FrankenRoi ou Le Prométhée Moderne

The other day, when we got back from the shops, Louis Catorze bolted outside the moment the door was opened. We meant to leave him for a few minutes and then haul him in but, with all the unpacking we had to do, we ended up forgetting about him and leaving him alone and on the rampage at The Front. 

After an hour or so he was screaming at the window to be let in again, so Cat Daddy did exactly what any loving cat parent would do: laugh hysterically and take photos. And I must say I couldn’t blame him, because this was the sight that greeted him when he opened the shutters:


What looks like dusty, cobwebby crud on Sa Majesté’s head actually IS dusty, cobwebby crud. And the strange, flesh-coloured, ribbed area on the little little sod’s chest is Cat Daddy’s hand reflected in the glass. Obviously this wasn’t visible to passers-by outside but, to us, poor Catorze looked like a creature from one of the more modern Living Dead movies: an otherworldly, undead hell-beast with his rib cage protruding through his decaying flesh.

Me: “He looks like a zombie cat baying for brains.

Cat Daddy: “Well, I suppose he has to get them from somewhere.”

We did let him in eventually. And we now have some excellent ideas for his Halloween costume this year, even though, as a black cat with vampire teeth, technically he is in TWO costumes all year round. 

Je suis une légende

Colder weather usually brings cuddling kitties, although they’re clearly just using us for our warmth and haven’t suddenly decided that they really like us. Louis Catorze, however, is still spending as much time outside as he did during the summer months, and his Short Man Syndrome has been getting him into trouble with foxes. This is not good. 

Last Tuesday a fox ran through our garden and he thought it would be a good idea to run after it, screaming. He chased as far as the gap under the fence at The Back, all puff-tailed and indignant, watching the intruder disappear into the distance and not budging until he was certain that it had gone. 

And, on Friday night, he had another stand-off with another fox, this time at The Front. As you know, he isn’t allowed out at The Front unsupervised because he can’t be trusted but, when he bolts out unexpectedly when we get back from an evening out and refuses to be caught, we can’t do much apart from keep the window open, watch nervously and hope he will decide to come in. 

We thought Catorze’s screaming was bad, but he has nothing on Monsieur Renard. Everything we thought we knew about fox sounds was blown right out of the water after experiencing this hellish din. Imagine, if you will, a modern horror movie in which the lead zombie – of chillingly superior intelligence compared to the others – throws back his head and emits a piercing war-cry, the signal for his comrades to destroy the last few pathetic humans. THAT is what Monsieur Renard sounded like. And, terrifyingly, not only was he glaring straight through the bars of the park fence at Catorze as he made this unforgettably dreadful sound, but CATORZE WAS GLARING AND SCREAMING BACK. 

“Aw, they want to be friends!” cooed Cat Daddy. “That’s so cute. Let’s leave them to it.”

I really didn’t want to do that, yet Catorze was NOT coming in and repeatedly darted out of my way when I tried to grab him. I have no idea what the neighbours must have thought but, unfortunately, they all know the little sod well enough by now.

Eventually, after more gut-wrenching zombie-hollering from Monsieur Renard, Sa Maj did come in through the window, and a punch-proud Cat Daddy rough-cuddled his boy and commended him for “showing the fox who was in charge at Le Château”. I would far rather he retreat and mind his own business, but nobody in this household seems that concerned with what I think. 

October – and therefore the Season of the Black Cat – started today. And I fear that this means things are only going to get worse.