Une chanson pour fêter l’anniversaire de Sa Majesté Louis Catorze, Le Roi Soleil

Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside-down.
And I'd like to take a minute just to let you know.
I'll tell you how I became the Sun King of Le Château.

In north-west London was where I was found.
In fact, NW10 was my stomping ground. 
Chilling out, scratching and making some noise,
Screaming at people, chasing after boys, 
When a very kind lady, who saw I was sick,
Took me to a local rescue really quick.
I had a long, long wait but was picked one day. 
They said, "You're moving to Le Château to be Le Roi Soleil."

I screamed and I hollered at them day after day.
I was so excited when they sent me on my way.
They bade me farewell, told me I was a lucky cat, 
And, as soon as I'd gone, they said, "Well, thank God for that!"

Ooh la la, this is first class,
Drinking water out of a Bordeaux glass!
Is this what the cats in TW8 live like?
Hmmm, this might be all right!

I meowed for a chauffeur and, when he came near,
The licence plate was French and it had cats on the mirror.
If anything, I could say that this cab was slow.
But I thought, "Nah, forget it. Allons au Château!"

I pulled up to Le Château about two or three
And I said to the chauffeur, "Je vous remercie!"
I looked at my home, and what a wonderful thing
To sit on my throne as the rightful Sun King.

L’homme au masque de fer

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*SPOILER ALERT: THIS BLOG ENTRY REVEALS THE ENDING OF “THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK”*

Someone once told me that my naming of Louis Catorze had “forever ruined French history for her”. So what better way to empathise with her concerns, and to give le royal nod to the recent Oscar winners, than to watch a historically-questionable Hollywood adaptation of an acclaimed Alexandre Dumas novel, giggling like a little child every time Louis XIV is mentioned?

The Sun King is played by a man from Los Angeles, D’Artagnan is from Dublin, and two of the three musketeers are from Illinois and the Isle of Wight. But, as someone who has convinced half the world that my cat from a North London rescue is a French monarch, I practically invented the suspension of disbelief. So this was no problem to me.

The similarities between Louis XIV and Louis Catorze are staggering, the main one being that both are tyrannical despots who live in luxury as the peasants, who are forced to fund their lavish lifestyles, languish in poverty. And the single, minor difference is that Louis XIV, according to musketeer Athos, “is cold and cruel, and cares only for himself” … which is not strictly true of our little sod as he also cares for Cat Daddy and male friends/neighbours/tradesmen/trick or treaters/Ocado delivery drivers.

The end of the film shows the human Louis clapped in irons and locked up in the dankest, most squalid part of the Bastille prison, which is not a million miles from what Cat Daddy has threatened when Louis Catorze has woken us in the night with his whining/scampering/rodent-bringing/bubble-wrap-popping. And the positive and uplifting conclusion of the film, apparently showing the Sun King bringing prosperity and peace to the citizens of France, was actually down to the actions of his (much nicer) impostor twin brother, Philippe.

Cat Daddy: “You see? I think we ended up with the wrong cat. I want to adopt Philippe. There has to be a Philippe out there for us.”

Maybe, but not quite yet … after all, the human Louis reigned for over 72 years.

What’s that in cat years?

Le chat (un poème spécial pour la fête d’Halloween)

B9116EC7-7EFA-4767-9947-6514114EB0AFOnce upon a midnight dreary, while I slumbered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, sweetly dreaming, suddenly I was blaspheming,
As of some one loudly screaming, screaming at my chamber door —
“’Tis some little sod,” I muttered, “screaming at my chamber door —
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I was sober, for I know it was October;
And each waft of limey odour chilled me to my very core.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
For my eyes, no sleep, just sorrow – sorrow at the screaming jaws —
Of the loud and rude shitweasel whom the demons name Catorze —
Bugging me for evermore.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Votre Majesté” said I, “truly some silence I implore.
But the fact is I was dreaming, and you caused my wild blaspheming.
And so loudly you came screaming, screaming at my chamber door;
That I know full well I heard you” — here I opened wide the door —
Darkness there and nothing more.

Back into the chamber, learning that my ears were still a-burning,
All at once I heard paws turning, somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is how the Sun King pitter-patters;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, this vile din I can’t ignore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore —
’Tis Le Roi and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
Pitter-pattered a small Sun King, tail aloft with odious roar;
“Though thy fur be foul and gritty, thou,” I said, “‘tis quite a pity,
Ghastly, grim and noisy kitty, wandering fresh from canine war —
Tell me what the heck you want now, for thy screaming’s quite a bore!” —
Quoth the Sun King, “Nevermore.”

“Salaud!” said I, “thing of evil! – little sod, if cat or devil!
He’s a fiend that walks among us, fangèd demon with four paws –
Tell my face with mouth a-yawning if, before the new year’s dawning,
I shall see a peaceful morning sans disturbance from Catorze.
Take away this hellish racket, now; begone, thy screaming jaws!”
Quoth the Sun King, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, cat or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting.
“Get thee back into le salon, sur la chaise that you adore!
Leave no cat hair as a token of that scream thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my cursèd sleep unbroken! Quit my chamber, out the door! —
Take thy face from out my sight, and take thine arse from off my floor!” —
Quoth the Sun King, “Nevermore.”

And the Sun King, fangs a-gleaming, still is screaming, still is screaming
By the basking bust of Bastet just beside my chamber door;
And my eyes have not stopped weeping: thanks to him, I am not sleeping,
And the lamp-light o’er him creeping throws his shadow on the floor —
And my peace, ‘cause of that crotte de merde who’s screaming at my door —
Shall be granted — nevermore!

Les pèlerins du Roi Soleil

IMG_8830I can’t think of the last time one of my friends was organised enough to make plans with me several months ahead of time. However, not only does a certain little sod have people who are, but they happily come from all over the place to see him.

The Sun King had a lovely day yesterday with one of his beloved and generous pilgrims (see above for the fabulous gift that he received) and he has further pilgrimages arranged for as far ahead as September, from as far away as Mexico.

Prior to receiving his pilgrims, Cat Daddy and I often have a conversation like this:

“So, who’s coming today?”
“[Insert name of pilgrim].”
“Where are they coming from?”
“Somewhere north of, erm … the equator.” [I usually mumble the words “the equator” to try and make it sound like an actual place.]
“What do they do for a living?”
“I don’t know.”
“Are they single or married?”
“I don’t know.”
“How old are they?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, how old do they look in their Facebook profile photo?”
“I don’t know, because their Facebook profile photo is of a cat.”
“So you haven’t asked our guest ANYTHING about themselves?”
“Erm, well, I know about their cats.”
“Of course you do.”
“There’s Buddy, who’s black with 3 white feet and a white chest, who weighs 4.2kg. He’s going to be 2 on 7th November and he once brought a mouse and put it into [Pilgrim]’s laptop bag. And there’s Princess, a seal point Siamese weighing 5.1kg, who celebrated her 8th birthday last week and who is scared of the vacuum cleaner but fine with the hairdryer.”
[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

I know this must sound as if I’m not interested in people. I am. But, quite often, I’m more interested in cats. And, luckily, I know that not a single one of Louis Catorze’s pilgrims will be insulted by this, because they all feel the same way.

They are, after all, coming to see him, not me.

 

Le locataire du Château

Cat Daddy and I have a guest staying with us at Le Château. Now, for most cats, a big deal such as a new housemate would need to be brokered with expert skill and precision; however, because this is Louis Catorze, and because our guest is male, we had a feeling everything would work out fine.

Mind you, I wasn’t prepared for Louis Catorze to love Houseguest Matt more than he loves me, nor for Houseguest Matt to be quite so smug about it.

This is how things have gone so far:

– Seconds after Houseguest Matt’s arrival: Catorze runs to welcome him
– Day 1: snuggly selfies on Houseguest Matt’s bed
– Day 6: Catorze steps over my lap to get to Houseguest Matt’s
– Day 7: Catorze starts sleeping on Houseguest Matt’s bed at night instead of ours [although Houseguest Matt has just read this over my shoulder and he informs me that, in actual fact, this began on Day 3]
– Day 11: The pair of them invent their own meowy language that only they understand
– Day 14: Houseguest Matt and I do that thing where you sit at opposite ends of the room and both call the cat’s name at the same time … and it doesn’t go well for me

I feel partly responsible for this as I should have stomped down on it after Day 1. But I was too laissez-faire, and now it’s probably too late.

And, far from feeling bad about stealing our cat, Houseguest Matt finds it hilarious. His standard response is: “He’s MY cat now! Mwahahahaha!”

The upside of all the treachery, of course, is the fact that we could do a lot worse than a guest who dotes on the little sod and looks after him better than we do; it certainly beats those who are neutral (as a couple have been) and those who take one look at him and run away, screaming (yup, this has happened, too). Le Roi has no idea how much he’s lucked out with Houseguest Matt … but, fortunately, we do.

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La coupe du Roi

Le royal wine glass is no more. Cat Daddy kicked it over last week, smashing it to pieces and dismissing his accident with the words, “Well, we’ve all done it.” (No, we have not. Absolutely nobody else has done it, ever. Only Cat Daddy.)

Anyway, this left us with the onerous task of finding an appropriate replacement, which is not as straightforward as it sounds because Le Roi will not drink from any old glass. So Cat Daddy grumpily put down an old Bodum storage jar thing (minus the stopper) as an interim measure until we found something which Sa Majesté would deem acceptable.

Cat Daddy returned from the kitchen with an assortment of glasses in his hands, ready to try them out one by one. However, to his delight, he was met by the sight of Louis Catorze’s silly snout deep in the Bodum jar as he slurped away.

And that was that; as far as Cat Daddy is concerned, we don’t need to bother looking for a new drinking vessel. I, however, miss the elegance of the wine glass; it was just so much more fitting for a Sun King. I’m sorely tempted to try him out with a few glasses from our collection and, if none of them meet with royal approval, buy him a new one.

So … opinions on this one? Too much?

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Plus claire la lumière, plus sombre l’obscurité

What a week it’s been at Le Château. Events include a grovelling apology from me to Ocado on behalf of you-know-who (pretty sure it should be you-know-whom?), a reply from Ocado claiming the right to hazard pay for their traumatised drivers (I think they were only half-joking), and another somewhat unfortunate incident.

On Wednesday night there was a knock at the door at 10:30pm: Marius-Olivian driving the Lemon van, a whole week early?

However, when I checked my Ocado order again I realised that he was actually on time, and that I had messed up: I’d accidentally booked the delivery for this week instead of next week. So, not only was there no room in the fridge for the food because I hadn’t sufficiently run down supplies, but Cat Daddy was still away and there was a greater risk of Catorze-Ocado carnage.

Naturellement, as soon as I opened the door, notre ami shot out and began sniffing around the Ocado crates, getting in the way of Marius-Olivian as he was unloading. He called out, “Go back in, kitty!” Louis Catorze took no notice.

After Marius-Olivian left, waving Catorze a jaunty goodbye as he did so, I felt somewhat relieved; getting in the way of the unloading, whilst not very helpful, wasn’t nearly as bad as him sending yet another driver fleeing in fear. But, alas, the night was not over. It was at that point that the little sod discovered the motion-activated porch light at Bert the dog’s house next door, and the next few minutes went something like this:

1. Cat activates light
2. I reach to grab him
3. He scuttles off out of reach and refuses to be caught
4. I turn around to go indoors
5. Cat activates light again
(Repeat indefinitely, or until one party collapses from frustration and fatigue.)

I couldn’t just go to bed and leave him to annoy yet another set of neighbours – he’s already made us quite unpopular enough – so I was forced to wait until he had finished his game. And he only decided to stop after hearing the local fox’s mating/war cry (still not sure which) and having the uncharacteristically good sense to realise that, if he didn’t come in, he might be eaten.

I can’t cope with this monster on my own. Thank goodness there is only 1 more sleep until Cat Daddy comes home.

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