Un oiseau en main

I don’t know whether I feel less alone, or more appalled, to learn that other cats ruin things, too. 

The occasion was Cat Granny’s 90th birthday party, held at Cat Auntie and Cat Uncle’s beautiful house in Somerset, and the culprit was this attractive, slightly boss-eyed chap.

9DCD6169-A085-4E53-804F-CEE0BC31FD72

I spotted him in the garden, called him over for a cuddle and he happily obliged, shouting himself silly throughout. When the rest of the party guests joined us outside, he pitter-pattered off to explore other parts of the huge, sprawling garden. 

Moments later there was a huge commotion and we saw the little sod leaping and pouncing at a flock of angry, shrieking blackbirds. Cat Auntie went to investigate, then announced that he had managed to catch one of the birds and asked for a volunteer to do the honourable deed. I think that, at this point, I might have looked down into my cup of tea and muttered something about it being a man’s job but, before any of the men had a chance to intervene, the poor bird flutter-limped to its nest deep inside a thick, impenetrable shrub where nobody could reach it. 

Cat Granny continued to enjoy her champagne and remained happily oblivious to what was going on. And Cat Daddy, whilst a bit cross with me for encouraging the cat with cuddles, was relieved that, for once, it was someone else’s cat and not ours that had made an embarrassing spectacle of himself. 

That said, we have a number of social events planned at Le Château over the next few weeks and months. So, if Catorze decides he fancies creating havoc and showing us up in front of our friends, there’s still time. 

Advertisements

La maison des mille cris

Great news: the beautician is back! 

She peered around cautiously as she entered Le Château, as one would if forced to enter an abandoned asylum where a chainsaw massacre had taken place. “Is Lewis around?” she asked. (Yes, she pronounces his name “Lewis”, but I don’t expect he will care about this at all. Plus he has been called much worse things by Cat Daddy.) I replied that he was outside, but that he would probably come and say hello soon. 

At this point she said either “Oh good” or “Oh God”. I’m pretty sure it must have been the former. 

Anyway, one eyebrow was successfully threaded without mishap. When she started on the other one we heard the ominous sound of pitter-pattering, then screaming. The beautician then lost her grip on the thread because she was laughing so much. 

Little sod jumped up onto the bed and stared at her, then decided that he would settle down, eyes wide, and stay for a chat.

“Hello, Lewis!” 

“Mwah!”

“How are you?”

“Mwah!”

“Oh, that’s good.”

“Mwah!”

“Yes, I’m fine too.”

And, curiously, after that little exchange, any suspicion (on his part) and abject terror (on her part) swiftly dissolved, and the two of them became friends. That was it. No more screaming. And they even had a little cuddle after the treatment.

“You know me now, don’t you, Lewis?” the beautician said, as she left. “So you’ll be a good boy from now on?”

I think Catorze’s last “Mwah” meant “Je ne sais pas: I’ll get back to you on that one.”

0508FDEC-305E-41C1-B3E1-7654F9EB5ED9

Une chance pour tous

158465AE-8CCE-4178-9F27-0C17F4DED45D

It is said to be bad luck when a black cat crosses your path. So what can it mean when one runs at you, screaming, and tries to trip you up as you retreat?

This is what happened to the Conservative party candidate when he came canvassing today. And Cat Daddy is punch-proud that his boy “has finally done something productive”.

Could this be a bad omen for the Conservative party? I will let you know as soon as the results are in on 3rd May.

L’amour et le parfum se trahissent toujours

12F41EF7-DBE7-449D-9C72-537F4D0B6A98

It had to happen sooner or later, Mesdames et Messieurs, and today is the day: Louis Catorze has pitter-pattered in smelling of man-perfume. And it’s not Cat Daddy’s, because he only wears man-perfume very rarely. LITTLE SOD HAS BEEN SNUGGLING ANOTHER MAN.

Cat Daddy: “You mean he’s been snuggling at least one other man, as far as we are aware. It’s like serial killers. There are always more victims than it would initially seem.” Merci.

Whilst this discovery is, in itself, not wholly surprising, what’s bizarre is that Catorze smells of man-perfume RIGHT TO THE TIP OF HIS TAIL. So it seems that Le Snuggleur Mystérieux has been getting quite intense with Catorze, leaving no inch of his fur, erm, unloved.

There is also the possibility that Catorze broke into someone’s house, knocked the bottle of man-perfume to the floor and had a good old roll around in it. So, at some point today, one of our neighbours will, at best, discover a ruined bottle of man-perfume and be quite cross, or, at worst, step in the broken bits of glass and slowly bleed to death.

So, once again, we have that awkward dilemma of whether to ‘fess up or shut up. Do we casually enquire among our neighbours with a view to offloading our guilt quickly? Or do we wait until someone mentions spending their Easter Sunday having their feet stitched up in Accident and Emergency, and then sheepishly offer our apologies?

I don’t think even 40 days of prayer and penance are going to fix this one for us.

 

Le plastique défigure le monde

Cat Daddy is waging a war on plastic, after finding out just how much of it ends up in seas and landfill. He doesn’t have quite such a problem with the hard plastic that can be recycled, such as bottles, although he is pretty cross with Easter eggs for all their unnecessary packaging and relative lack of chocolate. The main target of his rage is the floppy, filmy plastic that our local council used to recycle but now won’t.

I have been clobbered by Cat Daddy for buying from mail-order companies whose goods arrive in bubble wrap. I have also been clobbered for my use of ladies’ sanitary items because of their plastic content, although Cat Daddy has helpfully reminded me that I “probably won’t need them for much longer”. Even Louis Catorze didn’t escape a clobbering for his Acana Pacifica, which comes in one of those non-recyclable foil-plastic hybrid things.

“Can’t we just give him canned cat food?” asked Cat Daddy. Given that at least 50% of last year’s Le Blog was about trying to make Catorze consume things that he didn’t want to consume, I’d say that were a firm NON. Cat food tins seem to be the most environmentally-friendly option by far but, if your selfish, awkward crotte of a cat won’t eat wet food, there’s not much you can do … apart from put pressure on the supplier to find alternative packaging. Or find a supplier who is doing it properly and just hope and pray that the aforementioned selfish, awkward crotte will eat their food instead.

The makers of Acana Pacifica say this about their packaging:

“At present, our packaging is not recyclable in most areas. While there are lots of recycled bags, none of them are appropriate for our products. This is due to the fact that we do not use chemical preservatives, so our bags need to form a complete barrier to protect your pet’s food from the outside environment.

We would prefer to reduce our impact on the environment, but the technology just doesn’t yet exist for a product like ours. That will change as more and more pressure is placed on packaging producers, and we will continue to explore these opportunities.”

This doesn’t really help us much, but at least they replied promptly. I have sent similar enquiries to many other companies and have discovered that they fall into one of two camps: those who are happy to answer your questions and those who really don’t want to at all.

Lily’s Kitchen, par contre, claim that their dry pet food packaging is fully compostable. (And, yes, I wish I had found that out BEFORE I reordered the massive sack of Acana Pacifica which will last the little sod a good 6+ months.) In terms of quality of ingredients Lily’s Kitchen seems to tick the same boxes as Acana Pacifica, so I am going to give it a try when his existing food runs down.

Changing the food of a cat who doesn’t like food is a bigger pain in the derrière than one can possibly imagine. But worth a shot, oui?

48C5A637-9D69-4844-BCE0-4B6D48081B4D

Une vision de la beauté

88729D5F-3085-4640-9975-BF18FD02FC5D

When my local beauty salon closed down due to dodgy unlicensed dealings, I found a local freelance beautician who visits clients’ houses for treatments. Monday was her first visit to Le Château and, thanks to Louis Catorze, it is likely to be her last.

Because she is a woman and not a man, I imagined that we would have minimal Catorze disturbance and be left in peace. Pas du tout. When she arrived he pitter-pattered after us, screaming, then knocked her waxing strips onto the floor and rolled all over them. During my eyebrow shaping he lay on my stomach with his head on my chest, staring unblinkingly at the beautician as she carried out the treatment.

Now, as most women – and an increasing number of men – will be aware, having the hairs on your face ripped off isn’t the greatest fun. So having a purring cat lying on you throughout the experience is rather pleasant and comforting. However, from the point of view of beautician carrying out the treatment, being stared down by a vampire-toothed devil-beast when you’re trying to work is utterly terrifying.

When she finished my eyebrows and began my shoulder massage, the screaming resumed. Catorze jumped on and off the bed, pitter-pattered in and out of the room, delicately picked his way up my legs and back down again, all the while screaming himself senseless. I was about to call time on the massage as the beautician was laughing so much that she wasn’t able to apply pressure properly, and, just as she said, “He’s wondering what’s happening to you!” the screaming stopped.

“Oh!” she gasped. “Maybe he thought I had killed you? And, now that he knows you are ok, he’s happy again?” As the conversation continued, the little sod seemed to feel more at ease and he went back to the unnerving silent glaring.

“Erm, so I expect your clients’ pets do this sort of thing all the time, don’t they?” I asked hopefully, praying that this sort of thing might be normal.

Apparently it’s not.

So, the big question: will she be back? Or would she sooner accept a job tweezing Donald Trump’s nose hair than set foot here again?

L’homme au masque de fer

08BB2B43-4E44-4602-B17A-4C9A8AD47A27

*SPOILER ALERT: THIS BLOG ENTRY REVEALS THE ENDING OF “THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK”*

Someone once told me that my naming of Louis Catorze had “forever ruined French history for her”. So what better way to empathise with her concerns, and to give le royal nod to the recent Oscar winners, than to watch a historically-questionable Hollywood adaptation of an acclaimed Alexandre Dumas novel, giggling like a little child every time Louis XIV is mentioned?

The Sun King is played by a man from Los Angeles, D’Artagnan is from Dublin, and two of the three musketeers are from Illinois and the Isle of Wight. But, as someone who has convinced half the world that my cat from a North London rescue is a French monarch, I practically invented the suspension of disbelief. So this was no problem to me.

The similarities between Louis XIV and Louis Catorze are staggering, the main one being that both are tyrannical despots who live in luxury as the peasants, who are forced to fund their lavish lifestyles, languish in poverty. And the single, minor difference is that Louis XIV, according to musketeer Athos, “is cold and cruel, and cares only for himself” … which is not strictly true of our little sod as he also cares for Cat Daddy and male friends/neighbours/tradesmen/trick or treaters/Ocado delivery drivers.

The end of the film shows the human Louis clapped in irons and locked up in the dankest, most squalid part of the Bastille prison, which is not a million miles from what Cat Daddy has threatened when Louis Catorze has woken us in the night with his whining/scampering/rodent-bringing/bubble-wrap-popping. And the positive and uplifting conclusion of the film, apparently showing the Sun King bringing prosperity and peace to the citizens of France, was actually down to the actions of his (much nicer) impostor twin brother, Philippe.

Cat Daddy: “You see? I think we ended up with the wrong cat. I want to adopt Philippe. There has to be a Philippe out there for us.”

Maybe, but not quite yet … after all, the human Louis reigned for over 72 years.

What’s that in cat years?