Une seule rose peut être mon jardin

Cat Daddy and I have kick-started our garden makeover plans, which fell to the wayside somewhat last summer. Today, some people from Cultivate London – a local social enterprise who train unemployed people to become gardening experts – came to start work on our new patio.

Because Louis Catorze loves strange men, we assumed he would be fine with the workmen. And he was: he greeted them by galloping down the garden, screaming, then he lay across the path, flipping, rolling and getting in their way. The problem, it turns out, was not the workmen, but the cardboard and the dust sheets that were laid down to protect the floors; poor Louis Catorze was utterly freaked out by these and tiptoed gingerly over them as if walking through shards of glass.

Cat Daddy wondered whether he should lock him in a room until the work was done, but Catorze saved him the bother by sneaking into the shed and getting stuck there. Several hours, Cat Daddy – who was working from home – wondered where he was, then followed the sound of the pitiful whining and released the silly sod.

It’s going to be some time before the royal gardens will be fully ready for Le Roi, but we hope he will be as happy in Les Jardins as he is in Le Château. We can’t wait for the warmer weather when we will see him pitter-pattering about, chatting to leaves and generally being a weirdo.

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La poussière 

What a week it’s been at Le Château. We’ve been up every morning for work, and at 7:30 on Saturday mornings before the decorators arrive at 7:45 (although Louis Catorze tends to alert us to their arrival with his indignant “Invaders dans mon château!” meow).

The dust is really starting to get to us, with clouds of it rising from our clothes when we get dressed, and we’re suffering with itchy eyes and sore throats living in it all. Trying to wipe it away only seems to whip up swirling twisters of it and, even if we manage to clean it away one day, it’s back the next.

Louis Catorze, on the other hand, has taken it all in his stride and has got into a steady routine: he sleeps with us every night, then happily (or at least I hope it’s happily, as opposed to with the resignation of a condemned man going to the guillotine) pitter-patters upstairs with me, where I feed him, sort out his litter and water and then shut him in for the day. Then, when the decorators have gone, we release him and he joins us on the sofa. Given what we’ve done to him in the space of 9 days, it’s surprising he hasn’t gone crazy and eaten us whilst we sleep, feet first:

  • Change of environment: check
  • Change of cat litter brand without warning (not that it would have made a difference had we said, “Nous allons changer ta litière”): check
  • Erratic feeding times, due to being unable to locate food: check
  • Change of position of food bowl, pint glass and litter tray (many times each): check
  • Erratic medication times: check
  • Rooms creepily morphing and changing the way they do in horror movies, looking empty one minute then being full and smelling completely different the next: check
  • Strangers invading early in the morning, being noisy and moving stuff around all day long: check (although Louis Catorze appears to quite like the company of strange men – not that we’re judging)

The least awful of all the rooms is the attic bedroom, so that’s where we shut him whilst we’re at work, with the windows open a tiny bit and his litter tray in the en suite bathroom (well, he is a king). We keep a dust mite controller whirring away in that room, and I’d also have beeswax candles burning if I didn’t know that the stupid twit would knock them over and burn the place down. The bed in the attic room contains brand new anti-allergy pillows, duvet and mattress cover, so not a pesky feather in sight (see picture above). So far, so good: he’s deteriorated very slightly but he’s not looking TOO bad. I did briefly consider not letting him out of that room at all until the renovations are done, but he loves time with us and enjoys gadding about Le Château looking at things.

I can only put his positive temperament down to the fact that we’re with him, whereas in the past a new home has also meant new people. Let’s hope he’s still as chirpy when training for Le Tunnel starts next week.