People who haven’t experienced the horror joy of meeting Louis Catorze often assume his photos to be fake, because his fangs don’t look as if they should belong on any actual cat (nor, indeed, on any animal known to zoological science).
I’m quite flattered at the assumption that I would be knowledgeable enough to doctor pictures so convincingly but, no, they aren’t altered; those teeth are the work of Mother Nature and her brief dalliance with Satan. The fangs stick out permanently whether his mouth is open or closed, but how much depends on a number of things: the camera angle, the direction in which Catorze is looking, and also his mood. Yes, his mood. If he’s in a psycho, playful mood, for reasons that we cannot fathom, his fangs are more prominent.
In a way this is a good thing, because gives us some warning that things are about to go awry. However, there is nothing we can do to stop it.
Here are some of the many faces of Le Roi, taken over the course of this year, showing how much the visibility of the fangs can vary. That last one may well be recycled as his Official Hallowe’en Portrait for this year, as I don’t imagine he will be remotely compliant when it comes to posing for that later this month.
Louis Catorze’s dental surgery went well. Because the procedure took longer than expected, he missed the Animal Bus back and so we had to collect him from TW3. Whilst there, a little boy in the waiting room pointed to me and said, “Wow! Look at that lady’s cat bag!” (great) and a manic, disobedient puppy called Duke, who dragged his poor human into the practice with unbelievable force, licked my elbow as he passed me (not so great).
Le Roi had to have THREE teeth out, all from his lower jaw. There is a fourth one – also from his lower jaw – which will need to come out later but which couldn’t be removed this time, because that many deep extractions in one go would have been too much. He will have a follow-up consultation next week, and X-rays in six months or so to determine the right time to remove that pesky fourth tooth.
Luckily none of these teeth are his trademark vampire fangs. Obviously had he needed them removed we would have done it, but it would have been very upsetting indeed. A vampire cat without fangs is, erm, not really a vampire cat.
Catorze was very disorientated when he returned home, sniffing everything as if it were his first visit here, but this was nowhere near as unnerving as his silence. He didn’t make a sound from the moment we collected him and, at the time of writing this, he is still mute (with the exception of one yowl when I stabbed him in the arm with my nail scissors – see below). As you are very much aware, noise is what he does, so the lack of screaming is deeply, deeply uncomfortable.
We had been told to remove Catorze’s bandage when we arrived home, but he defiantly resisted all attempts to do this. The vet had said it would be easy. It wasn’t. It was just like trying to find the edge on a dodgy roll of cheap cling film, except that the roll of cling film fought back. So I am going to have to either take him in again on Monday to have the bandage removed, or keep trying over the weekend and risk further stabbings to le bras royal.
Catorze will, apparently, “look rather sorry and horrible for a while” (Cat Daddy: “So what’s new?”) but, in actual fact, apart from being a little drooly, and apart from sporting a new stab wound on the arm, he’s doing much better than we expected. All we need is for his voice to return, and he will be fully back to normal*.
Louis Catorze is due to have his tooth extraction today.
I don’t feel great about this. I am an anxious person by nature and I am particularly anxious when it comes to his health issues, which just seem to keep coming (although, to be fair, we were warned about this). And this week is my first full week of the new school year, so the timing really couldn’t be worse.
Catorze is also ageing faster than Dorian Gray’s portrait. His white hairs are becoming more and more numerous and, when we compare him to pictures from two or three years ago, the difference is startling. The fact that he’s an old man with the constitution of a swatted gnat doesn’t make him an ideal candidate for surgery, regardless of how common the procedure.
As ever, the one positive in this situation is the fact that he doesn’t appear to know or care that he’s not well. He is still carrying on with life as he did before, and loving every bit of it. If his health were half as robust as his sass, I know that he would get through the surgery with no problem whatsoever.
Please keep your fingers crossed for the little sod. Cat Daddy and I will be awaiting his return with ample Orijen (and water to dampen it).