Les fangs sont de retour

Louis Catorze’s fangs FINALLY seem to be reappearing from wherever it was that they went.

And I don’t know whether this is just wishful thinking on my part, a genuine consequence of the new way that his mouth fits together or just an illusion because I am home for the holidays and seeing more of the little sod, but the fangs appear to be slightly more prominent. I love it. Whereas they previously appeared as tiny white dots under his jowls, now they have a little more length to them. (More photos to follow, so you can help me decide whether this is true or whether I’m hallucinating.)

This picture was taken when he was doing the Chubbing Up Dance in bed with Cat Daddy. It’s wonderful to have him looking like our spooky little boy again.

Looking fangtastic.

Une histoire brève des fangs

As you are aware, the snout-swelling that Louis Catorze experienced after his dental surgery concealed his famous fangs. The swelling has now receded but I still don’t see the fangs returning to their former glory.

I recently overheard Cat Daddy saying to Catorze, “Your fangs are coming back, aren’t they, Louis-boy?” to which he replied with a little “Mwah!” The friend who chat-sat him when we went to Norwich, is also certain that they’re back, as is another friend who visited us the weekend before. So, curiously, others can see them. I seem to be the only one who can’t.

Cat Daddy, grabbing Catorze’s head and pulling back his top lip like an over-zealous dentist: “What do you mean, you can’t see his fangs? Look! LOOK!” (Interestingly, Catorze just hangs compliantly in his hand whilst he does this. If I did this same thing to administer medication, it would be a gladiatorial fight to the death.)

Well, obviously I can see them when he does THAT. But, when the little sod is pitter-pattering about his daily business, somehow his fangs don’t seem prominent.

Is my eyesight failing? Is everyone else’s? Or are the fangs interdimensional objects which, like Catorze, can travel through wormholes in time and space, appearing and disappearing at will? Will the imminent full moon be the deliverer of the answers to some of these life mysteries, or will she simply bring more questions?

Only Sa Maj knows, and he ain’t telling.

This was Catorze before his dental surgery, pictured on some wall graffiti that we spotted in Norwich.

Où sont les fangs?

Louis Catorze’s follow-up with his royal physician went well.

When I stuffed him into his transportation pod, naturellement there was the usual unearthly screaming. Yet, on the walk over to the practice, he was eerily silent. This is most unlike him. The only moment that he let out a little squeak was when we passed a couple of French bulldogs; no doubt he recognised his compatriots and was keen to bid them a friendly bonjour/m’aidez.

Upon arrival, Catorze made a friend in the waiting room: a fellow allergic cat called Pebbles, the same age as him but twice the size, whose humans thought Catorze’s pod was my handbag until it started screaming. In fact, this is the one disadvantage of the pod. Because it doesn’t look at all like a vessel for transporting animals, I worry that people who see me on the way to the vet will think I have some bizarre screaming holdall – or, worse, that I am walking along making the noise myself.

Bag o’screams.

Anyway, when we went into the examination room, I confessed my monumental medication stuff-up to the vet. If she thought I was an absolute idiot, she hid it well and told me that too little was better than too much. Unbelievably, despite everything, Catorze is healing well and there is no sign of any infection. I have to continue giving the little sod his Loxicom for another five days which, luckily, is very easy since I just blob it onto his fur and he calmly and happily grooms it off. So there is no need to Greco it to him. (Grecoing a liquid is a lot harder than it sounds.) Then, after three clear drug-free days, he can go back for his steroid shot.

When we returned to Le Château, he forgave me instantly and settled on my lap (photographed below). So it seems that the days of the Post-Vet Sulk are a thing of the past.

Le Roi’s fangs are taking their time in coming back. Cat Daddy seems to think they are progressively returning, but I’m struggling to see it myself. Obviously we love him with or without fangs, but they are my favourite part of him and he doesn’t seem like himself without them. Let’s hope that they return fully soon.

Thanks again to everyone who has wished him well.

Where ARE those fangs?

La mise à jour du statut

I am the worst person in the world.

On Saturday, when giving Louis Catorze his Loxicom, it dawned on me that I hadn’t been turning the bottle upside-down to draw the liquid into the syringe. In short, the poor little sod hadn’t had any pain relief since the day after his surgery, and I had just been administering air. I hadn’t noticed because I thought I was drawing in clear liquid and, when nothing spilled when I delivered each dose, I simply thought my technique had improved.

So there I was thinking poor Catorze wasn’t bouncing back from this surgery as quickly as he did from the last one, when, in fact, I’m just a shit cat parent. I debated for some time before posting this, in case I received a torrent of (rightful) criticism for being so negligent, but I decided in the end to take a bullet on the behalf of the greater good so that nobody else makes the same mistake in the future. CHECK THE PRODUCT, Mesdames et Messieurs, especially if it’s one you haven’t used before.

Je suis désolée, Mon Roi. Vous méritez bien mieux que ça.

Catorze’s swollen snout is subsiding, as is his post-surgery chain-smoking drag queen voice, but there is still little sign of his trademark fangs. Something about the swelling, or the way his jaws fit together, or possibly both, means that they are hidden from view much of the time. Even when I position the camera low down under his chin, with him staring haughtily down, I barely see the famous fangs.

Only the tiniest hint of fang … and (I think) a bit of dribble.

Despite being subdued, he did feel well enough to join us when Cocoa the babysit cat’s folks came for dinner, pitter-pattering between people and sitting right in the middle of us, listening to the conversation as if it somehow concerned him. And he also felt well enough to bolt out at The Front as our guests left, just at the moment that I shouted to Cat Daddy, “Don’t let him run out!”

(Cat Daddy blamed me for not holding onto Catorze, but the real culprit was Cat Daddy’s whisky-induced slowness in closing the door.)

Catorze has his follow-up with the vet later this morning, which will give an indication whether everything is unfolding as it should. I still haven’t decided whether or not I should confess my horrendous mistake although, since the vets follow Le Blog, they will probably know by now.

The little sod thanks everyone who has wished him well, especially Cocoa the babysit cat and his sister Chanel who sent him a toy and some non-crunchy duck and venison treats (which he LOVES). Hilariously, Cat Daddy thought the treats were for us and I almost wish I’d just kept quiet and let him eat them.

Le patient est de retour

Louis Catorze’s second, and hopefully last, dental surgery went well. He is now minus two more teeth: his last remaining lower canine and the small incisor next to it. And we are minus £435.

The timing has turned out to be less than optimal, to say the least. We are barely out of the monetary dearth that is January AND we’ve just got back from a country where a double vodka-cola and a pint of beer cost £26 AND both our roof and our car need repairs. It’s not the best time for little sods and their private health care to kick us in the wallet, but tant pis.

When we collected Catorze from the TW3 branch of the vet, he had just come round from the surgery and was beating the sides of his pod and trying to unzip it from inside, all the while screaming his guts out. However, after a chillingly silent car ride home, he then escaped out at The Front within minutes. So clearly all was well.

He has a couple of dissolving stitches in his mouth (although no Cône has been prescribed, so I hope we can trust him not to mess with them), and we are to give him a dose of Loxicom every day until his next vet visit at the end of the week.

It was hard to take a good picture at this time (the morning after he came home), with the feeble living room light struggling to illuminate him and the unsightly backdrop of our coffee table with rubbish all over it, but somehow his chin and cheeks seem to sit differently. And, sadly, his trademark fangs don’t appear to protrude as much as they did before. Hopefully, as the swelling subsides, they will realign and he will look a bit more like the Roi that we all know and love. Right now it’s almost as if they swapped him for another cat, and the only reason I know they didn’t is because nobody in their right mind would swap him in rather than out.

Thank you for all your good wishes. We will keep you updated.

Who the heck are you?

Un imbécile et son argent

I am the worst person in the world. Not only did I forget to Broadline Louis Catorze this month but, when I finally remembered and went to his cupboard to take out a vial, I discovered that we were all out. Never in all my cats have I let this happen; I am usually meticulously organised when it comes to their health matters.

Luckily I realised my mistake on the day of Catorze’s steroid shot, so I was able to email the vet and ask them to order in some Broadline and, in the meantime, to give him an emergency dose of whatever flea and worm medication they happened to have lying around. I know that lots of us let the treatments lapse, and some don’t do them at all, but this is Catorze: we all know very well that, if I don’t do it this month, given that he goes rummaging around in all manner of undesirable places, we will be spending the festive period dealing with the maman of all flea infestations, fixable only by setting fire to our soft furnishings, and worms crawling out of his arse end and mating with each other to make more worms.

When it was time to leave for the appointment, despite having clung like a limpet to Cat Daddy all day long, Catorze had disappeared. We eventually found him hiding underneath a sheet that was drying in the dining room and, after the most undignified and unwieldy struggle hauling him out, with the little sod screaming his lungs out, we were able to stuff him into his transportation pod.

One steroid shot, one flea and worm treatment and one Gabapentin (for his possible* continuing toothache) later, we were £138 down. I took Cat Daddy’s credit card into the surgery with me and he was most displeased when I had to run back out again to ask him for his PIN, because the bill came to over £100 and therefore I couldn’t do a contactless payment. There were Unrepeatable Expletives on the way home, but Sa Maj was utterly mute so at least I only had to listen to one of them.

*It’s “possible” toothache because he wouldn’t let the vet look in his mouth, so she was unable to confirm it for sure. We now have to Gabapentin him and, if he eats more normally as a result, then most likely he did have toothache.

The minute we arrived home, Catorze pretended to forgive me and to come for lap cuddles, but in reality he just wanted to roll the flea treatment all over a scarf that I’m knitting.

And there is still the matter of the removal of his final troublesome tooth, which the vet suggested having in the New Year. I don’t suppose there is a “good” time for planning ruinously-expensive feline dental surgery. But January sure as heck isn’t it.

Haemorrhaging money because of this little sod.

Les bisous du vampire

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.

Invisible fangs.
Just a hint of fangs.

La chirurgie dentaire

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).

During our very long wait, Cat Daddy was bored so he, erm, photographed the Animal Bus.

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*.

*His normal is not like most people’s normal.

Poor spitty Roi.

Les dents du Roi

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).

Old man white hairs … plus a scratched nose and a chipped ear, most likely from scrapping with Goliath.