Le silence du Roi

Louis Catorze has a swish, new transportation pod. One of the pictures below is of that very pod. The other shows a pod that is far more appropriate for him given his chequered history when it comes to being transported, but Pets at Home don’t appear to stock it. And I suspect that the armed guards would have cost extra.

Cat Daddy: “He doesn’t need a new transportation pod. The old pod is fine.”
Me: “But I find it hard to carry the old pod, the way he fights and flips.”
Cat Daddy: “He doesn’t fight and flip when I take him. He behaves perfectly well for me.”

Well, that’s delightful news. Thanks.

Anyway, the new pod is super-stylish and considerably more fitting for a Sun King than his old one. It’s not often that we encounter his comrades or adversaries in the vet’s waiting room but, when we do, we want to look the part, n’est-ce pas?

On Friday we decided that it would be a good idea to give Le Roi a preventative steroid shot before going on holiday, as he was starting to get a bit scratchy and we didn’t want his gouvernante française to have problems. The triangular – rather than square/rectangular – profile of the new pod makes it very easy to carry by my side, even with my neck and shoulder problems, so, for the first time ever, I was able to walk to the appointment.

Sadly, the ergonomic shape and Chanel-inspired quilting did nothing to alleviate the screaming. Catorze hollered his lungs out all the way there, and, because we were walking, the screams echoed through the neighbourhood as opposed to being confined to the car. Even the workmen, who were digging up the road, stopped what they were doing to look at us. And, upon arrival, le fichu salaud was so noisy in the waiting room that the two ladies who came in after us, with their nice, quiet cats, decided that they would rather sit in the Dog Area than in the Cat Area with us, completely messing up the vet’s new apartheid system.

We feel a bit bad for our French cat-sitter as the steroid shots usually turn our boy rather manic and psycho, but better that than to have him scratch himself to bleeding point and require a trip to the vet in our absence.

There won’t be any blog posts for a short while, unless we see any cute cats on holiday, or unless we hear that Louis Catorze has done something especially impressive or horrific. Please keep well until our return, and continue to obey your furry overlords at all times.

 

 

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Protéger et servir

Cat Daddy and I are going on holiday in a few days’ time, and we have a friend coming all the way from Paris to look after Louis Catorze in our absence. Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: Le Roi is going to have an ACTUAL French person as his full-time, live-in majordome/esclave.

“Do you speak French to him all the time?” she asked us. “Because I intend to. So, by the time you come back, he won’t take any notice of anything you say.”

Louis Catorze, not following instructions? Whatever next?

Anyway, Cat Daddy and I are currently putting together a set of manuals for her reference. The Château manual was complete some time ago, and contains the following sections:

1. The Sonos multimedia system
2. The kitchen appliances
3. Local places of interest

The Roi manual, which is proving to be rather more of a lengthy task, contains the following sections so far:

1. Food
2. Drink
3. Play
4. Catnip (for medicinal purposes)
5. Nocturnal gadding about
6. Brushing
7. The vet
8. Dog warfare
9. Prey, dead
10. Prey, living
11. Prey, partially-living
12. Lockdown at The Front, and how to manage escapees
13. Health and safety drill for Ocado delivery drivers

“It’ll be fine,” said Cat Daddy. “What’s the worst that could happen …?”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets.]

He continued: ” … Apart from us returning home to find the place knee-deep in dead vermin like some post-apocalyptic horror film, and our poor friend crying in the corner?”

Right. Où est ma valise?

You will notice that there is no “Medication” section in the Roi manual, and that wasn’t an oversight: notre cher ami has officially been given the all-clear from his favourite vet, who is back from her travels for a short while. No more Gabapentin! He has had no relapses at all during his tapering-off detox programme and, whilst we will miss the little sod for the next couple of weeks, we know that he will be fine and that our friend will look after him wonderfully.

We just hope that he will be equally considerate in return.

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Le cinéma, c’est vraiment magique

Les grandes vacances sont ici! And this means that Movie Night at Le Château, which often falls by the wayside during a normal working week, will happen more often.

Our Movie Night preparation always consists of the same ritual: lighting a relaxing soy candle (Louis Catorze can’t get enough of Scent Trail candles – http://www.scent-trail.co.uk/ourshop/ – and even tries to nuzzle them through the packaging), gathering an assortment of snacks and dragging Catorze’s arse from wherever he is for some enforced togetherness.

I realise how selfish that sounds, and that others would probably leave their poor cat in peace and let them decide if and when they wanted to partake in Movie Night. But the thing is that we know the little sod better than he knows himself: he WANTS to join us, but he just doesn’t realise it.

Louis Catorze is only capable of dealing with what’s in front of him and he needs constant reminders to do everything, from eating to drinking to going outside to cuddling, because he seems to lack the natural instinct and the brain power to think of doing these things himself. And, once reminded, even if it’s not the thing he intended to do at the time, he’s perfectly happy about it.

This is proven by the fact that, when Cat Daddy drags Louis Catorze in to join us for Movie Night, despite the indignity of being scooped up in one hand and poured onto the sofa, HE STAYS. It’s as if a switch flips in his brain and he recalls how much fun it is. And he remains with us, purring away, until I go to bed, when he pitter-patters upstairs with me, snuggles me until I fall asleep, then pitter-patters back downstairs to join his daddy for Boys’ Club.

And, if anyone is wondering about Louis Catorze’s preferred viewing genre, he’s partial to a bit of horror. Would we throw him to the zombies to save ourselves? Probably … although I suspect that, on account of the lack of brains, they would throw him back.

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Aux larmes, citoyens!

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It’s 14th July, and Louis Catorze is staging his very own French Revolution here at Le Château: his early morning screaming sessions have restarted, and they continue long after I have gone to work when Cat Daddy is still in bed. We’re woken repeatedly by his yelling and thundering about on the wooden floors, all for no reason whatsoever, and it’s driving us crazy. He is neither hungry, nor thirsty, nor distressed, nor in need of anything: he just seems to like the sound of his own voice. And, unfortunately, we don’t. Especially not at 1am, 3am or 5am.

Yesterday morning I woke up at 5am to the sound of screaming, pitter-pattering and scampering, which usually means that Louis Catorze has invited a guest in.

After some searching, I found him lying on his back with his head and back feet hooked through the straps of one of my sports bras. Catorze had unzipped my gym bag, pulled out the bra and gone on some sort of cross-dressing rampage. He wasn’t trapped or upset; in fact, he seemed to be having tremendous fun, rolling, bicycle-kicking and screaming. After wrestling the bra away from him and cautiously checking the gym bag in case he had put anyone or anything in there, I was wide awake with a good hour to go until my alarm. I never got back to sleep after that.

This – the screaming, not the cross-dressing – has happened every night/morning, at least once per night/morning (usually more), for the last 10 days or so, and we’re going to work feeling utterly frazzled and wanting to cry. I think we might have to resume our routine of some energetic play before bed to wear out the little sod, because we can’t go on like this.

Any suggestions would be received with more gratitude than you will ever know. Or we might just have to stick him in an Uber and send him somewhere far, far away. If you live absolutely nowhere near TW8, look out for him in a Toyota Prius.

Le Roi est content: vive Le Roi!

This week we seem to have been disproportionately busy with pointless things. Firstly, I excitedly took delivery of a mystery parcel, only to discover that it was the beeswax candles that I had ordered to combat the hay fever that Louis Catorze doesn’t have.

And, secondly, after a whole day spent trying to capture the sneezing and wheezing on video so that the vet could see it, I have had the embarrassment of telling them to ignore said video on account of the fact that Catorze wasn’t unwell: he had just snorted a blade of grass.

The good news, however, is that the little sod’s Gabapentin taper is going brilliantly, and he has managed to defy the odds and get down to 1 x 25mg every other day. The vet is surprised and delighted that we have managed to keep it under control with such a low dose, which isn’t typical of the other cats on his feline hyperesthesia forum. And he is continuing to eat Pill Pockets, so the Greco-Roman combat is well and truly a thing of the past. So, if this positive snap continues, hopefully the meds will be completely gone by August and he will be able to have a nice, substance-free summer (apart from the steroid jabs).

Here is a very rare shot of Catorze snuggling ME, rather than his daddy, on our outdoor sofa, the day after l’extraction de l’herbe. I like to think of this as his way of saying, “Merci, Maman.”

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Saint Jérôme et le lion

Louis Catorze started sneezing and snorting late on Friday evening, and this went on at regular intervals throughout the night. At first I thought he was coughing up hairballs, but he hardly ever has them because we are so rigorous with his brushing routine. Plus the sound was more nasal than throaty.

He seemed otherwise content – shouty, silly etc. – so, after checking his face and mouth and finding nothing untoward, I phoned the vet rather than taking him in, and I described his symptoms as “snorting, sniffing, lots of lip-licking and shaking his head as if trying to get something out of his nose or throat.” They confirmed my feeling that it wasn’t a medical emergency – possibly a seasonal allergy – and recommended a small amount of Piriton if he became too uncomfortable, but told me to monitor him and take him in on Monday if things didn’t settle.

Hay fever was probably the one, single ailment that Catorze had never had, and I couldn’t believe that we would now have to add it to his extensive list of problems. I ordered some allergen-busting beeswax candles online as I had run out, and I attempted a dose of Piriton but the combination of super-strong, spring-loaded syringe plus unhappy cat meant that it didn’t end very well. The little sod screamed bloody murder, writhed, clawed, drooled like a rabid wolf and then took off to hide in the Forbidden Greenhouse, wearing most of the Piriton on his face and chest.

After an uneventful afternoon, by evening things hadn’t settled at all: the gurning, spluttering and head-shaking were just as regular. As I went to bed, mentally preparing for the battering that Le Royal Sick Fund would take when I called out the emergency vet on a Sunday, I saw that Louis Catorze had followed me, still snuffling and staring at me as if pleading for help, so I decided to have one last go at checking his face. I put him between my knees, pulled his head right back … and caught sight of what looked like a grass seed sticking out of his right nostril. BINGO.

I tried to pull it out but the darned thing wasn’t budging, and Catorze was becoming increasingly agitated at my picking and poking. But I held on and persisted, finally succeeding in dislodging the offending item … and, to my horror, I saw that it wasn’t a grass seed at all, but a whole blade of grass (see photo, with a 20p coin for scale). Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: THE ENTIRE THING HAD BEEN UP HIS NOSE THE WHOLE TIME.

I cannot fathom how it could have got up there in the first place, let alone how it stayed there for 24 hours. I don’t think I could get a blade of grass to stay up my nose for more than a few minutes, even if I glued it there. But, thankfully, it’s out now. And, as soon as it was released, the ungrateful little weasel uttered not a word of thanks, instead pitter-pattering off to his papa for Boys’ Club cuddles.

The moral of this story: cats are ungrateful idiots. But we still move heaven and earth for them to be comfortable and happy, don’t we?

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