Le long monsieur aux longues jambes


Summer is over, and spider season is here. And there is a spider in the bathroom whom I have named, erm, Peter Crouch.

Hello, mate.

He lives behind the toilet and usually keeps to himself but, every now and again, he scuttles out when I flush, as if perturbed by the noise. I don’t really mind him being there but I wouldn’t want him hiding in a toilet roll and then being scooped up and shoved somewhere unmentionable.

Louis Catorze eats bugs, which is a wonderful thing. However, he is highly selective about the ones he eats. If it’s one that is far away and minding its own business and, in fact, you didn’t even know it was there, oui. If it’s right in his face, then it’s a firm NON.

I don’t know if this is a near/far-sightedness problem, or whether it’s just him being an arse. Most likely it’s a bit of each.

Last night I tried to encourage him into the bathroom to help me out with Peter. Naturellement he wasn’t playing ball, despite the fact that he has been happy to interrupt me in there at various inappropriate moments when I HAVEN’T wanted his company. Eventually I had to grab him and place him next to Peter, but he couldn’t see him and just randomly sniffed around, whining.

I placed him back there again, this time with his face close to Peter. Nope.

I placed him back there again, this time with his whiskers ACTUALLY TOUCHING ONE OF PETER’S LONG LEGS. Still a nope.

Me: “You’re just not going to do this, are you?”

Catorze: “Mwah!”

I am now going to have to ask Cat Daddy to rehome Peter, which he will do but he will resent it every step of the way as he sees this kind of thing as very much Catorze’s job. He is already piqued at the fact that he has to chase away the squirrels and the parakeets, so this request is not going to go down well.

EDIT: Cat Daddy dealt with Peter but, the next day, there was a startlingly similar spider in the bath. Did Peter come back, or have we cruelly separated a spider couple?

Pretending to be on Bug Watch but, in reality, doing absolutely nothing.

Les araignées de la nuit


The autumn equinox is here, and this time of year always fills me with deep, deep joy. The one thing I don’t like about it, however, is the fact that it’s spider season.

I know, I know, they help us out by catching flies. But still … *shudder* …

Despite living opposite a park, we don’t seem to have encountered too many of the little critters as yet. I can’t help hoping that the summer heatwave dried them all to a crisp but, in reality, it’s probably because it’s uncharacteristically warm. So they must still think it’s summer and just haven’t thought to creep into our houses as yet.

Although I spent much of my childhood and early adulthood with crippling arachnophobia, these days I don’t mind sharing my space with a spider. Given the choice, I would obviously rather not. But I can cope, as long as it’s small and it stays the hell away from me. Plus we have a cat who kills and eats creepy crawlies. So, all is good, oui?

Not quite.

Of course this is Louis Catorze we’re talking about, so there’s a little twist to the tale.

Catorze is the Happy Gilmore of spider hunters. In case you haven’t seen the film, it’s about a baseball-player-turned-golfer who can manage a hole in one from miles away, but not a short, easy putt of a few centimetres. This is the perfect analogy for Catorze and spiders. He is great at spotting faraway spiders who are just minding their own business at the other end of the room, and he will happily leap off laps to eat said beasties straight off the wall or the floor, even in the dark. But a spider that is right in front of him: nope. If I place him next to a spider he just looks straight through it, then looks gormlessly at me and pitter-patters off.

I hope that the spider population will keep a respectable distance this autumn. And, if not, I hope that I will have some success with my arachno-tutelage of Catorze. The picture below shows my ingenious scientific spider-eating training in action, and naturellement it takes into account the cat’s innate predisposition towards doing the opposite of whatever is expected or wanted:

Yes, those big spider eyes are cat biscuits.

*EDIT: I’ve just been told that Happy Gilmore played baseball, not golf. Serves me right for getting drunk during the film!

Cinq ans d’esclavage

Yesterday marked the 5-year anniversary of the glorious day that Louis Catorze came to live with us.

Because of this length of time, we thought we were highly knowledgeable in terms of the many sub-edicts of Little Sods’ Law. But it seems that more and more of them progressively come to light that we never knew existed. He really is the gift that keeps on giving.

We can now announce the following new addenda to the Law:

1. If you are in the middle of changing bed linen and become distracted, even for just a second, any black cat in the vicinity will be irresistibly drawn to the unguarded, undressed white duvet and pillows.

2. The strength of the cat’s attraction to the duvet and pillows will be inversely proportional to the cleanliness of the cat.

If you are easily repulsed by gross cats, please look away now.

I have no idea what he did to get into such a state. Nor do I know what most of this stuff even is, although I fear that those things on his left cheek (our right), are dead spiders.

Cat Daddy: “You’re going to have to move him. I’m not touching him. He’s your cat.”

[It hasn’t escaped my notice that Catorze is always “my” cat when he’s done something bad or cost us a lot of money.]

Cat Daddy again: “Oh. You can’t move him, can you, because of your shoulder? So I suppose I’m going to have to do it?”

Mais oui.

Anyway, the little sod wasn’t budging from the duvet and clung on as if the lives of every man on the planet depended on it. Eventually he was ejected but, somehow, in all the chaos, the dead spiders were dislodged. I now fear that they might be lurking somewhere inside the folds of the duvet. Ugh. The only thing worse than spiders is hidden spiders. IN YOUR BED.

Cat Daddy, sinking into a chair and rolling his eyes: “Oh, don’t worry, we’ll find them. First thing in the morning, probably stuck to your face or mine.”

And now I can never sleep again.

I am fairly sure that the best recovery from surgery does not involve restless nights fretting about duvet spiders. And I expect that this is all part of the Dark Lord’s grand plan to take me down – making it look like “post-operative complications” – so that he can have Cat Daddy all to himself.