Je suis accro à la serre

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As the light fades and autumn rolls steadily on towards Halloween, it seems that Louis Catorze’s health is starting to wane, too. Over the last couple of nights I’ve been very conscious of him fidgeting and scratching on the bed and, when I checked him the other day (with a cat like Catorze, daily inspections are as much part of the routine as feeding and watering), I found a very slightly balding eye and a dreadful-looking hacked-up chin. I’ve decided not to photograph the latter in particular but, if you were to watch a slasher horror film, you would get an idea of its appearance. “Stab victim chic” is le look that Louis Catorze has managed to achieve.

The frustrating thing is that we haven’t changed anything in terms of what we do with him. The only thing I can think of is the fact that he’s rediscovered his love of the Forbidden Greenhouse, after initially forgetting that it even existed. All together now: WHY?

The day before yesterday, he spent so long in there that Cat Daddy eventually went in with a torch and dragged his little French arse undignifiedly out. “It really wasn’t easy getting him out,” he said afterwards. “He’d wedged himself into this weird lidded bit of that propagator thing, and I had to prise the lid off first. He screamed the place down, too. I’m surprised the neighbours didn’t complain.”

I really didn’t think I’d have a battle on my hands preventing a cat from going into a freezing cold place in the middle of autumn; in fact, I thought it would be the LAST place he’d want to go to when we have comfortable beds, under-floor heating and suchlike. I was wrong. As closing the greenhouse door isn’t possible (it’s a sliding door that has rusted in the open position), my only option is physical blockades of the scary kind. So, as Louis Catorze hates mineral water bottles, my next step will be to put the plastics recycling sack in front of the greenhouse door.

To be honest, I don’t really think it will work; despite being thick, he can show flashes of incredible determination when it comes to doing things that are bad for him. But it’s all I have at the moment.

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