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

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: 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.”

L’instructeur de forage

Cat Daddy and I have returned our rented Yule tree, having ticked the box stating that we’d like to rent the same one again next year. (I don’t know how on earth they would organise this as it sounds like a massive headache but, apparently, this is a thing.) I have grown rather fond of it, despite the fact that it’s wonky, misshapen and a bit on the small side.

Cat Daddy: “Does that remind you of anyone?” (He meant Louis Catorze, by the way.)

Our January fitness plans are now under way. How did I manage to fatten up over the festive season when I didn’t even drink? I blame my sister and her husband for their irresistible food, and I am firmly back to my strict routine of step and weights workouts in an effort to remedy this sad situation.

Meanwhile, Catorze has taken his creepy staring to another level. (I know. We didn’t think there were any further levels to attain, either, yet he has managed to carve out another one from somewhere.) The little sod has started to sabotage my workouts, initially by sitting by my head when I am doing my sit-ups and creepy-staring into my face. And, if this doesn’t work, he sits on my step and refuses to budge.

When I change from one set of weights to another, he circles my feet, screaming at the top of his tiny little lungs. It’s like being at one of those awful boot camp exercise places, with a small drill sergeant alternating between barking orders and gawping at you in a combination of resignation and contempt.

Here is Catorze, between screams but well and truly in the zone in terms of creepy staring:

Resignation: “Feed moi.”
Contempt: “Feed moi.”

Le repos de l’âme

After a month of partying in the run-up to Hallowe’en, my liver is dying. So I am firmly on the wagon until at least the end of the month, longer if I can manage it, and I have resumed the exercise regime that had fallen by the wayside.

Louis Catorze – who, incidentally, is still brimming with energy, despite having partied twice as hard as the rest of us – is profoundly displeased about this. The exercise, I mean. Obviously he doesn’t know what the wagon is, nor does he know whether or not I am on it, nor would he give a hoot if he did.

That said, he doesn’t even give a hoot about the exercise as such. He is only displeased about it because it’s a change to his morning routine, and therefore it’s an inconvenience to him. Normally I would be sipping tea at 6:30am with him on my lap, but these days he has to find his own entertainment a couple of times a week whilst I do my step and weights workout. And, on the last few occasions, what passed for “entertainment” in his world was circling my step as I did my sit-ups, screaming his lungs out.

Yes, he has been accidentally hit on the rump with a dumbbell and/or kettlebell numerous times. No, it doesn’t deter him in the slightest.

Obviously I don’t have my camera in my hands when he’s doing the circling and screaming. But this picture, taken by Cat Daddy, shows exactly the sort of face he gives me:

Look at that gap where the lower fang used to be.

Le sport des rois

Cat Daddy and I are home. We are very lucky to be able to go on holiday, but I always look forward to coming home. Louis Catorze, however, disagrees. He greeted us by meowing disdainfully, then wriggled free of my hug and pitter-pattered off into the Zone Libre for several hours.

Cat Daddy: “I don’t know why you expected anything different. That’s what cats are like. If you want an animal that gives a shit, get a dog.”

Now the hard work starts for us, because we are on a serious mission to de-podge after our time away. My sports clothes remained largely untouched in my suitcase throughout our holiday, and we chose to party instead of exercising (it can still be a party with just two people, non?), all of which has very much taken its toll. The fact that our televisions are full of strong, lean Olympians makes us feel even worse about our gluttony and sloth, although it doesn’t stop Cat Daddy from shouting helpful comments at the screen, such as “A gold medal just for sitting on a bloody horse?”

Interestingly, I found out this week that Greco-Roman wrestling is an actual Olympic sport. I thought it was just something I did to pill Catorze, and I gave it this name because of the numerous ancient statues depicting the age-old problem (see link – ah, so THAT’S how you embed a link into whatever words you want! – or Google “Hercules pilling his cat”).

I have also learned that Sa Maj is only 1kg heavier than the Olympic discus. (Yes, of course we have visualised throwing him. I challenge you to absorb that fact and NOT visualise throwing him.) We can’t understand how an individual light enough to pick up and throw is also able to beat me in a Greco-Roman wrestle, but nothing about him has ever made any sense.

Anyway, Catorze, it seems, does not approve of our fitness plans.

Firstly, our cardio activities of choice make too much noise; Cat Daddy’s outdoor static bike whirrs loudly, and my aerobics step involves heavy stomping. Secondly, lying on the ground to do sit-ups gives him the creeps, I imagine because we’re not asleep or dead but also not quite acting like normal, living people, either. The little sod informs me of his displeasure by circling me during my sit-ups, screaming bloody murder.

Yes, it’s somewhat ironic that the screamiest, creepiest animal on the planet would resent us for disturbing HIS peace and making HIM feel unnerved, but, once again, that’s Catorze for you.

I managed to capture his welcome-home face here. Doesn’t he look delighted?

“Merde, it’s her. I don’t want her. I want my chat-sitteur.”

La complainte du jeune marin

Football is a big part of my life. So are cats. Sometimes it’s hard to know where one ends and another begins, and it seems that my brain can’t deal with loving both as much as I do.

Me: “There’s a League 2 footballer called Louis, and the commentators on EFL have just called him Louis-boy.” (This is one of Cat Daddy’s more polite nicknames for Louis Catorze, hence why I thought this story would be of interest to him.)

Cat Daddy: “I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t talk about a player like that.”


Him: “Why would they do that? Why wouldn’t they just call him Louis? Or by his surname, like they do with all other footballers?”

Me: “I don’t know. Maybe because he’s only fifteen and so he actually is a boy? I think it’s cute. Louis-boy. Awww.”

Him: “…”

Me: “Google it if you don’t believe me. Type in “footballer Louis Grimsby”.”

[Cat Daddy taps away at his phone whilst muttering indiscernibly ]

Him, looking at his phone: “Louis BOYD. He’s called LOUIS BOYD. They were calling him by his ACTUAL NAME.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

Him: “It’s a good thing we found this out before you repeated your idiotic story in front of any Important Footballing People.”

[Stonier silence, more tumbleweed, noisier crickets]

Oh dear.

Ok, so I may have made myself look stupid, but I still think Louis-boy sounds adorable. And suddenly I’m keen to know all the goings-on at Grimsby Town FC in League 2.

Our Louis-boy concurs, although he will always be a Black Cat at heart.

A Mariner? Or the albatross?

La panthère noire vit

At the end of last month, Cat Daddy, Cocoa the babysit cat’s daddy and I went on a farewell tour of Griffin Park. Brentford FC’s last season at its iconic stadium should, of course, have ended in celebration, with Brentford winning the play-offs and a huge party, and, sadly, it wasn’t to be. But a tour was the next best thing.

Our group was led by a lovely lady called Sally, and she took us through the section of the stadium displaying fans’ photos on giant banners. If you missed the story about the banners, here it is: https://louiscatorze.com/2020/06/22/un-chat-sur-un-maillot/

As we walked through, Sally stopped mid-sentence, pointed to a face on one section of the banner and said, “Oh my God, look. There’s a cat.”

Me: “Oh. Erm, yeah. That’s … mine.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets from the rest of the tour group, and laughter from Sally]

Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: Louis Catorze’s picture made it past the censors:

Où est Le Roi?

The only thing is that the stretched, angled nature of the final printed version – presumably to give the best appearance on television from the overhead cameras – has given poor old earless Catorze a somewhat, erm, phallic shape. This is rather more apparent in some photos than in others:

Le Roi est … long.

I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to spot him during any of the televised matches, but how lovely that Brentford FC were such good sports.

The league matches of the new football season start today. Let’s hope that the new stadium brings us good luck, and that it won’t be too long before we’re watching football in person.

Le coach personnel

We are very lucky to have a garden that we have been able to transform into a mini fitness area. Any kind of outside space in London is a precious gift but, at this time, we appreciate it more than ever.

Trying to work out at home with Louis Catorze around has had, shall we say, mixed success. I will start with the positives:

The whirring of Cat Daddy’s stationary bike and my clunking and stomping on the exercise step would scare off most cats, but Catorze happily sits and slow-blinks through it all. So he can be a part of our outdoor exercise experience, which is rather nice (at least in theory). He is mildly curious about the exercise equipment, but not excessively so; he is yet to stick his face into the spokes of the spinning bike wheel and have his whiskers chopped off, and I have only kicked him once whilst doing the step workout.

However – and there just has to be a “however”, doesn’t there? – his creepy, silent staring during our workouts is like having a passive-aggressive personal trainer who has such contempt for us that he can’t even be bothered to shout. Yet, just as I start wondering whether the yelly drill sergeant style might be preferable, Catorze proves his versatility by demonstrating that he can do that, too. When I do my sit-ups he pitter-patters around me, up-tailed and screaming like a fire engine. But, trust me, this is no emergency service coming to my aid: this is a great white shark circling his prey, hoping I will hurry up and die so that he can have Cat Daddy to himself.

Here is the little sod, taking a rest between reps (mine, obviously, not his) on top of my jumper and my resistance band, with his disapproving face on display for all to see:

“Fais cent pompes. Puis meurs.”

Le Roi est gros: vive Le Roi!

Louis Catorze is chubbing up a bit (although the picture is a week or two old, as his more recent ones look awful). He’s definitely not a fat cat – in fact, he is some way off being even average-sized – but there is clear evidence of chubbing having taken place: his neck is thicker, and his belly is rounder than it was before (so says Cat Daddy, who can’t seem to stop calling him “meaty” these days). Now, I wonder what could possibly be the cause?

  • Too many treats / too-big meals from us: no, because he doesn’t like food
  • Stealing food from other cats: no (see above, plus he hasn’t yet made any friends from whom he can steal)
  • Lack of activity, due to spending all day under the bed and no longer having 2-metre fences to climb as he did at Le Palais: VOILA

So, what to do about it? Well, given that he’s not overweight – in fact, if anything, this extra poundage probably brings him up to a healthy weight – I’m leaning towards doing nothing. But, with Oscar the dog living to our left, and Bert the dog on our right, I suspect Louis Catorze isn’t going to be doing the level of exploring that he did in the dogless realm that was Le Palais, so we’re going to have to ensure that he gets off his lazy arse and does some exercise. This will be tricky as he’s very all-or-nothing when it comes to play, either really annoying me with his relentless demands or just not bothered. (Mainly not bothered, though.)

Medicating him is the perfect activity for making him run, especially as I only have to think about it for him to take off and therefore it requires zero investment from me. But, as others have pointed out in light of his midnight bubble wrap habit, he could be in need of more play to tire him out. So, when he made his evening appearance yesterday I tried my luck with his fish on a stick.

After 15 minutes of trying, I eventually registered 2 minutes of very mild interest before he got fed up and left the room. It certainly wasn’t enough to get him moving. However, I took the fish to bed with me so that it would be on hand quickly after morning cuddles, and that was rather more successful, with Louis Catorze even managing a few leaps. And is it too soon for it to be having an effect? He spent the morning sitting on the flower bed watching the world go by, & he’s just greeted my mum, who’s come to stay for a few days, with a meow and a roll in the dirt. This is progress!

I am determined to do this again and somehow enforce some compulsory fun, just like they do at those team-building days out at work. He WILL join in and he WILL enjoy himself, or else.