L’Année du Chien

Chinese New Year officially begins today and it’s the Year of the Dog, which will be rather displeasing to many of our feline overlords. However, Louis Catorze, being quite cordial towards dogs even if the feeling isn’t mutual, has both accepted this with good grace AND chosen to make a peace offering to his sparring partner next door:

CD89F517-36A2-4964-B213-EBEE9657DFD5

Whilst I am not a great believer in the western zodiac, nor in the characteristics attributed according to one’s date of birth, Chinese New Year made me curious about Louis Catorze’s corresponding Chinese horoscope animal. And, being born in 2010, it turns out that he is likely to be … a Tiger. No joke. (Cat Daddy spat his tea all over his laptop when I told him.)

This is what l’internet says about those born in the Year of the Tiger:

– Brave [Catorze takes on larger animals of any kind, without hesitation, so OUI]
– Competitive [although this rather depends on the nature of the competition; if it’s “Who can be the biggest and most annoying crotte de merde in the land?” then OUI]
– Self-confident [OUI]
– Charming [OUI]
– Well-liked by others [provided we don’t count dogs or Ocado delivery drivers among the “others”, then OUI]
– Impetuous [see “Brave” above: OUI]
– Over-indulged [I suppose having a house built and furnished to his specifications, food flown in from Canada and a savings account for his healthcare could possibly, by some people’s interpretation, be seen as “over-indulged”, so OUI]

Louis Catorze wishes everyone, especially all dogs, a joyous and prosperous year ahead. And he would love to know all about your feline overlords’ Chinese horoscope animals and whether the characteristics are a good match!

Advertisements

Beurk, le rat!

It’s Valentine’s Day, and many of us will have received gifts in honour of this auspicious Hallmark day. My gift, however, is delayed.

Here is a picture of it:

CE9BFC62-8832-4F1A-ADDB-8B631880D831

Oui, Mesdames et Messieurs: here at Le Château, seeing a live rodent isn’t just seeing a live rodent. It’s Louis Catorze’s equivalent of those despatch confirmation emails, saying, “Your parcel is on its way.”

Responses to the photo of my impending delivery have been as follows:

Oscar the dog’s mamma: “A baby rat, I reckon. I think it’s rather cute. But I still wouldn’t want it in my house.”
Cat Daddy: “A RAT. Where the hell is HE when we need him?”
My mum: “They say that, in London, you’re never more than 3 feet away from a rat. You’d better keep your door shut when you go outside, even if it’s just for a few minutes.”

Super. Merci.

It’s not a question of WHETHER Louis Catorze will catch it – because we know that he will – but WHEN. And, unfortunately, there will be no way of tracking this package, and I guess I can forget about choosing a one-hour delivery slot. Knowing Catorze, Le Rat will be dropped onto my pillow in the dead of night, still squealing, with one or more limbs/organs hidden elsewhere in Le Château for me to find later.

Joyeuse Saint Valentin à tous!

Lancer un pavé dans la mare

If you have never seen those “Photos taken seconds before disaster struck” picture gallery things, this interpretation should be self-explanatory:

F703F796-EEA5-48FE-8228-39CE35E4377B

I took this photo mainly because I never imagined Louis Catorze would take on an enormous beast of a wood pigeon the same size as him. And, in the unlikely event of him trying, I thought he would be far too slow to actually succeed. C’était faux: not long afterwards, despite le pigeon distancing itself by settling on a different part of the furniture, le petit voyou charged down the garden path and managed to get his paws to it.

Cat Daddy raced outside and grabbed a broom to try and separate the pair of them. He managed to poke le pigeon out of evil Catorze’s grasp, but the poor, traumatised bird flapped its way into a corner from where there was no escape … and Catorze, despite being thicker than a concrete milkshake, knew this, and circled like a hungry shark. I then had to go out to try and catch him but he refused to be caught, forever dancing tantalisingly out of my reach, but luckily this gave Cat Daddy enough time to trap le pigeon in a cardboard box and place it in the safety of the park opposite.

My best friend, who was over for lunch at the time, hooted with laughter at the whole spectacle. (She is a dog person, and this confirmed why.)

Cat Daddy and I may need to be more consistent in our approach to dealing with the little sod. Our mixed messages are probably WHY he’s such a little sod.

Me: “Bad kitty. That poor bird.”
Cat Daddy: “Call yourself a hunter? That was the most pathetic effort ever.”

Le crime de lèse-majesté

Cat Daddy and I decided not to bother with Dry January this year because, if you’re denying yourself something you like, January is just too difficult a month in which to attempt it. So we’re giving Dry February a go instead. February is just that little bit brighter and more hopeful, so embarking upon tough challenges somehow doesn’t seem quite so onerous. (Plus February is shorter.)

A friend recommended the “Dry January and Beyond” app to help track my progress, and it’s great apart from one thing: try as I might, I can’t enter my name into my profile. When I go into the settings and click on the name-changing bit, nothing happens. Now, this may not sound like la fin du monde, but I have selected one of my favourite Roi photos for my profile picture … and the generic default name alongside his photo is “null null null”. Which, unfortunately, is (pretty much) the French for “rubbish, rubbish, rubbish”.

265FB92E-A9C5-4613-9C0E-9600E096F8B3

Cat Daddy thinks it’s the funniest thing ever to have the words “rubbish, rubbish, rubbish” next to a photo of Louis Catorze. “It’s what I’ve been telling you for ages!” he hooted. “But so what? It’s not as if he knows he’s being called rubbish.”

IT’S (KIND OF) FRENCH. HE’S FRENCH. OF COURSE HE WILL KNOW.

“Or,” Cat Daddy continued, “if YOU don’t care about being called rubbish, you could just upload a photo of yourself instead.”

[Silence, tumbleweed, crickets]

“Oh. My. God. You don’t HAVE any photos of yourself, do you? Your camera roll consists ENTIRELY of cat photos!”

Oh. Ahem.

Anyway, I have contacted the good citizens of Dry January and Beyond to ask them how to change the name, although, naturellement, I have pretended that it’s I who objects to being called rubbish. I couldn’t really say “My royal French cat, Sa Majesté Louis Catorze, Le Roi Soleil, is highly offended at the très mal-fortunate juxtaposition of le portrait royal et l’insulte” because that might have sounded silly.

As for Catorze, I am hoping that his spelling is better than his, erm, other intellectual capacities, and that the slightly offish orthographe* will delay his realisation somewhat. Calling a monarch “rubbish” – three times, no less – is surely an act of high treason, punishable only by the guillotine?

*nul = adjectif masculin
nulle = adjectif féminin

La mort sur un chat noir

I have a new phone, which, firstly, means better-quality Roi photos and more of them! Hurrah! But, more importantly, it shouldn’t overheat and then require refrigerating, as the old phone did. (No joke: this really did happen. It was Cocoa the babysit cat’s mamma who advised me to put it in the fridge, obviously empathising with the trauma of potentially losing 1,500+ precious cat photos and the 5 or 6 husband/family photos.)

It was initially cheering to see that the new phone was exactly the same size as the old one. But, naturellement, those wily tricksters at Apple have made subtle yet annoying changes which oblige us to grudgingly purchase brand new supporting paraphernalia. So I have had to buy a new phone case, as the old one obscures the camera.

LOOK AT MY NEW PHONE CASE, THOUGH!

I know. No more needs to be said.

68226B60-A6CA-4E6C-A2FC-E9F012EF879F

 

Qui a peur du Roi Soleil?

My friend, with whom I stayed last weekend: “Our cats never give us the cold shoulder when we get back from holiday. They’re really good.”
Me: “Yes, Louis Catorze is the same.”

What a pile of merde. This was our welcome back from Sa Majesté on Sunday:

16h00: Ear-splitting screaming
16h10: Little sod goes out to sit by himself in the rain (and, odd though this is, frankly we are relieved)
16h30: Little sod comes in when I go upstairs for a shower and rolls his gross, wet body all over Cat Daddy (ha!)
16h50: Little sod goes out again the minute I return from my shower
17h10: Little sod comes back in when Cat Daddy’s (male) friend stops by, and screams incessantly at the pair of them
17h15: I go and hide in the living room, and the screaming continues
17h30: I shout from the living room, “What the hell is wrong with him?” but nobody can hear me because of the screaming
18h00: Cat Daddy sees his friend out, then comes to hide with me in the living room and complain about the screaming
18h01: Little sod finds us
18h05: Boys’ Club – and silence – for the rest of the evening

Cat Daddy is already planning our next weekend away, to get some peace. But not before we invest in some sedatives (for us as well as for Catorze).

14CCCEFC-3E44-483D-8377-97F2755F6C7D

En vacances, l’esprit libre

Whilst Cat Daddy and I struggle with the drudgery that is January, Louis Catorze has been dealing with it by being as annoying as is felinely possible. I don’t know where he finds the energy – after all, we certainly can’t – but his psycho levels appear to have spiked lately, and we can’t keep up with his nonsense.

This is a small selection of the undesirable behaviour that we have had to endure:

1. Nocturnal scampering and whining (which doesn’t sound that bad, but trying to teach teenagers on a night of interrupted sleep is the worst pain there is)
2. Sitting statue-still and creepily staring at us (and, yes, we do wish he’d do this at night and the scampering and whining during the day)
3. Following us around the house trilling, chirping and trying to trip us up
4. Screaming at the party wall surveyor and drowning out his attempts to make audio notes on his dictaphone
5. Knocking all my students’ assessments onto the floor and rolling on them

Here he is, having just done numéro 5. The deranged stare and toothy gawp don’t really say “Remorse”, do they?

1439AFA9-E749-4A5F-BA9A-4223B4730E47

Cat Daddy: “We should just pack our bags and leave. Let him become someone else’s problem for a change.”

So we did. We have just had a lovely weekend with some great friends and their more photogenic, better-behaved cats, and are on our way back right now. No doubt Sa Majesté will have been impeccably good for those taking care of him, as always. And, whilst the brief break from his bad behaviour has done us some good, I am sure it will resume again the minute we set foot across the Château threshold.

Cat Daddy will never admit this, but I think he is secretly looking forward to seeing his boy again. And I, too, can’t wait to scoop him up in my arms and have him yowl, kick and struggle to get free.