Les fleurs du mal

Our plans to buffer Le Château’s perimeters have hit a bit of an obstacle: the patch where we had intended to plant the prickly shrub consists of just a few inches of soil on a base of solid concrete, plus it’s curiously boxed in by a mini-wall of concrete. Planting anything substantial there just won’t work so, for the moment, it’s become the new home for our mint plant, which was starting to stifle our other herbs faster than Louis Catorze could eat it and puke it up.

And, just as we set up our outdoor furniture, the weather turns to merde. Typical. Luckily this hasn’t prevented us from enjoying a few snatched moments of almost-warmth outdoors, wrapped up in jumpers and blankets and with Louis Catorze pitter-pattering around us. But, yesterday evening, in the half-light, we caught sight of his stupid little silhouette flicking an object around, diving onto it, then holding it with his front paws and doing that really fast bicycle-kick with his back ones.

The thing, whatever it was, was motionless. But, as we focused our eyes around the garden, more and more of them – also motionless – came into view in the flowerbeds. It was like that internet meme: “The harder you stare, the more zombies appear.” Saint Jésus. We had a massacre on our hands.

“What ARE they?” asked Cat Daddy. There must have been ten, fifteen, maybe more, of these rodent-shaped lumps strewn around our garden, and we were not looking forward to attempting to identify them. Mice = not great. Rats = worse. The pet hamsters of various neighbours = sell up, move house and don’t leave a forwarding address.

After several minutes of procrastinating, we took a deep breath and switched on the main outside light.

And so it was revealed that our dear little boy is the mass killer of …

… [drum roll and fanfare] …

… the dead heads of camellia flowers.

image

Ok, so the object in the photo looks far more like a flower head than a dead rodent but, when you’re a couple of glasses of Cava under and in semi-darkness, it’s an easy mistake to make.

Phew. So Louis Catorze isn’t in the dog house after all. It still doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten MouseGate or SlugGate, though.

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