Le miracle du printemps

Oh. Mon. Dieu. A spring equinox miracle has taken place at Le Château.

I was somewhat reluctant to mention it for fear of jinxing it, but I’m going to take a chance. What’s the worst that could happen (apart from plunging back into the unending purgatory that had become our existence prior to this day)?

As you know, since Louis Catorze’s first dental surgery in September, we have been adding water to his Orijen to soften it. This was only supposed to be temporary whilst he healed, but the little sod decided that this was how he wanted it forever. Then he didn’t. Then he did again. Then he wanted water heated to 70 degrees. Then he wanted boiling water. You get the idea.

Now that he has had his second dental surgery, I was about to devise a complicated plan for gradually reducing the water by 0.001 millilitre/degree increments when Cat Daddy cheerfully informed me that he had already served Catorze a couple of portions of completely dry food. And, apparently, Catorze had eaten them.

This sounded far too good to be true. But, when I tried it myself, Saint Jésus et tous ses anges: I had the same result.

No more will we have to throw away untold quantities of rejected Orijen when our serving skills haven’t been up to scratch. No more will we have to boil the kettle multiple times a day, only to use a minuscule amount of the water each time. No more will we have to tell non-resident chat-sitteurs to visit 78 times a day and to give him 0.4 teaspoonfuls of food per visit, sprinkled with 4.73ml water heated to 100 degrees. And no more will the silly sod starve himself rather than consume one pellet of unsatisfactorily-watered food. This is all très big news indeed.

As well as feeling elated beyond belief, I also feel guilty because, despite everything, my gut tells me that Catorze was doing this because he was in discomfort. If he were only doing it to be a contrary shite, I’m sure he would have strung it out for a lot longer.

Feeding Sa Maj is now a delight. We dish up the dry food, and he eats it. And, because he’s no longer suffering, he’s eating more.

Cat Daddy: “So we’ve spent £1,000 on surgery so that he can eat more of the most expensive food on the planet. Great. That’s money well spent.”

A spring in his step. And in his appetite.

Des jonquilles aux derniers lilas

The spring equinox is here.

Last spring, we had the most beautiful daffodils in the world and everyone admired them. Although I’ve always loved a cheering display of these heralds of spring, I have never thought individual daffodils to be truly beautiful until I saw these ones that Cat Daddy had planted the previous autumn. Whilst they were recognisable as daffodils, the ragged edges gave them an untamed oomph, like the kind of daffodils one would more likely stumble across in Faeryland than on earth.

I loved our first spring with them. Sadly it was our ONLY spring with them because, as soon as they had withered, Cat Daddy pulled them all up again (although a few somehow escaped the cull, and we are still debating what to do with those). This was partly because daffodils are toxic to cats – and maybe we should have known this before, but the list of cat-incompatible plants is so long that it would be impossible to memorise everything – but also because that late winter/early spring was when Louis Catorze’s health took an especially bad turn. I don’t think we will ever know what caused him to deteriorate, but introducing a new thing known for its toxicity probably wasn’t smart.

So now the daffodils have gone to a new home with my mum, whose cat has no health issues and steers well clear of flowers. I hope my mum enjoys them as much as we did for that one brief season.

Here is one of our daffodils, photographed last year:

Fun while it lasted.

And here is the reason why we can’t have nice plants:

It’s all his fault.

Presque le début du printemps

When I was looking back over past blog entries the other day (as I sometimes do, in an “Oh my God, did he really do that or was it just some awful dream?” type of way), I remembered that, this time last year, Louis Catorze was Côned.

Naturellement, I am desperately hoping that we won’t have to adopt the same horrible measures again, and I can’t seem to stop myself from neurotically studying photos of Louis Catorze this time last year, searching for a sign that he is better now than he was then. And I think he is. It’s very hard to tell, because he can look pretty normal in some light and utterly awful in others. Plus, last year, he’d also had his skin biopsy which added a further layer of itchy complication into the mix. But, this time, we acted a lot more quickly to introduce/up the steroids, so hopefully that will be enough.

That said, knowing him, he will probably find some new and unexpected way of sabotaging our efforts. He usually does.

Anyway, Catorze certainly isn’t acting like a sick cat. In fact, even Cat Daddy commented that the little sod had been having a fine old time outside, gadding about in the Zone Libre and enjoying the early spring. It would have been nice had he done this on that Wednesday afternoon instead of screaming through my podcast for a whole hour, but tant pis.

One of Catorze’s favourite things to do is sitting on Oscar the dog’s summer house roof. We are certain that he misses his old sparring partner, and that he goes there to look for him.

“Où est mon ami?”

Rester en bonne santé

The week before last, after around five days of being clean, Louis Catorze started scratching again and his inner eye corners began to swell, JUST like this time last year. This time we didn’t hang around so, as of last Monday, he is back on one steroid pill a day, and this means that the day-long psycho screamathons have restarted.

This is completely the opposite of what is supposed to happen (see below), but that’s Catorze all over:

Nope. (Taken from Trudell Animal Health.)

Cat Daddy, shouting to be heard over the screams: “I don’t know what’s wrong with him. He’s gone bloody demented.”

Because we don’t know what triggers his allergy and are highly unlikely to find out, all we can do for the moment is keep pilling him and blasting him with the beeswax candles, wear earplugs and hope for the best.

Over the last six years we have changed our minds about 9,052 times about what could be causing his problems. For a while we were convinced that it was some sort of household item, because Catorze’s worst ever episode* in January 2014 took place when he was an indoor cat, before he came to live with us.

*I had since referred to last year as his worst ever episode but, having compared photos, I can now confirm that January 2014 was, in fact, worse. The length of time in Le Cône may have made last year seem worse than it was yet, with hindsight, I think this may have saved him.

However, last year he was – and remains – an outdoor cat, and his eyes seem to look the weepiest when he’s just come in from outdoors, indicating that something outside is irritating him. We have noticed this on numerous occasions during the last few months, which is most bizarre considering it’s the time that most plants are asleep. Unless, of course, he’s allergic to soil. Or water. Or perhaps, several years on from when he was originally left behind by a UFO, his body is finally starting to reject our air, and what he really needs in order to thrive are the atmospheric conditions of his home planet, wherever that may be.

Please keep your fingers crossed that we can hold it off and stop it from turning nasty.

Le courage fait des disciples

Not that I concern myself unduly with numbers – it’s all about quality rather than quantity for me – but it seems that the frequency of my recent postings has cost me a few followers.

To be honest, I get it. I appreciate that people don’t want to read quite so many posts, and that one can have too much of a good thing (although Cat Daddy would argue that Louis Catorze cannot, by any reasonable interpretation, be regarded as a “good thing”).

Believe me, it was never my intention to post almost every day. However, documenting each detail of Catorze’s condition and all the associated developments is a very useful record for me and, had I not done so, I think I would have struggled to remember what we’ve done and what we haven’t. There have been so many vet appointments, medications and tests that, after a point, they all blur into one.

If you are still here, thank you so much for bearing with us and for supporting us despite having greater priorities at the moment than a silly French vampire cat who won’t do as he’s told. Let’s hope that this wave of saddening news – both Catorze’s and those of the world in general – will soon pass.

“Merci à tous!”

Le printemps, c’est l’époque des projets et des plans

The dark winter seems a lifetime away now, and, somehow, the longer days give us the feeling that we have so much more time to do things. That’s what it all means to us, at least. To Louis Catorze, it means burrowing deeply into his igloo and never coming out.

Cat Daddy: “This isn’t normal. Staying in there all day is like one of those sensory deprivation torture things. This is what they do to prisoners of war.”

Me: “But we’re not subjecting him to it by force. He’s chosen to go in there.”

Cat Daddy: “Exactly: he’s so thick that he doesn’t even KNOW he’s torturing himself! He’s going to come out an institutionalised vegetable with no eyes, because he’ll have evolved not to use them. And he’ll be completely brain-dead because he won’t have used that, either. On second thoughts, maybe that particular ship has already sailed.”

I did remind Cat Daddy that evolution happens progressively over many generations of creatures, and not with just one animal over a couple of weeks, but he wasn’t really listening. He had a point about the brain-dead bit, though.

If Sa Maj were our human child, we would be picking up his bed and physically tipping him out (and possibly also making him get a job, as a 9-year-old cat is probably about 50 in human years). But, because he is a cat, he just gets to lie around in his pit and not deal with any other living souls if he doesn’t want to. And the worst we will do is complain about him to strangers on the internet and transform his convertible igloo into the warmer-weather bowl shape.  

Is it possible to be disgusted at his laziness and, at the same time, envious of his life?

Il faut cultiver notre jardin

The spring equinox is here, which means brighter days and a renewed sense of joie de vivre. And, as if to mark this theme of vitality and optimism, someone or something has puked in our vegetable patch, right on the bit where we plant our salad leaves and kale. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Believe me, I thought it, too, and it was also the first thing Cat Daddy said upon discovering it (right after all the swearing). But, disgusting though this is, when you have just one animal who eats pretty much just one thing, you soon get to know what their regurgitated food looks like. This was much too copious and too, erm, orange to have been produced by Louis Catorze. I know his brew like I know my own name and, trust me, this ain’t his. 

So, thoughts? The only other possible culprits are: 

  1. Foxes (highly likely) 
  2. Badgers (unlikely but not impossible)
  3. Other cats (seemingly likely but we never see any in our garden, ever, so I am a little sad at the idea that they don’t come to befriend Catorze yet they make the effort to come here to vomit)

As with most other things that go on at Le Château, I don’t suppose we will ever find out the truth. In the meantime, I shall be praying for rain to wash everything away and buying my salad leaves from the supermarket. 

This picture is of Sa Maj sunning himself and rocking out to the Rolling Stones during Boys’ Club, because, obviously, I wasn’t going to post a photo of the vomit. 


Joyeux printemps

Happy spring equinox from all at Le Château. From now, the light will officially overtake the darkness, bringing warmth, new life and sunny evenings on the patio with kitties pitter-pattering sweetly around us.

I hope you like Louis Catorze’s official spring equinox portrait. Photographing him frolicking gaily among the spring flowers took some doing, non seulement because we only have a grand total of about 4 flowers but also because, every time I went outside to take the picture, he would stop his gay frolicking and come running to me, all squeaky and up-tailed, to nuzzle my ankles. I did wonder why, if he likes me so much, he didn’t just stay indoors with me in the first place, but that’s Roi Logic for you.

Anyway, I finally got him by sitting in wait on the cold ground by the grape hyacinth with my camera at the ready. And it was worth the wait:


J’adore hurler

It’s February! Hurrah! We haven’t yet experienced enough days of the month to justify me being so happy about it, but the fact that it’s no longer January is good enough for me.

Something about the shift from winter to spring, imperceptible though it is, has given us all a much-needed burst of renewed energy. Cat Daddy and I have resolved to spend more time outdoors, sorting out the garden, going on walks, that kind of thing. Louis Catorze, on the other hand, has decided to put all his efforts into yelling at every possible opportunity.

Most cats yell when they’re hungry; however, given that Louis Catorze doesn’t like food, this cannot possibly be the reason for him. Despite the fact that he has the whiney voice of a spoilt child who has been told to go to bed, sometimes his yelling is very cute. 6am, however, isn’t one of those times.

His first yell tends to be when he rolls in from his outdoor all-nighter, 15 incredibly annoying minutes before my alarm. He pitter-patters downstairs with me, watches me dish up his food, then promptly ignores it and goes outside. Purpose of yell: unknown.

There’s a bit of a racket upon my return home after work, too, which I expect is because he’s been alone all day. Purpose of yell: welcome-home greeting / “about bloody time” type of retort.

He reserves the worst of it for the evening, when he wants us to hurry up in the kitchen and settle with him on the sofa. He pitter-patters to the living room doorway, yells, pitter-patters back to us and yells some more. If we ignore him, he does it again and again until we do what he wants, all the while his tail pointing up. Purpose of yell: wanting snuggles / utter selfishness.

This photo was taken a couple of nights ago, right after I gave into his vociferous demands and followed him into the living room. The smug little sod immediately settled on my blanketed lap, all puffed up and proud that he’d got his way, and gazed at me with his weird, glassy, extra-terrestrial eyes.


Given that a shouty, up-tailed Roi is a happy Roi – and his scab-free face seems to confirm this – we’re inclined to just let him get on with it. (Whatever “it” might be; your guess is as good as ours.)

Le solstice d’hiver


The winter solstice is almost here! Soon the days will gradually start to get brighter and will bring, along with the new light, the promise of spring and happy times.

This time of year is said to be most auspicious for making wishes for the future but, to be honest, we have everything we want: a home, food in the fridge & a happy, healthy Roi. So, to thank you all for your support, we have decided to donate £1 per person following Le Blog to an animal charity*, and to wish for a more positive future for the less fortunate kitties out there.

We are sure Catorze will have no objection to sacrificing a few festive treats to help his comrades. Plus he’s thick, so he won’t know.

May you all feel the magic of this beautiful season, and may your cats forever feel lucky and loved.

*Louis Catorze donated to Lilly’s Legacy, a rescue group which can be found on Facebook and which helps stray and missing cats. If you’d like to donate to them, too, their PayPal account name is lillyslegacy@hotmail.com.