mothership had anything to do with it.

Catorze doesn’t need a lawyer because he knows we can’t prove anything.

Ne l’oublions pas

Cat Daddy and I have just returned from a weekend away watching Brentford play Norwich. Louis Catorze was left in the care of a chat-sitting friend and, apart from The Curious Incident of the Bubble Wrap in the Night-Time and a LOT of creepy-staring and screaming, he was the perfect host.

Best not to even ask.

In somewhat related news – well, linking tenuously to football and cats – we really aren’t about to forgive Kurt Zouma anytime soon. During that first match against Wolves, when fans were booing him, I wondered if people would have the energy or the inclination to keep it up for ninety minutes. It seems that I underestimated the elephantine memory of the British public, because we’ve all managed to keep it up for a whole month.

On Saturday West Ham played Liverpool away, and even Cat Daddy, who doesn’t like Liverpool football club, had to raise a smile at these scenes at and around Anfield:

I will even pardon the lack of apostrophe. (Picture from worldsportstale.com.)
Terrifying but nonetheless a flash of genius. (Picture from si.com.)

Scousers, we applaud you. Please pass the baton to the Brummies and encourage them to do something equally brilliant when Aston Villa play West Ham at the weekend.

It’s another month before West Ham come to Brentford, and I’m already giving serious consideration to a placard saying “Zouma, may I have your shirt (so that my cat can wipe his arse on it)?” Best of all, Catorze even knows how to say that in Zouma’s language: French.

Purrminateur 2: Le Dernier Jugement

We have been thinking about a suitable punishment for Kurt Zouma for what he did to his cat.

Ordinarily, for situations such as animal cruelty, I would be of the medieval “sharp instruments meeting with tender body parts” school of retribution but, since I’m a teacher, I’m not really allowed to say things like that. Gratuitous violence is out, and relentless ridicule will have to suffice instead.

Cat Daddy and I weren’t able to watch West Ham’s match against Newcastle, other than a few snatched minutes in the pub with the sound off. As you may be aware, Louis Catorze happens to be a fan of Sunderland, whose local rivals are Newcastle, so under normal circumstances he wouldn’t want anything to do with them. However, the Newcastle fans turning up to the match armed with inflatable cats, and the story of Newcastle striker Chris Wood meowing at Zouma throughout, has made him warm considerably to his bitter enemies.

Photo from dailymail.co.uk (sorry).

Even funnier is that one of Zouma’s teammates allegedly complained to the referee about the meowing. Even my Year 9s wouldn’t have snitched to the teacher about something so pathetic and embarrassing. If it turns out to be true, however, Chris Wood will forever be my hero.

Catorze is also a fan of the latest masterpiece by Jim’ll Paint It. If you don’t know about Jim, people brief him with imaginary scenarios – the more ridiculous, the better – which he then turns into bespoke digital art pieces. After the Zouma incident he was inundated with requests for cats exacting their revenge, and this is what he created:

Photo from Jim’s Facebook page. For more of his work, have a look here.

As other social media users have pointed out, it’s quite clear that the black cat on the right is the one who masterminded this, and he is now sitting back and enjoying watching his devotees do his dirty work for him. And how shocking, yet unsurprising, that he looks so much like Sa Maj. He even has his little white chest tufts.

Tufts very much visible here on this old photo of our mutual friend.

One day, the British public will move on from this. Today, however, is not that day.

Purrminateur: Le Soulèvement des Chats

Cat Daddy and I are still in Iceland. News from Le Château is that Louis Catorze has latched onto the gentleman of the chat-sitting couple and won’t let him get on with his work. This will not surprise anyone.

It seems that the universe has rewarded me for putting principles over points because, last week, after I removed Kurt Zouma from my Fantasy Football team, my players did so well that I was able to climb from fourth place to third in our mini-league. And what a pity West Ham didn’t follow my example, because it’s all kicking off there (no pun intended).

The RSPCA have taken Zouma’s cats away and he has been fined £250,000, which equates to two weeks’ wages for him. However, his teammates are now outraged to discover just how much he earns and are demanding more money. Furthermore, numerous sponsors have withdrawn their support from both the player and the club.

Whilst we don’t find animal abuse the slightest bit funny, we can’t help but crack a wry smile at the fact that a not-especially-nice football club is being brought down by a cat. This is just the first step in the feline plan to take over the world, which might not happen overnight but it will happen.

This is an old photo of Catorze, but I think the evil in his eyes perfectly sums up the feelings of all cats as they plan the next part of their uprising:

“L’âge des hommes est terminé. Le temps des chats est arrivé.”

Ne déconnez pas avec les chats

West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma has been cruel to his cat, and everyone in the U.K. is rightly livid about it.

This was bad timing as I had just moved him into my Fantasy Football team for the new game week. There is a video online showing what happened, but I haven’t posted a copy here as I am sure most of us can imagine what it’s like. We don’t need to see it.

For those who may not be familiar with Fantasy Football and its ways, having chosen our team at the start of the season, every week we are allowed to move one player out and one in. I cannot believe that, of the five hundred or so players available, I happened to choose Zouma, just as he did this.

Once you have transferred your one player in, you’re not supposed to transfer them – or anyone – out again until the next game week. If you do, you forfeit four points. But I would rather do that than have an animal abuser in my team, so Zouma is now gone.

Good riddance.

To cheer us up after this awful story, here are some footballers who are nice to their cats (taken from their Twitter pages). I have no idea what the cats’ names are, so I’ve just made them up:

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) with Babs and Pat.
Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) with Fermez.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) with Reverend Sparkle-Pops.
Bernd Leno (Arsenal) with Baba Ganoush. Come on, this one looks like a Baba Ganoush, non?

L’écharpe jaune

Since Brentford FC stormed into the Premier League, I have been furiously knitting away to create some scarves that match our new away kit. Yellow isn’t my favourite colour but, having seen some other clubs’ horror show kits – Spurs and Liverpool, I’m looking in your direction – I think we’ve got off quite lightly.

Naturellement, Louis Catorze is going through a phase of being a crud-magnet at the moment (see first photo below), and a light wool colour that shows every speck of crud has made my work utterly irresistible to him. He has interfered with this particular scarf at least 8,489 times, depositing various pieces of what I really hope is plant matter along the way, and now the wool is wound firmly around his foot and I can’t get it off (see second photo below). Any efforts to unravel it have been met with objections, and if I am too clumsy with any further efforts I will either snap the wool (not great) or push it towards his rear end (a cataclysmic disaster).

I don’t even want to know.
Uncomfortably close to you-know-where.

So I am just sitting here, not even daring to breathe in case of it ending up in that unmentionable location, and waiting until the little sod decides to move. And the fact that I want him to move is a sure sign that he will be here for the rest of the day.

Cats: just why?

Au bord de la rivière

On Saturday, Cat Daddy and I watched our beloved Brentford play Middlesbrough away.

Louis Catorze always sits on his daddy’s lap during football matches (no great surprise there). However, Cat Daddy tends to become very animated and over-excited, and Sa Maj doesn’t approve of this. In fact, he doesn’t even approve of mild animation and excitement. Cat Daddy has to be a statue, and anything else is unacceptable.

This was the sequence of events during the match:

1. Middlesbrough goal just a couple of minutes in. Unrepeatable expletives from Cat Daddy, moderate fidgeting from Catorze.

2. Brentford goal. Cat Daddy shouts “Yesssss!” sending Catorze springing off his lap and darting into a corner, meowing disdainfully.

3. Catorze returns but to my lap this time, not quite trusting Cat Daddy after his outburst. However, this only lasts about 0.3 seconds and he’s soon back in his happy place.

4. Start of second half. Spirited conversation from Cat Daddy. Catorze doesn’t like this and twitches and squirms, all the while glaring contemptuously at his papa.

5. Second Brentford goal. Cat Daddy says “Yes!” in a deliberately muted fashion. Catorze is off again, meowing disdainfully.

6. Cat Daddy: “[Unrepeatable expletives.] I was really careful that time!”

7. Catorze returns, whining like a dog. Cat Daddy picks him up and roughs him up a little, berating him for being such a complainer. In actual fact his complaining voice and his normal voice sound exactly the same.

8. Middlesbrough defender slips on the wet turf – ironic since the home commentators had earlier suggested that we southern wimps wouldn’t be able to cope with the inclement northern weather conditions – resulting in a third Brentford goal. Cat Daddy can’t be bothered to restrain himself on this occasion and goes all out with the cheering. At this point Catorze has had enough and leaves the room, remaining absent for the fourth Brentford goal and the full-time whistle.

9. Catorze returns – freezing cold and damp – in time for Cat Daddy’s post-match FaceTime call with Cocoa the babysit cat’s daddy, clearly unable to resist the allure of another male voice. And, when Cat Daddy says goodbye, he takes Catorze’s tail in his fingers and waves it at the camera.

I have always been mildly offended that Catorze never chooses my lap during football. However, if the price to pay is not being allowed to even speak, I think I’m happy to leave the boys to it.

Hoping The Bees don’t score anytime soon. Or ever.