Le Roi s’en fiche: vive Le Roi!

Louis Catorze is pretty unconcerned about all the fuss and furore caused by his test results. Here he is, displaying his best “pretty unconcerned” look:


However, he’s also looking super-healthy, with glossy fur, virtually no scabs or broken skin, and bald patches that are slowly filling in. And he’s chatty, chirpy, swishy-tailed and full of energy. Something we’re doing is working for him right now; let’s hope it continues to do so for as long as possible.

We’ve had no news as yet from the vet about the skin scraping, so I’ve been looking into other possibilities. Some very kind friends recommended a bioenergetics company who analyse animal hair samples and prescribe a toxin-free remedy, so I’ve been in touch with them and requested a testing kit. The best thing about the remedy is that it can be dropped into Louis Catorze’s drinking water or onto his skin, as opposed to being syringed into his mouth after terrifying the life out of him with a surprise attack. Sometimes it’s all about the delivery: the best cure in the world is no good to me if violence and bloodshed are involved.

At £100 this remedy is not cheap but it has to be worth a go, just in case the western medicine route sends us down another dead end. I’m not sure if Cat Daddy will agree as he thinks alternative therapies are for hippy-dippy airheads who eat fairy dust and pink sparkles; that said, he never reads this, so I might just try it anyway and see how long it takes him to find out.

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Les résultats 

Louis Catorze’s allergy test results are in, and I could weep with frustration because they stated the one thing that I really, really didn’t want: inconclusive. I am in utter disbelief, especially after the veterinary nurse told me that she’d never seen an inconclusive result IN HER LIFE. Not only have I wasted time in implementing all the dust mite murder measures, but I feel I put poor Louis Catorze through the trauma of the blood test for nothing.

He registered a little sensitivity to some substances, but not enough to determine an allergy; apparently he needed to score at least 150 on the scale to be able to confirm that substance as the source of his allergic symptoms. For anyone who’s interested, I’ve summarised Louis Catorze’s readings below – and, as you will see, his numbers are some way off 150:

  • Various mites including dust mites: up to 30 
  • Various tree pollens: up to 30
  • Various grass pollens: up to 18
  • Fungus: 0
  • Food: 0 

This was so unexpected that I didn’t have a Plan B, but I’ve been forced to think of one. The next step, according to the vet, is a skin scraping analysis to ensure that it’s not a bug infestation or an inherent skin condition, but the problem is that we’re moving house next week, then in August he has his yearly vaccinations (which can’t be done at the local vet: we have to schlep across London to his ex-rescue centre’s vet, because he needs a particular specialised version that won’t interfere with his meds). After he reacted so savagely to the first blood sample attempt, I am very reluctant to subject him to three disruptions – skin scraping, house move and vaccination – in the space of a month and a bit. 

So what I intend to do is move him, give him a few weeks to settle into Le Château, then take him to the rescue centre vet in August where, hopefully, they will be able to do the skin scraping AND the vaccination in one go. I’ve emailed them to ask if it will be possible, and I hope beyond hope that they will say yes. 

J’adore la lavande

  

Our cat-hating neighbour – an elderly lady who ignored our friendly attempts at neighbourliness for 4 years, but has decided to be nice to us now that we’re leaving – came round yesterday evening, concerned about foxes in the area and asking if we’d seen them around. Had I let Cat Daddy do all the talking, he would probably have said something embarrassing like, “Never seen any, but we know they’re around because their noisy sex sessions keep us awake at night,” so I hurriedly spoke over him and just said no. 

“They use my garden as a lavatory, you know,” our neighbour snarled. “Bloody awful things. I was looking out of my kitchen window one evening and I saw this huge black lump, squatting over my lavender.”

Of course, Louis Catorze chose that very moment, having spent all day in La Cage, to come out and meow at her. Then he rolled at her feet, stretched out and put his claws into her shoes.

Awkward silence. 

“Erm … it was definitely a huge black lump and not a small one, right?” asked Cat Daddy. 

Another awkward silence. Louis Catorze then sniffed her shoes and nuzzled them. Then he rolled over, defiantly displaying his arse as if to say, “Oui, and there’s more where that came from, salope!”

“Isn’t it funny how cats always go the person who isn’t a cat person?” said Cat Daddy. 

Yet another icy silence, and a look from our neighbour which suggested a distinct lack of amusement. Crickets chirped, tumbleweed blew past.

“Anyway,” I said, hastily. “Your roses are looking nice.”

Où sont les résultats?

Cat Daddy keeps telling me how pointless it is to worry about Louis Catorze’s test results until they’re in. I know he’s right, but wasting time on pointless shit is my speciality. In fact, I sometimes tell others, as a joke, that I was born with a brain abnormality that makes me press on with stupid decisions and acts despite knowing full well how stupid they are, and it’s shocking how many people don’t appear that surprised.

My cat mamma instincts tell me that Louis Catorze is allergic to some, or all, of the following substances, in order of severity and with the most severe first:

  1. Dust mites
  2. Pollen of some sort (most likely grass)
  3. Feathers (from pillows and duvets as opposed to birds – Louis Catorze couldn’t and wouldn’t catch a bird even if you dipped him in bird seed and flung him into an aviary)
  4. Me
  5. Water
  6. Air
  7. Cheap, highly-scented, mass-produced skincare products
  8. The paper on which they print tabloid newspapers and tone-lowering gossip magazines
  9. Himself (in the same way that bodies reject donor organs)
  10. Food (all types ever created, natural and processed, meat- and plant-based, raw and cooked, feline and human)

Having spent a Roi’s ransom on dust mite murder weapons, I’m kind of hoping for no.1. But, having convinced Cat Daddy that I absolutely have to buy posh, scent-free skincare products “to act as a control and help monitor the flare-ups” I’m also hoping for rank outsider no.7, simply because it will require me to make no changes whatsoever and to continue buying Dermalogica products in the name of being a loving cat mamma. (“Why, yes, Cat Daddy, that price is perfectly normal for such a highly-specialised product. Do you want our boy to get better or not?”)

I am desperate to find out whether one of my 10 suspects will be guilty as charged, or whether the culprit will be something else entirely. I can’t believe that, soon, the wondering and speculating will be over!

Le Roi va mieux: vive Le Roi!

 
Things are improving! Hurrah! The liquid Piriton seems to be having a positive physical effect on Louis Catorze, and his bald, itchy bits are slowly healing. Administering it, however, is the worst thing in the world, and there’s no way of doing it apart from a stealth attack and an undignified neck scruff. 

Whilst I love the taste of Piriton, to the point where I’ve considered using it as a crème de menthe substitute in a Sub Zero cocktail shot, I don’t think Louis Catorze agrees. His face after tasting suggests that he finds it rather like that concoction your hilarious university friends made on your birthday, when they put a shot of everything from the optics bar into one glass and made you drink it. It also doesn’t help matters that, despite not being the brightest, Louis Catorze knows when I’m loading the syringe, even if I go outdoors to do it; when I come back into the room/house, he’s already shifted into Battle Cat mode and is poised, ready to tear my soul out and send it to hell. This happens even if I don’t have the syringe on me, having hidden it elsewhere for later use AND washed my hands.

Offering treats as a bribe: he doesn’t like food, so no. 

Mixing medication into food: as above. In fact, when I once created some cute little tuna patties laced with Atopica, he gave me the resigned “Go home – you’re embarrassing yourself” look. 

Is this too much to hope for: a day when I no longer have to put him through this? Hurry up, test results! 

Le Roi est de retour!

The vet called at about 7:30 last night to let us know there had been a cancellation, so Cat Daddy took Louis Catorze in this morning for his blood test. I felt quite guilty not feeding him but, because he doesn’t really like food, rather than bugging me, he just watched me eat my own breakfast and slow-blinked politely. The photo above shows him mid-blink (please excuse the surrounding laptops, wires and crap – cropping the photo did virtually nothing to improve it).

The veterinary nurse had previously told Cat Daddy that they would try pinning Louis Catorze down again, “using more people” (more than 4!) and resorting to the sedative only if that didn’t work. We told them that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES was that to happen, and that they were to bypass the brute force and go straight for the sedative; some will disagree with this, I know, but, when a 3kg cat suddenly develops the strength of a grizzly bear and 4 people can’t contain him, it’s because he’s terrified and fearing for his life. I thought, and still think, that sedation was the kinder option.

And, having raced home like a nutter to see my boy, I’m happy to report that he’s fine: eating, drinking, trotting around with his tail up and rubbing gross hairs and cat arse all over our (once-)clean ironing. It seems that he’s already forgotten what happened: one of the joys of having a thick cat!

So we’re £345 poorer but the results will be back next week, and I’m going to be like an annoying child in the run-up to Christmas, fidgeting, calendar-watching and willing the days to pass. In the meantime, I’m to give Louis Catorze 5ml of liquid Piriton twice a day, “whenever he feels itchy”. So that’ll be all the time, then. But … not today. Today is all about cuddles and enjoying Dreamies irresponsibly.

La honte

I feel nothing today but deep shame at Louis Catorze’s behaviour, and frustration that we now have to go back to the vet again and (probably) spend a larger sum of money than anticipated. I can’t even bring myself to take a photo of him, because the 2 bald chest patches that he is now proudly sporting are a grim reminder that he was shaved for nothing. (He, incidentally, appears to have no memory of the incident; in fact, the dumb zozo was happily slow-blinking at me 15 minutes after we got home yesterday. We’ve just had a lovely cuddle, and now he’s gone outside to chase some bugs.)

Cat Daddy, on the other hand, is peacock-proud of his boy for standing up for himself. “Good for him! At least we know that, if anyone tried to kidnap him, he’d be fine.” Yes, I can imagine the streets lined with people just desperate to do that: he’s black, he’s scruffy, he’s dangerous and he costs a fortune to maintain. (Cat Daddy asked me the other day whether the cost of the allergy test would be taken out of the kitty sick fund that we’ve been saving up. YES. IT HAS TO BE. THERE IS NO OTHER MONEY. LITTLE SOD HAS BLED US DRY.)

So, other than the bald chest patches, life goes on as normal until Thursday.