Si on donne du jambon à un roi, il mangera toujours

I had only made one New Year resolution this year, which was to try a wider variety of vodkas instead of just having Absolut Vanilla all the time. But I have now made a second resolution, which is never to get a leg of jamón serrano again.

If you have a dog, or a normal cat, the clearing up from a leg of jamón pretty much does itself. But, if you have a tiny cat who doesn’t really like food, you’re stuck with a ton of meat and a greasy, hammy film all over your house for days afterwards. Louis Catorze is partial to cured ham, but he couldn’t possibly eat it as fast as we could slice it. Come to think of it, neither could we. Hoping for zero remnants from a piece of meat several times the size of our pet was, perhaps, a little optimistic.

So, having gifted some of our neighbours with several months’ supply of jamón each, we were still left with the huge hoofy bone and the gross fatty bits. Quoi faire avec? There is no real way of getting rid of such a thing in the garden without attracting rats, and it wouldn’t fit into the tiny food waste bin supplied by Hounslow Council.

Eventually Cat Daddy took it to work and left it in the area of overgrown scrubland behind his office, which is inhabited by all manner of beasties. The wildlife of TW8 would have had a fine old feast that night. But, unfortunately, this has done nothing to stop Le Château from smelling all hammy.

Cat Daddy, after opening the dining room door and being hit with the smell of jamón once more: “Never again. Next time we’re giving everyone sliced ham from a packet. If we give them enough champagne beforehand they won’t know, and the ones that know won’t care.”

Once again, les invités, you’re welcome.

“Or maybe,” Cat Daddy continued, “we’ll just get a normal cat who actually eats food. New Year, new cat.”

Luckily he said this in English, so Louis Catorze didn’t understand him. Here he is, assuming the “Je ne comprends pas” position.

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Le soir des rois, ou Ce que vous voudrez

Someone once told me, “Never eat anything bigger than your head” and, given that I have a head so fat that I can’t wear paper party hats without splitting them, I have been able to abide by this for most of my life without feeling that I am missing out.

Imagine, then, eating something bigger than your entire body. Considerably bigger, in fact. Louis Catorze had the opportunity to do exactly this when Cat Daddy bought a whole leg of jamón serrano for a ham and cheese night with friends. As you know, Catorze doesn’t really like food, but he won’t say non to some cured ham and, if it’s several times his own bodyweight, tant mieux.

Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: nothing says “good hosting” quite like serving guests the same food that you gave to your cat to make him take his meds.

Cat Daddy: “It isn’t the same food that we gave to our cat to make him take his meds. We gave him the much higher-quality jambon de Bayonne.”

You’re welcome, les invités.

Anyway, unlike most cats, who hide from party guests or have to be shut away to minimise their own stress levels, Louis Catorze attended our gathering, even though he wasn’t invited. And, bien sûr, he conspicuously chose the boys’ corner of the room and mingled like a true socialite. It was like watching Hugh Hefner in the Playboy Mansion: spoilt for choice and not knowing what to do with himself.

And, yes, the little sod did get a few slivers of jamón, too.

Bonne année à tous!

Il y a beaucoup à apprendre des bêtes

Finalement, 2 months after Halloween, Louis Catorze manages to deliver an almost-passable Halloween portrait. This picture isn’t ideal in terms of composition but it’s the best effort to date, and, on paper, at least, it captures the essence of my favourite day of the year: a black cat, a fine set of fangs and even a photobomb from The Count himself.

I didn’t set it up that way: Count Dracula would usually be on a Yule tree – that’s the way we do things here at Le Château – but he is hanging on a door handle this year, on account of being neither waterproof enough for the outdoor tree nor small enough for Louis Catorze’s mini-tree. It was just a coincidence that he happened to be lurking in the background during one of Catorze’s psycho play sessions, but a good coincidence nonetheless.

It would have been nice to have had this picture back in October, instead of having 748+ shots of his arse end walking away from a pumpkin. But that’s Le Roi for you: Sun King, Lord of Misrule, High Emperor of Doing Inappropriate Things at Inappropriate Times (I haven’t forgotten about the 3am popping of bubble wrap) and the epitome of all that is wrong with the world.

And on that perfect note I shall wish you all a joyous and prosperous 2018. Thank you for your ongoing support of the little sod.

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Ma plus grande faiblesse est ma sensibilité

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We have had a wonderful time in Somerset with Cat Daddy’s hilarious family. (Who else but they would be bonkers enough to wear sombreros and make margaritas on Christmas Day?) But, sadly, our festivities were somewhat marred by the fact that I am still ill, with all-night coughing and sweating. Being ill at Christmas really is the pits, because the next person to be struck down will probably get it in time for New Year’s Eve, and will definitely know that it’s from you (and hate you for it). And now I have come home to a cat who couldn’t care less if he tried, which isn’t helping.

Louis Catorze doesn’t like sick people. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it’s more than mere “dislike”: it’s pure and unadulterated contempt. On Christmas Eve I happened to sneeze whilst sitting next to him, and the little sod glared at me and let out a nasty meow of utter loathing. He wasn’t even on my lap at the time, but clearly his abhorrence was such that he couldn’t/wouldn’t tolerate my sickness even on the periphery of his cosy little Boys’ Club bubble.

If cats can have a sixth sense for unhelpful things such as paranormal activity and when their humans are coming home from work, why the heck can’t they pick up on the fact that we are sick and show us a little love? Or, at the very least, just not be such cruel and heartless shites?

I am presently curled up at one end of the sofa, sneezing, sniffing and guzzling green tea with mint. Cat Daddy and his boy are cuddled up together at the other end, watching what appears to be every single Mike Tyson fight, back to back, in chronological order. And I have just looked down into my tea and seen a clump of cat hair floating in it. I don’t suppose Cat Daddy will make me any more, because he can’t possibly disturb Sa Majesté.

Perhaps, next Christmas, I should remind Catorze that Santa only visits good kitties who are kind to their mammas?

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.

Mon beau sapin

D390CDED-4684-47BD-AA3A-CABAF75C5154Cat Daddy and I bought our Yule tree last weekend. The lovely lady from whom we bought it advised us to keep it outdoors until we were ready to decorate it, but, due to Cat Daddy being away on business and me being unwell, we just haven’t got around to it.

Cat Daddy now wants to make it an outdoor tree. (We will still be able to see it through the patio doors and enjoy its sparkly beauty when we sit on the kitchen sofa.) Despite the fact that we’ve never had an outdoor tree before, he is convinced that we can make it work with a set of proper outdoor lights and some more robust ornaments. But this isn’t because he’s suddenly had a life-changing moment of creativity or tree-consciousness. This is because, if we bring it indoors, we only have one place to put it: the place where Louis Catorze’s chaise longue currently is. And Cat Daddy won’t have Sa Majesté “with no place to sleep”.

It doesn’t matter that the little sod has 2 living room sofas, a kitchen sofa and 3 beds fully kitted out with anti-allergy bedding. Le Roi’s favourite napping place is in front of the living room radiator, right where our tree always used to go during the days pre-chaise, and Cat Daddy would rather buy lights and decorations and move the tree than do the sensible thing and just put the chaise longue somewhere else for a couple of weeks.

Once we purchase the new tree trimmings, I am prepared to bet Le Château on Catorze not using la chaise longue once throughout the entire Yuletide season. Qui est d’accord?

L’hiver arrive

Even though Actual Winter doesn’t start until the winter solstice, the first snowfall of the season means that Psychological Winter has begun. We had delightfully thick, chunky flakes falling yesterday and, whilst the ground was too wet for them to settle for as long as I’d have liked, we have so little snow in London generally that I will happily take what I can get. So this was a glorious, wondrous thing to behold.

My social media feed yesterday was inundated with photos of cats frolicking in the snow or, at the very least, placing a cautious paw on the frozen wasteland that was once their garden, then backing away. Louis Catorze, on the other hand, spent the entire morning lounging in bed with us and didn’t set so much as a whisker outdoors. We couldn’t decide whether that was incredibly lazy, or smarter than the rest of us who insisted on schlepping around all over town despite the weather warnings.

“The met office are saying you shouldn’t make non-essential journeys,” said Cat Daddy, as I pulled out my puffy, red “Santa’s duvet” coat from the cupboard. “Are you sure you need to make this trip to your friend’s place?”

She has cats, so YES. Catorze yawned.

“The snow is getting thicker and thicker,” continued Cat Daddy, peering nervously out of the window. “Are you sure about this?”

Catorze twitched and flicked his tail.

“Right,” Cat Daddy eventually sighed. “Don’t blame me if your train is cancelled and you end up stuck on the other side of London.”

Catorze stretched and rolled. And, when I got back several hours later, he was still in exactly the same spot.

“He’s not even been outside to go to the loo,” said Cat Daddy, “which either means he’s saving it up for later [fine by me] or he’s done it somewhere in the house [not really fine].” If it’s the latter, no doubt our senses will detect that tantalising, come-hither fragrance at some point.

Winter is coming. Mind you, Sa Majesté can be seen resting les fesses royales and not doing much all year round.

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