Hurrah! Someone has FINALLY acknowledged what I have been saying for years: hay fever sufferers, wipe down your cats!
And, somehow, I can’t help singing that mantra in my head to the tune of “Spice Up Your Life” by the Spice Girls (younger followers, ask your parents):
"Pollen in the air
WIPE DOWN YOUR CATS
In your nose and in your hair
WIPE DOWN YOUR CATS
WIPE DOWN YOUR CATS ..." and so on
Wiping down is easier said than done if your pet goes in and out about 738 times a day, as Louis Catorze does. So we try and grab him just before we go to bed as he usually comes up with us and settles across our stomachs like a two-person, living belt, no doubt shedding pollen with every movement. Naturellement he isn’t the greatest fan of being wiped down but, because of the difference it makes to my itchy eyes and to Cat Daddy’s scratchy throat, the little sod is just going to have to suck it up. Plus it’s preferable to bathing him, which would require sedatives (for us as well as for Catorze).
Thank you to both Spa de Sal and Hen Corner for their hay fever advice and for their fight against the evil pollen of TW8. Details of their wonderful products – a health-boosting salt spa experience (no, I haven’t taken Sa Maj there, but I would if I could) and lovely London honey – can be found here:
https://hen-corner-micro-bakery.myshopify.com/collections (scroll down for the honey)
Cat Daddy and I had a long discussion about the right time to take Louis Catorze to the vet, because investigating the sneezing would require a general anaesthetic and that is not something that we feel should ever be undertaken lightly.
However, Catorze scared us witless when his usual breathy post-drink wheezing – a bizarre but utterly harmless quirk of his – sounded more like that awful mating fox yelp that sometimes wakes us Londoners in the night. And, when I checked his face again on Tuesday morning, I could see that his right nostril was somehow enlarged and misshapen. We know our cats’ faces like we know our own, don’t we, so we knew then that it was time.
Cat Daddy took Sa Majesté to the vet that morning and, as luck would have it, he had a sneezing fit in front of her so she was able to see it properly. He was sedated and thoroughly examined, only to discover no blockage whatsoever. It turns out that the little sod is likely to have a viral infection, and the cure is Metacam anti-inflammatory (which, apparently, tastes like chicken) along with … a series of steam sessions to help clear his nasal passages. I’m not joking. “Just turn on the hot taps in the bathroom and shut the door,” is what we were told.
Cat Daddy afterwards: “So it’s cost us £300 to send him on a jolly day out and to find out that he basically has a cold? And now we’ve got to give him tasty meds and a luxury spa treatment? Who does he think he is: royalty?”
Mais bien sûr.
And, to add insult to injury yet again, not only was the little sod super-affectionate and flirtatious with the veterinary staff all day long, but he also stopped sneezing. Since his procedure there hasn’t been so much as a sniff, neither at the veterinary surgery nor here at home. So we have been left feeling hugely relieved but also quite annoyed, and Le Royal Sick Fund is sitting in a corner, crying, after the battering it has received. And Cat Daddy and I may well go and join in.
Here is Le Roi just after he returned home, displaying his macho shaven arm like a tattoo sleeve. Quel. Fichu. Salaud.