Je suis la résurrection

For a number of reasons but, in particular, because of Le Miracle de Pâques 4 days ago, I feel incredibly lucky to still have my boy with me when I thought I would never see him again. I can’t stop scooping him up in my arms and squeezing him, and he returns my love by looking thoroughly bored, as if to say, “You loser. Laisse-moi tranquille!” Then he wriggles to get free.

My joy, however, is tinged with huge embarrassment at the fact that we interrupted Oscar the dog’s folks’ peaceful Saturday to make them go out in the rain and search in their shed and summer house for a stupid cat that was indoors the whole time. Cat Daddy and I have since talked about how much time to allow before we start to panic, should Louis Catorze decide to fake his own death again, and we have agreed that 3-4 days seems reasonable.

In other news, his infamy seems to have spread as far as Canada Water in East London. A friend sent me this photo showing what appears to be some sort of tribute mural, lovingly created by one of Le Roi’s subjects in honour of his resurrection and the anguish he caused when he disappeared. We are humbled. And, yes, we concur.

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Ce n’est pas Le Messie: c’est un très vilain garçon

Our Easter weekend was supposed to be a time of joy, but Cat Daddy and I spent Saturday in a state of severe anxiety. After being last seen – or rather, felt and heard – at 6am, Louis Catorze vanished and wasn’t seen again.

We looked EVERYWHERE and called his name, searching in all the usual and unusual places in the house and garden, even texting Oscar the dog’s folks to see if he’d wandered into their shed. But there was no sign of him.

I resisted the temptation to turn to social media at the time, partly because I didn’t want to ruin Easter weekend for everyone, but also because a truly honest announcement would have sounded idiotic: “Le Roi is missing. This is absolutely typical of him and he has done it about 758 times before …” and so on. That said, disappearing is quite normal behaviour when he’s unwell … but definitely not when he’s fine. So, as time passed, we became more and more concerned, especially when we went out for the afternoon and he didn’t greet us when we arrived home.

We had no idea what could have happened to him. There are no hazards whatsoever at The Back, so Cat Daddy’s money was on him slipping unseen into someone’s shed or outhouse. I was rather more worried that he might have wandered into the school behind Le Château and hopped into a workman’s van; given that strange men are Louis Catorze’s favourite people, and places where he shouldn’t be are his favourite places, it was more than possible that a workman could have befriended him and driven off, not realising he had a stowaway.

Then, as we were watching a programme about extreme weather conditions and wondering if he’d been picked off by a tornado like Toto from The Wizard of Oz, the little sod pitter-pattered in, tail high. He had been in the house the whole time, although we still don’t know where.

I scooped him up and gave him a huge cuddle. Cat Daddy called him the same rude name that he used when Catorze brought La Souris into our bedroom.

“It’s as if he’s risen from the dead – or from what we believed to be the dead,” Cat Daddy said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. “It’s an Easter miracle!”

But the real miracle was that neither of us kicked Catorze’s arse for ruining our day.

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Des souris et des hommes

I now have 17 glorious days off work, and this entry of Le Blog was supposed to be full of the joys of the Easter weekend, one of my favourite times of the year. But, instead, I’m piecing together the splintered shards of my life after discovering that my placid, loving little boy is a murderer. I’m also literally piecing together physical things that the little sod smashed up in the all-night battle with La Souris, including a brand new powder compact and a glass jar of body cream.

Actually, perhaps “both a murderer AND an attempted (serial) murderer” would be more apt; on Wednesday night I was awoken by squeaking, and found that he had dragged another victim to his lair:

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This time Cat Daddy managed to trap Souris Deux in my watch box and set it free in the park. It seems he was right when he told me the other day that La Souris Originale would be “the first of many”. This is not good. And it was most definitely not in the small print when we adopted Louis Catorze (unlike his big brother Luther: “Will bring mice and birds” couldn’t really be any clearer).

I don’t really want to lock Louis Catorze in at night. Nor do I want to shut him out of our bedroom, as he has slept with us on our bed ever since the very first night. But the thought of gross mousey feet on our stuff, not to mention gross mousey bodies expelling gross mousey excretory substances, is awful. Years ago, when we had no money, we lived in a rat-infested hovel with our elderly cat, who was too old to hunt and would just sit and watch the rats run past her; our days of having rodent housemates are over, and we don’t want to go back there again.

My one small hope is that this influx of mice is a temporary spring thing and that, once they’re bigger and older – the ones that Louis Catorze caught were TINY – they will be able to outrun him. Please, please let this be the case.

Le chasseur

Our days of being able to trip gaily about Le Château barefoot or in the dark – or both, had we wished to do so – are over. At just after midnight last night, for the first time ever, Louis Catorze brought a live mouse into our bedroom and set it free under the bed.

We thought it a little odd that he was so active when he came in, pitter-pattering about far more than usual, but we assumed it was just full moon madness and that he was having an extended play with one of his many toys. Then Cat Daddy said, “Put the light on. He’s caught something.”

I refused to believe it – after all, this is my sweet, gentle little soul who is too lazy, slow and stupid to hunt – but I did as I was asked. And I glimpsed the unmistakable sight of a little teardrop-shaped lump of grey fur with a poker-straight stub of a tail, just before it disappeared under the bed.

Cat Daddy got up, called Catorze a very rude name indeed, and set about finding a suitable receptacle in which to trap poor La Souris, eventually settling upon the box that my new watch came in (which displeased me immensely, but there was nothing else to hand). Alas, a quick glance under the bed revealed absolutely thousands of things, from boxes to bags to shoes to unidentifiable stuff that we haven’t even unpacked since the move; if we were going to take each piece out to corner La Souris, it would take us until sunrise and we were already exhausted after a long day at work.

“What shall we do?” he asked.

“I think we should just leave him in here to catch it,” I said. So we both went to sleep in a different bedroom and hoped for the best. We did wonder how we would know whether La Souris had escaped, whether it had been caught or whether it was still hiding under the bed, but we needn’t have worried because it turned out that Catorze had Un Grand Plan.

Whilst Cat Daddy fell asleep immediately and slept through everything, I was kept awake for the next FIVE HOURS by the sounds of scampering, meowing and things falling to the floor. And Louis Catorze’s Grand Plan to alert us of La Souris’ status was to deposit its carcass outside our door and yowl until we opened up.

After that there was no getting back to sleep for me – although Cat Daddy, annoyingly, again had no problem – so I thought I may as well stay up and write this. The prospect of getting through a full day at work after not managing to sleep AT ALL, makes me want to hurt others and myself. Catorze, however, remains unfazed by his new-found bloodlust. Here he is, at the scene where he dumped the body, and I swear there’s an ungiven shit in the picture:

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Joyeux printemps

Happy spring equinox from all at Le Château. From now, the light will officially overtake the darkness, bringing warmth, new life and sunny evenings on the patio with kitties pitter-pattering sweetly around us.

I hope you like Louis Catorze’s official spring equinox portrait. Photographing him frolicking gaily among the spring flowers took some doing, non seulement because we only have a grand total of about 4 flowers but also because, every time I went outside to take the picture, he would stop his gay frolicking and come running to me, all squeaky and up-tailed, to nuzzle my ankles. I did wonder why, if he likes me so much, he didn’t just stay indoors with me in the first place, but that’s Roi Logic for you.

Anyway, I finally got him by sitting in wait on the cold ground by the grape hyacinth with my camera at the ready. And it was worth the wait:

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La menthe au citron vert

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In an effort to solve LimeGate, my latest “thing” is to pick Louis Catorze up and thrust him into people’s faces so that they can try to identify the source of the scent. Whether they want to or not.

Here are some of the reactions so far:

Friend 1: “Ooh, yes! Lovely and citrusy!”
Friend 2: “He smells very clean and fresh. Do you bathe him?” [I reminded her of his tendency to fight like a grizzly bear when cleaned or examined. She retracted her question.]
My mum: “I’ve got a cold, so I can’t smell anything.”
Cat Daddy, without looking up from his laptop: “Go away. I’m trying to work.”

Conclusion: inconclusive.

The single helpful piece of advice came from a friend who discovered that there is a lime mint plant; now, although I had heard of chocolate mint and apple mint, lime mint is a new one to me. And the thought of Louis Catorze writhing about in this plant is considerably easier on my nerves than the prospect of a cross person subjecting him to what is basically an acid attack (kind of).

All I need to do now is find out which neighbour owns such a plant. And work out whether a photo of Catorze, plus the words “Do you have a lime mint plant? And has this cat been trashing it? If so, please call us so that we may apologise personally and replace your squashed plant”, would all fit onto an A4 poster without looking too cramped.

Le Roi a quitté le bâtiment

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Someone was complètement épuisé on Monday night after a night out on the tiles. And when I say a night out, I mean literally the whole night out: the little sod slipped out unnoticed at The Front as Cat Daddy was putting some rubbish out on Sunday evening, and was stuck there until Monday morning.

I was alerted to Louis Catorze’s plight by pathetic, far-off, trapped-sounding wailing at 6:15 on Monday morning, just after my alarm went off. After searching the whole house, including in cupboards and boxes, I eventually found him outside the front door; he pitter-pattered in, freezing cold but up-tailed, then scurried upstairs and flopped onto the bed, where he stayed for some time.

“I wondered why he was still asleep when I got up for work,” Cat Daddy said later. “That’ll teach him. At least he’s too thick to have been scared.”

Cat Daddy wondered if we were to blame for this incident because our supervised Front sessions had given Catorze a taste for forbidden territory. However, I think they have helped him to understand where home is, and that we should be thankful both for that and for the fact that he stayed put instead of gadding about through TW8 and getting into scrapes. Louis Catorze had 8 undisturbed hours to explore his rich and varied neighbourhood – including a park, a couple of schools and the banks of the river Thames – to his heart’s content, yet the chances are he chose to spend the whole time with his arse parked on our doormat, howling like a freak. (Sorry, neighbours.)

Luckily, because he’s thick, I know that he will have forgotten it all by tomorrow. Let’s hope this makes him a little more wary of The Front, as opposed to kick-starting his curiosity …