Le samedi soir est bien pour se battre

Louis Catorze has decided that one nemesis isn’t enough and so, now, he has a second.

In addition to his well-documented war on Oscar the dog next door, relations with Kiki the bichon frise* have somehow gone from non-existent to merde totale.

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Kiki lives several doors down the street from us and Louis Catorze wouldn’t ordinarily have any contact whatsoever with her, were it not for the fact that he has started to bolt out of the front door whenever we open it. Last night he did this after dark, which meant that supervising him was impossible and therefore we had no option but to leave him and wait until he decided to come in. And, whilst he was out there, Kiki happened to be walking by and they had a huge altercation.

I opened the front door just in time to hear a voice say, “Come on, Kiki!” and to catch sight of this tiny white cloud of rage being dragged undignifiedly away. I had to hand it to her, though: she put up a darned good fight. And I don’t know what made her so mad with Catorze, but I suspect he asked for it.

Le Roi was startled enough to come pitter-pattering straight in after that. But the stubborn little sod refused to budge from the front door and sat firmly on the doormat, waiting to be released for Round 2.

Oh my.

I reported the incident to Cat Daddy and, when I told him the dog’s name, his eyes widened. “Ah, the Elton John dog!”

Excuse-moi?

“I’ve met that dog before, in the park,” he continued. “Her owners told me her name but I knew I’d forget, so I thought of Elton John to help me remember. But then, when I got home, I couldn’t remember why I’d picked Elton John to help me remember a small white dog, so I’ve just been calling her the Elton John dog.”

Right.

(If you were born in the 80s or later, ask your parents.)

So it seems we are now twice as unpopular as we were before, when Louis Catorze only had one nemesis.

The other problem arising from having two canine nemeses is that it doesn’t sound right to say “Oscar the dog” and “Kiki the bichon frise”; one is generic and the other is more breed-specific. So now we’re going to have to call Oscar “Oscar the Yorkshire terrier”, which is double the number of syllables.

Le Roi is hard work. I shall say it again: it’s a good thing we love him.

*Picture posed by Max, and not actually by Kiki; somehow I didn’t quite feel up to knocking at Kiki’s door and saying, “Hello. Your dog hates my cat. Please may I have a photo?” Thank you to Max’s mamma Jill for letting me use this picture.

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Le piège à souris

Another day, another darned mouse, this time delivered to our bedroom, undead and twitching. But, fortunately for me, by the time I had gone to fetch a plastic bag and come back again, Le Bon Dieu had had the grace to take its poor soul to mouse heaven.

Because we had to dash straight out to the eye hospital for Cat Daddy’s painfully early appointment, I didn’t have a chance to dispose of La Pauvre Souris in the park bin across the road. I certainly wasn’t putting it in any of our household bins in case Catorze broke in and caused further havoc, so, on our way out, I just dumped it temporarily on the Roi-inaccessible doorstep at The Front, with the intention of getting rid of it as soon as we returned. We would only be gone for a couple of hours and nobody was due to visit us, so nothing could possibly go wrong. Or so we thought.

As we headed off to the hospital in the car, we caught sight of the postman walking into our street. Merde.

There was no time to return home and dispose of the plastic bag before the postman saw it, although Cat Daddy said it was highly unlikely that any postman would untie a plastic bag that was sitting on a doorstep and peer inside.

That was when I realised that I hadn’t tied it up.

We were at the hospital for quite a lot longer than expected and, whilst I should have been worrying about Cat Daddy, all I could think about was whether the postman would tell all our neighbours that we keep a dead mouse in a John Lewis bag sitting on our front doorstep. (Postmen are PERFECTLY placed to spread gossip, aren’t they, given that they go to every house in the neighbourhood and probably know everyone?)

Our only hope was that maybe we wouldn’t have any letters today, so perhaps the postman would have had no need to come to our door. When we got home, however, we found not only that we had had more post than ever before in our lives, but also that the wind had somehow blown the bag open and its grim contents could be seen from the street.

Then one of the neighbours, who was passing by, stopped for a chat on the doorstep, and Cat Daddy was forced to maintain cheerful conversation whilst, at the same time, striking a bizarre pose to obscure La Pauvre Souris with his foot. (He later reported that it was VERY difficult to get that fine balance of hiding the body without stepping on it and having it burst underfoot.)

Now … would you forgive this contrite face?

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Le chat vit pour manger

Someone appears to have stolen Louis Catorze – quite why anyone would do this is beyond me – and replaced him with a similar-looking changeling cat who actually likes food.

For the first time EVER, this morning he pulled the Second Breakfast trick on Cat Daddy, who fell for it completely. When I got home I was berated for “forgetting” to feed Catorze before going to work when I knew full well that I had done it, and it was then that the little sod was rumbled.

This has never happened before. Quite the opposite, in fact: Le Roi’s plate is usually never empty.

His big brother, Luther, was different. When it came to the Second Dinner trick, he would have beaten Leonardo di Caprio to that Best Actor Oscar, without a doubt; too often I would be scrabbling through bins, accompanied by the sound of Luther’s “I’m starving to death” song, counting the empty food cans to work out whether I’d fed him 20 minutes previously or whether I’d dreamt the whole episode. And he once did such a number on Cat Daddy that he said, in all seriousness, “Maybe we didn’t feed him after all. Maybe we just THINK we did.”

Luther’s pièce de résistance was this:

1. Luther refuses the food that Cat Daddy puts down
2. Cat Daddy puts down another variant on the same plate (the single action that proved to be his undoing)
3. Luther eats Variant 2
4. After Cat Daddy leaves for work, Luther also eats Variant 1
5. Cat Daddy returns home, sees the empty plate and assumes I must have thrown away the uneaten food

We have no idea how many times he did this. It could have been hundreds.

I can’t see Louis Catorze suddenly sprouting a brain and being as wily as his brother, but, to be honest, given that November is usually the month that his health hits the skids, we’re delighted that he’s eating firsts, never mind seconds.

And the lime scent is back with a vengeance, affirming Cat Daddy’s belief that it’s “just a healthy cat smell”. Again, it could be so much worse, so we’re just going to enjoy it.

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La lune est le rêve du Roi Soleil

Please, someone, save us from this psycho nutjob. (No, not the new President Elect, but Le Roi.)

For the past few days he has been screaming, racing around the house, attacking us as we sleep and generally driving us round the bend. I can only assume this is due to the approaching full moon, because he was relatively normal* before.

*”Normal” refers to the Roi scale, not to most people’s reasonable interpretation of the word.

Yesterday he threw all his efforts into pummelling what looked like a shiny black worm, biting it, flicking it around, holding it in his front paws and doing the bicycle kick with his back ones, and, of course, picking it up in his mouth and fleeing if anyone tried to intervene. I later discovered that it wasn’t a worm at all but the suspender attachment from a basque but, even so, that’s time I will never get back again.

We have also had two mice in the last few days and, because Cat Daddy is recovering from quite a severe eye operation, the rodent-catching mantle has been passed to me. There’s nothing more disconcerting than glimpsing a mouse as it runs into the bathroom whilst you are having a shower, hotly pursued by Louis Catorze, then hearing them trash the place whilst you remain powerless to step in until you have washed the shampoo out of your eyes.

Only 2 more days until this nonsense hits its zenith, then hopefully the purging energy of the waning moon will calm the little sod down.

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Rendre l’Amérique à nouveau grande

On this historic day, Louis Catorze is thinking of his American subjects. (Don’t ask me how but, yes, it is possible to be a U.S. citizen and also the subject of a French feline king.)

However, having studied the credentials of the two presidential candidates, he cannot help but find them lacking in certain areas, and feels that only one individual could take them on and do better.

Naturellement, that one individual is himself.

Here are Le Roi’s policies for his kitty comrades the world over:

Racial justice – vous shalt be nice to other cats of all colours, but especially to black ones
Trade – vous shalt be nice to humans provided there is something in it for vous
Workforce skills and job training – if vos humans do something undesirable, vous shalt vomit, urinate and defecate in the most inconvenient places possible, until they work out what their mistake is and correct it
Climate change – vous shalt snuggle vos humans when it turns cold outside, but treat them like utter merde at all other times
Health care – vous shalt be rushed immediately to the vet at the slightest sniff or lethargy, whereas vos humans shalt wait 10 days for a medical appointment even if their eyeballs are hanging out on visceral strings
Energy – vous shalt conserve as much as possible by doing nothing all day, then expend it by flinging votre self around at 3 o’clock in the morning like an exorcism gone wrong

Based on the above, even I’m starting to feel that America might be better off under Le Roi. Le Roi for president! Or, rather, given that his first constitutional change would be to make America a monarchy, Le Roi for roi!

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Le sixième sens

I am delighted to report that Louis Catorze only escaped once on Halloween night, and that we all survived (apart from the large mouse that he brought in and terrorised the next day). But, although it’s all over for another year, the scares continue in the form of his creepy kitty sixth sense, disproving our theory that it’s directly proportional to intelligence.

Despite not being the brightest star in the galaxy, he is able not only to differentiate his staff’s footsteps from others but also to anticipate our homecoming in advance. He peacefully sleeps through noises made by the neighbours, the postman and random passers-by. But the minute he hears his daddy – or, rather unnervingly, just BEFORE he hears his daddy – he races to the front door so fast that his stupid little feet can’t keep up with themselves, and he skids around on the slippy floorboards like Bambi on ice. Sometimes he goes skidding right past Cat Daddy as he opens the door and ends up outside on the doormat and, to teach him a lesson for being such such a weirdo, Cat Daddy shuts the door on him.

Don’t worry, we always let him in again. (Well, apart from the time we forgot about him, and he ended up out at The Front, unsupervised, on the rampage for an hour.) And, a few weeks ago, when Cat Daddy remembered to let him in, he was greeted by this sight:

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He’s equally perceptive when it comes to my arrival; a few evenings ago I took a while to park the car because I reversed in at the wrong angle and messed it up. When I finally came indoors, Catorze was right at the door – and, apparently, he’d been meowing there for a good minute or two before Cat Daddy had even heard the car.

He’s a scary little freak – living with him is as if Halloween never ended – but we love him.