A genoux

We are so grateful to our eagle-eyed French friend who, during our absence, reported cramp-like symptoms in Louis Catorze’s back left foot, causing him to limp and whine a little.

Because this only happened a total of 3 times during our 2-week holiday, and never for more than a minute each time, we didn’t ask her to bundle Louis Catorze into his pod and take him to the vet. But, when I witnessed it twice the day after our return, I decided to take him myself. And, fortunately, I also took the precaution of filming the limping, because I knew that the little sod would refuse to demonstrate it to the vet when it really mattered.

I had been quite upset the night before the appointment, wondering whether he was on some sort of painful, nerve-related, post-Gabapentin comedown, so it was actually a relief to be told that he had dislocated his knee. Apparently there are 4 levels of severity when it comes to dislocated joints, and Catorze’s is the lowest level due to the fact that it pops easily back into place each time, enabling him to walk normally again immediately afterwards. But there’s nothing we can do about it other than give him Metacam for pain relief and monitor him to make sure that it doesn’t deteriorate.

The vet also told us not to allow Louis Catorze to become overweight, as excess chub would put stress on the knee joint. I assured him that, because Catorze doesn’t like food of any kind, this would be no problem whatsoever.

Cat Daddy, later: “Another defect to add to his list of defects. I guess it’s all part of being the runt of the litter.”

Actually, given that Cat Daddy himself has knee problems, and that my neck pain sometimes requires me to have steroid injections, it would appear that Louis Catorze is … turning into his parents.

Here he is, treating his dislocated knee with the sensible caution that it deserves:

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Je crie, donc je suis

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A couple of nights ago, Cat Daddy and I decided to go to our lovely local pub for dinner. It’s only at the end of our street – a short, 3-minute walk – so well within my diminished physical capabilities. Naturellement, as soon as we opened the front door to leave, Louis Catorze shot out like a speeding bullet and refused to be caught.

“Never mind,” I said. “We’ll only be an hour or two. He’ll just have to sit at The Front until we come back.”

Mais non: Louis Catorze had decided not only that he was coming with us, but that he would announce this fact very loudly to all within earshot.

“Oh dear,” I said, as we continued walking. “I’m sure he’ll shut up and go home in a minute.”

Mais non: the little sod continued to follow us, tail up, his screams ringing out embarrassingly through the street.

“Oh God,” said Cat Daddy. “He’d better not follow us all the way to the pub.”

Luckily, he didn’t: at that point, he decided to duck into a neighbour’s garden and carry on screaming.

Now, had that neighbour been an unknown person, we would have just left Sa Majesté to it, pretended we were nothing to do with him and kept walking, then picked him up on the way home. But, unfortunately, he happened to choose the house of someone whom we know quite well and who knows Catorze by sight. So, had they come out of their house to investigate the diabolical racket, it would have been shameful beyond words.

“We’re going to have to catch him and take him home, aren’t we?” said Cat Daddy. “And, seeing as you’re still not meant to be lifting things, I suppose I’m going to have to do it?”

Mais oui.

So Cat Daddy marched back down the street to where Louis Catorze still sat screaming, scooped him up with one hand like a fairground claw machine grabbing a soft toy, and carried him home. Not much is funnier than the sight of a highly annoyed man striding purposefully down the street, cradling a tiny, floppy, screaming cat.

We know quite a few of our neighbours and are on good terms with them (so far). Thank goodness none of them witnessed this.

J’adore le parc

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I’m now over halfway through my post-surgery recovery, and things been quite hard as the fog of the anaesthetic has worn off and the realisation has dawned of what lies ahead: in other words, at least another fortnight of not fully being able to what I want, and being mostly stuck at home with a cat who couldn’t care less whether I live or die.

I’ve had a few dark moments when I have wished Luther were still here, because he was the perfect nursemaid when I was ill: instinctively knowing, caring and not leaving my side. I’ve felt a little sad wondering how I could have gone from that to this, yet also resigned to the fact that there is nothing I can do about it because Luther isn’t here anymore, and Louis Catorze is.

Yesterday afternoon Cat Daddy took me for my daily, medically-prescribed walk to the park across the road from Le Château; we have often talked about how Luther would have claimed it within a few days had we moved here with him, whereas Catorze has shown zero interest during the whole year that we’ve been here. However, this time the little sod shocked us senseless by deciding to come with us.

Although he didn’t vanish off into the farthest corner, as Luther would have done, for a short while it was like having Luther back with us. Louis Catorze hung close to the bench where we sat, yelling and sniffing, retreating home only upon the arrival of a menacing gang (an elderly couple) and their status dog (a tiny but very angry bichon frisé). And, when we got back, he even spent some time on my lap, in my favourite pose: with his torso and paws on me, and the less desirable arse end well away from my body.

Luther very often gives his little brother a beyond-the-grave kick up the arse when appropriate, and I really did need this one. I hope Catorze continues to remember that he likes me, even though I will only ever be, at best, his second favourite human.