Les chatteries en pensent quoi?

A few nights ago, I was listening to Sky Sports news. (Well, I say “listening” but I was zoning in and out whilst sending cat photos to my friend on WhatsApp.) One thing, however, did make me sit up and take notice, and that was when the reporter said, whilst discussing French football, “And what do the catteries think of this?”

Excusez-moi? What do catteries have to do with football … unless we’re back to the topic of Kurt Zouma again? And I imagine the catteries would be as disgusted as the cat households, non?

The British public haven’t seen a great deal of Kurt Zouma lately because he’s been out of action with an injury, but I am delighted to report that, one year on from That Incident, his team, West Ham, are on a disastrous downwards slide. At the time of writing this, they are only a couple of points away from the dreaded bottom three of the table:

Oh dear.

Obviously I can’t prove that West Ham’s misfortunes are because one of their number was mean to a cat. But I can’t prove that they’re not, either. And, had Kurt Zouma’s cat been a Chat Noir, there would have been no doubt in my mind whatsoever.

Here is Louis Catorze, so unimpressed with the West Ham performance against Brighton that he can’t even bear to look:

“C’est scandaleux.”

He feels sorry for them. But in an “I pity you” kind of way, not in an empathetic way.

EDIT: after replaying Sky Sports news, it turned out that they were saying “Qataris” but, unusually, they had rhymed it with “batteries” and not with “safaris”. I think I like this pronunciation better.

Un plat qui se mange froid

Remember Kurt Zouma? Remember what he did? The British public certainly do and, given that he’s now being prosecuted AND he had the ignominy of an own goal against Spurs a few weeks ago, it seems that Lady Karma is doing her thing.

However, we certainly weren’t about to pass up an opportunity when West Ham came to play Brentford on Sunday. Now, I’m not one of those who shouts abuse at sportspeople, no matter what they’ve done. Instead, I decided to take a leaf from the Catorzian Playbook of Unsettling Behaviour and just creepy-stare, with the help of one of these:

Good grief.

These items, unbelievably, are not props from The Purge but part of a kids’ party pack of a dozen animal masks, of which seven are cats (and one is a fox but looks sufficiently cat-like from a distance). There isn’t a fully black cat, as you can see, which upset Cat Daddy far more than he will ever admit, so he picked one of the tuxedo cats, which were plain black on the reverse, and wore it inside out.

I bought two sets of masks and handed them to anyone who would agree to wear them. However, it seems we needn’t have bothered, because the rowdy blokes in the West Stand were on it. Not only did they boo every time the ball went to Zouma, but they blasted him with two new, never-heard-before chants. The first was “R, S, P-C-A, R-S-P-C-A!” to the tune of Oops Upside Your Head (aka Louis Catorze’s Chubbing Up Song). And, when Zouma hobbled off, injured, after twenty-nine minutes, he was hailed with a chorus of “Put him down, put him down, put him down!” to the tune of Stars and Stripes Forever.

I would never wish an injury on anyone, not even Zouma. But there was something about it that felt like a karmic coup de foudre.

At the start of the game, one of the blokes who sits in front of us asked me for my score prediction, and I said, “2-1 to Brentford, with Zouma being sent off.” And that’s so eerily close to what ended up happening that I can’t help wondering whether The Mothership had anything to do with it.

Catorze doesn’t need a lawyer because he knows we can’t prove anything.

Purrminateur 2: Le Dernier Jugement

We have been thinking about a suitable punishment for Kurt Zouma for what he did to his cat.

Ordinarily, for situations such as animal cruelty, I would be of the medieval “sharp instruments meeting with tender body parts” school of retribution but, since I’m a teacher, I’m not really allowed to say things like that. Gratuitous violence is out, and relentless ridicule will have to suffice instead.

Cat Daddy and I weren’t able to watch West Ham’s match against Newcastle, other than a few snatched minutes in the pub with the sound off. As you may be aware, Louis Catorze happens to be a fan of Sunderland, whose local rivals are Newcastle, so under normal circumstances he wouldn’t want anything to do with them. However, the Newcastle fans turning up to the match armed with inflatable cats, and the story of Newcastle striker Chris Wood meowing at Zouma throughout, has made him warm considerably to his bitter enemies.

Photo from dailymail.co.uk (sorry).

Even funnier is that one of Zouma’s teammates allegedly complained to the referee about the meowing. Even my Year 9s wouldn’t have snitched to the teacher about something so pathetic and embarrassing. If it turns out to be true, however, Chris Wood will forever be my hero.

Catorze is also a fan of the latest masterpiece by Jim’ll Paint It. If you don’t know about Jim, people brief him with imaginary scenarios – the more ridiculous, the better – which he then turns into bespoke digital art pieces. After the Zouma incident he was inundated with requests for cats exacting their revenge, and this is what he created:

Photo from Jim’s Facebook page. For more of his work, have a look here.

As other social media users have pointed out, it’s quite clear that the black cat on the right is the one who masterminded this, and he is now sitting back and enjoying watching his devotees do his dirty work for him. And how shocking, yet unsurprising, that he looks so much like Sa Maj. He even has his little white chest tufts.

Tufts very much visible here on this old photo of our mutual friend.

One day, the British public will move on from this. Today, however, is not that day.

Ne déconnez pas avec les chats

West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma has been cruel to his cat, and everyone in the U.K. is rightly livid about it.

This was bad timing as I had just moved him into my Fantasy Football team for the new game week. There is a video online showing what happened, but I haven’t posted a copy here as I am sure most of us can imagine what it’s like. We don’t need to see it.

For those who may not be familiar with Fantasy Football and its ways, having chosen our team at the start of the season, every week we are allowed to move one player out and one in. I cannot believe that, of the five hundred or so players available, I happened to choose Zouma, just as he did this.

Once you have transferred your one player in, you’re not supposed to transfer them – or anyone – out again until the next game week. If you do, you forfeit four points. But I would rather do that than have an animal abuser in my team, so Zouma is now gone.

Good riddance.

To cheer us up after this awful story, here are some footballers who are nice to their cats (taken from their Twitter pages). I have no idea what the cats’ names are, so I’ve just made them up:

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) with Babs and Pat.
Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) with Fermez.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) with Reverend Sparkle-Pops.
Bernd Leno (Arsenal) with Baba Ganoush. Come on, this one looks like a Baba Ganoush, non?