After a suggestion from one of my lovely blog followers, I have been putting a bowl of hot water in each of the rooms most frequented by Sa Maj in the hope that the extra moisture in the air might help his eyes.
When we first adopted him we were told that he only drank from glasses, and that under no circumstances would he drink from a bowl. “I’m sure he’ll use a bowl eventually, when he gets thirsty enough,” I replied cheerfully. He didn’t. So we had no option but to provide him with his own special glass. (Well, it was either that or have him randomly drink from any receptacle that he came across, which is asking for trouble.)
Naturellement, after a lifetime of refusing to drink from a bowl, the sudden presence of bowls from which we DON’T want him to drink has made him decide that he might be interested after all. And the only thing that stops him from doing it – apart from me taking my phone from my pocket to catch him in the act – is using hot water straight from the kettle which, despite being the best for adding moisture to the air, comes with its own, obvious problems. (Don’t worry: we are fully aware that Sa Maj is stupid enough to scald himself, so we ensure that we are around to keep him under Suicide Watch. Once the water has cooled and he is no longer under surveillance, no doubt he has a good old slurp and renders this experiment a complete waste of time.)
Cat Daddy has also kicked and/or threatened to kick more bowls of water than I can count. So, between the two of them, the men of the household are doing their best to make sure that this whole thing fails dismally.
Me: “We could always buy him a plug-in air humidifier?”
Cat Daddy: “[Hysterical laughter followed by unrepeatable comments peppered with rude words.]”
Fortunately Catorze continues to remain in good spirits and is utterly unbothered by his condition. In the meantime, we shall keep topping up the boiling water in the hope that it does him good.
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?
Louis Catorze’s fur is in a dreadful state due to the non-stop rolling in the workmen’s dust and garden soil. It’s not just surface dust that can be easily brushed away; believe me, we’ve tried. Somehow it has penetrated quite deeply and, whilst he looks ok in photos (apart from this one, clearly), when you stroke him he feels gritty, claggy and vile. He doesn’t appear to be aware that he’s gritty, claggy and vile, but then he’s not aware of much.
Cat Daddy thinks he needs a proper wash with water, which could be true. But, if you have followed Le Blog for a while, I think you can probably anticipate how that will end. There’s also the fact that work in Le Jardin is still ongoing so, if we wash him, he’ll only go straight out and roll around in dirt again. The one thing worse than the prospect of washing such a dangerous, psycho cat is the prospect of having to do it twice.
Yet leaving him with filth-drenched fur is not an appealing thought, especially as he has skin problems, and, if he grooms the gritty, claggy, vile fur, it essentially means he will eat the dirt.
So … what do you think? To wash or not to wash?
I’m thrilled to report that, after a few days of entrapment, Le Roi’s face is looking much better. He still looks very scabby around the edges and, if you saw him in the street, you’d be forgiven for mistaking him for one of those feral cats who live on landfill sites and are riddled with fleas and mange. But his open wounds are healing nicely so, on Saturday, we let him outside for the first time in a few days.
Poor sausage was so delighted that he galloped out at top speed and has pretty much been outside ever since, rolling, chirping, chasing bugs and, very occasionally, having a cheeky wander into Oscar’s territory. In fact, even though it’s raining right now, he’s still out there, happily allowing himself to be rained on and absorbing all that lovely rain water to rub all over our sheets later.
Saturday was one of the hottest days of the month so far, but nevertheless Cat Daddy cleared out the greenhouse to make it more pleasant for his boy. Until we bought Le Château it had been in the same family since it was built in 1884, and there were things unearthed in the clear-out that I swear had been lying there decaying in the greenhouse since that very date: fish bonemeal garden fertiliser (no idea what this is, but it sounds bad), various museum-piece garden tools which could probably double as torture instruments in horror movies, and about a zillion terracotta pots of varying sizes, all of which were sticky with cobwebs and dust. So everything that had the potential to be Roi-unfriendly was cleaned, put away or dumped. The greenhouse will never be the ideal place for him to go rolling about in, but it’s now considerably improved.
The next steps will be the food overhaul and the rather more daunting garden makeover, which will be especially tricky as we have no clues whatsoever to guide us. But I feel we still ought to do SOMETHING. I will never, ever stop looking for things that could make my boy’s life more comfortable.
I often say that I prefer excess cold to excess heat; when you’re too cold, there are measures you can take which will warm you up whereas, when you’re too hot, nothing whatsoever cools you. Today has proven that I was right all along, although being right doesn’t help in the slightest and, in fact, just annoys me more.
That said, it can’t be much fun being a black, fur-covered animal in these record-breaking temperatures, either; poor Louis Catorze has spent the last day or two shunning all close physical contact, preferring instead to flop languidly around the house like a limp feather boa. At times his body seems to almost liquefy and seep into the floor and, although it’s quite funny to watch, I do feel sorry for the poor sausage.
Luckily I don’t have to worry too much about him becoming dehydrated in the heat; even in moderately warm weather he drinks up to 1/3 of a pint of water a day, and I know this because he drinks from a glass and not a bowl. We were told about this strange quirk when we adopted him, and we thought at the time, “That’s absurd – he WILL drink from a bowl when he gets thirsty enough, because we will give him no choice.” No. He would rather shrivel up and die of thirst than be so vulgaire. And he won’t settle for any old glass, either: he will accept a pint glass or a wine glass, but not a cocktail glass nor a tankard. Figure THAT out if you can.
So, whilst there’s no doubt that he’s suffering in his perma-fur coat, at least he has his butler on hand to chill both the royal pint glass AND the royal person using a freezer-fresh bottle of Absolut Peppar. Let’s hope temperatures start to drop soon.
Cat Daddy keeps telling me how pointless it is to worry about Louis Catorze’s test results until they’re in. I know he’s right, but wasting time on pointless shit is my speciality. In fact, I sometimes tell others, as a joke, that I was born with a brain abnormality that makes me press on with stupid decisions and acts despite knowing full well how stupid they are, and it’s shocking how many people don’t appear that surprised.
My cat mamma instincts tell me that Louis Catorze is allergic to some, or all, of the following substances, in order of severity and with the most severe first:
- Dust mites
- Pollen of some sort (most likely grass)
- Feathers (from pillows and duvets as opposed to birds – Louis Catorze couldn’t and wouldn’t catch a bird even if you dipped him in bird seed and flung him into an aviary)
- Cheap, highly-scented, mass-produced skincare products
- The paper on which they print tabloid newspapers and tone-lowering gossip magazines
- Himself (in the same way that bodies reject donor organs)
- Food (all types ever created, natural and processed, meat- and plant-based, raw and cooked, feline and human)
Having spent a Roi’s ransom on dust mite murder weapons, I’m kind of hoping for no.1. But, having convinced Cat Daddy that I absolutely have to buy posh, scent-free skincare products “to act as a control and help monitor the flare-ups” I’m also hoping for rank outsider no.7, simply because it will require me to make no changes whatsoever and to continue buying Dermalogica products in the name of being a loving cat mamma. (“Why, yes, Cat Daddy, that price is perfectly normal for such a highly-specialised product. Do you want our boy to get better or not?”)
I am desperate to find out whether one of my 10 suspects will be guilty as charged, or whether the culprit will be something else entirely. I can’t believe that, soon, the wondering and speculating will be over!