La renaissance du soleil

Louis Catorze’s Cat Granny passed away last month, and Cat Daddy and I have been thinking about her during our traditional winter solstice reminiscing. She was the best mother-in-law imaginable and would always take my side in an argument with Cat Daddy. In fact, she would always take my side even if there had been no argument, and at Christmas she would give me better presents than the ones she gave him. Her words to me when we announced our engagement were: “Well, he’s always been a very nice son to me. I just HOPE he’ll be a nice husband to you.”

She left us on Remembrance Sunday, which was a very important day to Cat Grandpa, and I can imagine him hurrying her along on that morning and telling her she’d better get to him before 11 o’clock.

Cat Granny loved cats, although I don’t have any decent pictures of her with Louis Catorze as he preferred hanging out with Cat Grandpa at Boys’ Club. But they had a lovely relationship, and she was one of the few people who didn’t mind stroking him when he had just come in, cold and wet, from a thunderstorm. She would always be there with the cuddles, whilst Cat Daddy and I flinched and shuddered when Catorze came near us with his gross, drenched fur.

Cat Granny is pictured below with Brook, the enormously fat* cat who lives in her residential home and who is the same cat that ruined her 90th birthday party by catching a bird in front of horrified guests.

*I must add that the residential home staff do not overfeed him. As anyone with a greedy and determined cat will understand only too well, he goes out and manages to find food – and clearly rather a lot of it – from somewhere.

Moments after this photo was taken, the delightful scene was ruined because Brook dug his claws hard into poor Cat Granny. Cat Daddy and I had to delicately unpick the big sod and hoist his considerable bulk off her body, which was quite some challenge, demonstrating yet again – not that we really needed reminding – cats’ innate capacity for spoiling things that were perfectly lovely before.

I hope that Cat Granny and Cat Grandpa, wherever they may be, are surrounded by cats (but maybe better-behaved ones than naughty Brook). And Catorze, Cat Daddy and I wish you all a wonderful winter solstice.

Trop de choses à faire

The winter solstice is fast approaching and, whilst Louis Catorze is following his natural instincts and burying himself so deeply into his igloo that I fear he might become part of it, Cat Daddy and I are doing the opposite. We have so much to do, including the following:

⁃ Buying, putting up and decorating our main tree, which Cat Daddy put outdoors one year because he didn’t want to disturb his boy’s main sleeping spot (even though he has 849 other sleeping spots) and has remained an outdoor tree ever since: https://louiscatorze.com/2017/12/15/mon-beau-sapin/

⁃ Buying and decorating Catorze’s tree (yes, Sa Maj has his own tree, although I don’t suppose he will agree to be pictured next to it)

⁃ Choosing a charity to receive the donation that we make in lieu of sending cards

⁃ Sending cards to the awkward people who don’t know about or understand the charity donation thing, and who would probably never speak to us again if we didn’t send them a card (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE)

⁃ Organising the festive menu for the day (even though we still don’t exactly know who’s coming and for how long)

It’s all a bit manic and although, at times, we wish we could climb into that igloo with Sa Maj and just wait for it to all be over, we know how lucky we are that we are able to do these things. The people who can’t, for whatever reason, are very much on our minds at this time of year.

We hope that your festive planning is going well, and that it’s bringing you more joy than stress. In the meantime, Sa Maj is still in his igloo, and he won’t be budging anytime soon.

J’adore mon igloo

Louis Catorze’s winter igloo has officially been reinstated. Even though I know that, once he’s in, he won’t be coming out unless it’s on fire.

Selfishly, I wanted to delay giving him back his igloo because I like having him on our laps. That said, I know how much he loves it. And it means we can have our blankets back. And, possibly most importantly, if he’s sleeping in it throughout most of the day and night, it’s less likely that he will be bothering the neighbours, howling at dogs / foxes / magpies / parakeets / other cats, or waking us up by bouncing around our bed and screaming in our faces. So, in many ways, it’s a win-win.

If anyone wants him – don’t all rush at once – he’ll be here until next May:

Le froid ne m’a jamais dérangé de toute façon

We all know that Louis Catorze isn’t really one for doing what we would expect (or want). In 37-degree heat, he heads for the sun. In thunderstorms, he heads outside. And, if faced with a larger and more ferocious animal who could kill him in an instant, he pitter-patters towards it, up-tailed and screaming.

However, on a cold day, he can’t ignore his natural catty instincts, and that is when he wants ALL THE BLANKETS. One clearly wasn’t sufficient so he actually has a total of three here. We wouldn’t mind a couple for ourselves, but it doesn’t look as if that will be happening. Not today.

His face looks sour as an underripe lime but, trust me, the little sod is very happy indeed.

Le songe d’une nuit d’hiver

As well as his summer chaise longue, Louis Catorze now has a cosy bed for the winter. And, if you squish down the roof from the top, it folds into a bowl-shaped bed that also serves for spring and autumn.

Cat Daddy: “Absolutely bloody ridiculous. We don’t even have a summer and a winter DUVET, and yet he has A Bed For All Seasons?” 

The bed was gifted by one of Sa Maj’s favourite pilgrims in the whole world, and it’s not hard to see why it was chosen: a creepy black kitty with vampire fangs has to have a Hallowe’en bed, n’est-ce pas? Our friend did initially wonder about pink for a boy cat, but I don’t suppose cats really have colour preferences. And, if they did, something tells me that our boy would opt for pink in an instant. 

When we are home, we like it when the little sod sits on our laps. But, when we’re out, it’s nice to know that he has a comfy little spot of his own. Below is a picture of him enjoying his gift, and the fact that he took to it so quickly was something rather special as he usually does the opposite of whatever is expected (or wanted). 

I hope he feels this snug and happy forever. 

Un nouvel an, des anciens problèmes

2019 is here, with its annoyingly unround and unbalanced appearance. I almost can’t stand to look at it because it hurts my OCD, and, whilst I don’t want to wish time away, I really want to add 1 to 2019 and turn it into the beautifully even 2020. 

I don’t know what the year will bring but, as Benjamin Franklin (I think – or possibly Mark Twain?) once said, in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death, taxes and Louis Catorze getting stuck in the Forbidden Greenhouse when it’s either life-threateningly hot or life-threateningly cold. And one of those things is more certain than the others.

I came home the other day to find no sign of our mutual friend, which is somewhat unusual as he is very dog-like in his ways and almost always greets us. Then, when I stepped outside to grab a bottle of Crémant from nature’s outdoor overflow fridge, I heard the faraway yet unmistakable sound of screaming, then saw his affronted face and psycho eyes peering at me through the glass. 

Cat Daddy, when I texted him to tell him: “WHAT? I opened the greenhouse door for about 0.3 seconds this morning to grab some boots, then I shut it again. I didn’t see him go in at all. How was he?”

Erm: indignant and loud. And pretty cold.

Yet not quite cold enough, it seems, as, right after getting his body back to optimum temperature (by settling on me and sucking out my heat), the little sod pitter-pattered out again and was immediately heard screaming at birds / bugs /  Oscar the dog / the air. 

Here he is after eventually deciding to come back in again. Most cats wouldn’t be so silly as to do the same thing twice but, as this is Le Roi we’re talking about, I guess we’re ready for another year of more of the same. 

Hope the start of 2019 has been better for you than it was for Catorze. 

C’est le moment le plus merveilleux de l’année

It has started to feel très festive here at Le Château now that Louis Catorze’s tree is in place. (Yes, you have read that correctly: in addition to our main winter solstice tree, he gets his own mini one.) Decorating it is no mean feat, as the Pine Needles of Death are razor-sharp and, therefore, affixing each bauble is pain. And, yes, I do, indeed, see the tree as a cruel yet accurate metaphor for Catorze’s life, with him sitting atop all smug and loving himself, and me desperately scrambling around trying to adorn it with more and more lovely things, only to have my efforts rewarded with repeated stabbing. 

Anyway, now that it’s done, it looks rather splendid. We don’t usually buy him any gifts, though, because he already has so many things – or, as Cat Daddy puts it, “this house is full of his shite”. And, besides, buying a tree AND gifts for a cat might be considered a bit over the top. 

We have less than a week to go, and so many things still left to do. Luckily for Catorze, all he has to do is sit around and watch us do it all. 

Les merveilles de l’hiver

There are many fun things that can be done in the snow, but I don’t suppose schlepping to the vet to pick up Louis Catorze’s Broadline is one of them.

Cat Daddy came with me but he wasn’t the best company, complaining all the way about Catorze and his inconvenient, money-haemorrhaging connerie. And, because the walk took us a few minutes longer than usual due to slipping and sliding on the ice and snow, that meant I had to listen to more complaining.

When we got there and were told how much it was, Cat Daddy swept his contactless card across the scanner thing but it was declined.

Vet: “I’m afraid you can only use contactless for payments under £30.”
Cat Daddy. “Oh. Did you not say it was £14?”
Vet: “Erm, no. £44.”

Silence, tumbleweed, crickets. And, after we had paid and left, Cat Daddy complained about Catorze and his money-haemorrhaging connerie all the way home again. Sa Majesté, meanwhile, had been out enjoying some snow play and hadn’t even noticed we had gone.

It’s a good thing we have Le Royal Sick Fund. And it’s a good thing we love the little sod.

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Le Roi de Neige

Snowmageddon has hit London! For those who are outside the UK, this is something that happens when snow is forecast: schools close, the transport system grinds to a halt and nobody dares to travel anywhere without carrying a spade and a torch. Yet, when the time comes, it’s just a light, feeble, anti-climactic dusting far from the apocalyptic blizzard we expected, and countries such as Canada and Sweden laugh at us for being so pathetic.

When it comes to snow, cats tend to fall into one of two camps:

1. YOUPI!
2. NON

Louis Catorze, of course, does both. At 7a.m. I was greeted by clear evidence of his nocturnal gaddings-about, as shown below … but, when we came home from work, the whole lot was covered by a perfect, pristine layer of new snow, showing that he had promptly switched to NON mode and not moved his lazy arse all day.

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He was, however, soon back to YOUPI! and slipped out for more wintry frolics at The Front when Cat Daddy was putting out the rubbish this evening. We had no idea he was there until Bert the dog’s daddy knocked to tell us, adding that he could hear the screaming from his front room. You cannot IMAGINE our deep, deep shame.

“Apparently there’s more chaos forecast for later this week,” Cat Daddy said just now. I hope he means the snow.

La saison froide

The winter solstice is here, and Cat Daddy got his way with the outdoor tree. I was annoyed with him as we decorated it in the pouring rain and cold, and he was annoyed with me when I forced him to don a hazmat suit and gas mask to clear away what I thought was fox poo on the patio, but which turned out to be a bit of moss. So, by the time we were finished, we were both full of whatever the opposite of Yuletide cheer is.

We also have a mini-tree for Louis Catorze. Well, in reality it was because Cat Daddy preferred to buy a separate tree for the silver decorations than stoop to the vulgar depths of putting silver and gold together on our outdoor tree. But I am telling everyone that he wanted the cat to have his own tree, because it’s funnier … and, so far, nobody has questioned or doubted this.

I have been mulling over Le Blog entries from last December, and I can’t believe how far things have moved on: back then Louis Catorze was in Le Cône and under house arrest, there were more drugs in the cat food cupboard than in Pablo Escobar’s basement and Cat Daddy and I were stressed beyond measure about the tail-chewing. Now he is virtually drug-free (Louis Catorze, I mean, not Cat Daddy), his tail is perfectly healed and he is back to doing what he does best: annoying the pair of us witless.

We are very lucky indeed and we hope that this good fortune is indicative of the general direction of the next 12 months to come. We wish you all a joyous and prosperous year.