Le Spécial

It’s rather ironic that, after panicking that Louis Catorze’s skin flare-up might be an allergic reaction to The Special One (my merino wool scarf), and after shutting myself away and panic-speed-knitting like an absolute demon to finish the darned thing quickly, there is now no football due to the Covid 19 virus.

I finished the scarf quite some time ago, but it’s now sitting in the under-stairs cupboard, out of reach of curious pitter-pattering paws. The plan was to take it out on match days only, handling it very gently both to keep it from unravelling – because I accidentally cut off two stray ends of wool before I had knotted them, and now they are too short to knot – and to stop too many stray fibres from being dislodged and transferred onto La Personne Royale. But now, of course, with no football and with the weather turning unscarfworthy, it lives permanently in its dark prison, having barely seen the light of day.

After researching merino wool, I have discovered that it’s actually LESS likely to trigger a reaction than many other fabrics. But, since we will probably never know the cause of Sa Maj’s irritation, we intend to keep treating the scarf in the way one would handle an unexploded World War II bomb. And, knowing Catorze, it would be typical of him to be allergic to a hypoallergenic substance just to be difficult.

They say that the football is only on hold until 3rd April, but this seems like an eternity. And the thought of having to fill in the time by making actual conversation, with actual people, about things that aren’t football, makes me shudder.

What a good thing there are still cats.

“Où est le football?”

Le deuxième Cône

Louis Catorze has been Côned for almost three weeks – far longer than any of us expected or wanted – in which time he has managed to do the following:

– Escape over the fence into That Neighbour’s garden during supervised outdoor time, Cône and all, and get stuck coming back

– Escape over the fence into Oscar the dog’s territory, as above

– Escape out at The Front, after which he was promptly apprehended by Cat Daddy with the stern words: “The Front is no place for a Côned cat!”

We have also made the following discovery, Mesdames et Messieurs: Cônes get DIRTY.

Forget about washing my hands to avoid spreading Coronavirus: if I could amputate mine every time I touched Le Cône, I would. (And, unfortunately, touching is inevitable as we are constantly having to straighten it or detach the front part.)

Having seen the little sod scratch it with his gross back feet, lick it, dribble on it and even – shudder – rub it on his arse* when attempting to clean himself whilst wearing it, we decided that it would be a good idea to clean it.

Now, our problems with this were as follows:

1. The fabric edges would need time to dry out after cleaning.

2. Leaving Catorze sans Cône whilst waiting for it to dry was absolutely out of the question. (He is noticeably less itchy since the vet visit on Tuesday, but we don’t trust him quite yet.)

*Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, animal owners, but, if your pet is Côned for any period of time, you can be certain that they will have attempted to clean their lower portions at some stage, and therefore there will be ANIMAL ARSE ON LE CÔNE.

Cat Daddy’s ideas were:

1. Clean Le Cône, then put it back on Catorze immediately, whether or not it were fully dry (nope).

2. One of us could physically restrain him during the time it took to dry (HELL, nope).

The other option – and the worst of the lot – was, of course, to just leave it without cleaning, and there was no way I would allow that to happen, especially in the midst of an antibacterial product famine.

So I bought a second Cône. And Catorze wore it whilst the other was drying.

It was £10.80 very, very well spent indeed.

Enjoying some fully-Côned and chaperoned time in the exercise yard.