Tuesday, July 21, 2009

All of a "rage" at the Vets

Bonjour. Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat, here once again.

Perhaps that should read "sulking French cat" as I'm just back from, what for me is fast becoming something of a four-letter word, the VETS.

Now would someone out there like to enlighten me. What exactly is it with periodic medical visits and needles? Do those, albeit highly-qualified comfy laps get a kick from sticking them into our bottoms.

I, for one, am beginning to think so.

A few weeks ago HMDT took me for my first trip to the clinic. Just a check-up to ensure that everything was in working order (I could have told him that, had he bothered to ask).

A most unwelcome sign

Much hilarity about my "sassy" temperament, "cute" zapping around the house as I get my bearings, how I have a limited attention span and can't quite work out what my tail is for and blah, blah, blah.

There were some wise words from the vet concerning my ears (pink and delicate - sunscreen "obligatoire" in summer) and then...well you probably know what happened next (if not, here's a reminder).

The dreaded "needle in the backside" as I received my vaccinations.

So when we pulled up this afternoon outside the vets, I pretty much had an inkling as to what to expect.

Oh yes they (the vets) are all very kind and knowing, saying, "This won't really hurt" (note already the use of the word "really") and "It's all for your own good in the long run", and then before you know where you are they've kindly grasped you by the neck with one hand to immobilise you, while the other is brandishing that sharp little devil.

Is this REALLY the way to travel?

I tell you, I don't like it. In fact I DON'T LIKE it at all.

It might well be in my own interests and all be part of keeping me healthy, but as far as I'm concerned it's just not fair.

I mean, what have I done to deserve it? Nothing. I've just been me.

This time around it was a vaccination against rabies - or "rage" as we call it here. How appropriate is all I can say.

All right, so I knew it was coming but it still didn't make the experience any the more pleasurable. Once again I let them know exactly how I felt about it.

The good news (yes, there is some) is that I've now got the all clear to venture outside. So I suppose that's something to look forward to.

And all being well I won't be subjected to the same sort of humiliating treatment for quite a while.

Voilà. C'est tout pour le moment.

Yours (still in high dudgeon)

Haricot B.

Back home

Thursday, July 16, 2009

HMDT's "fixation" with ears

Bonjour - a quick question from le blogging French cat.

Do my ears look big...in this basket?

Well a "girl" has to ask doesn't she?

I was just wondering what you thought about them - my ears that is - as HMDT has been pointing that ruddy camera in my direction rather a lot recently in an attempt to "catch the best possible shot" and "the right angle".

As usual I'm not being terribly co-operative but that doesn't seem to make much of a difference.

Honestly though, there seems to be some sort of fascination with them.

There I was having a quiet moment on the chair in the study after having whirlwinded my way around the hall and up and down the stairs when I heard that infuriating digital whirring and clicking.

On opening my eyes slightly, I saw that infernal lens pointing at me

It's not that I'm shy or anything, but really...surely one picture is more than enough.

And what is it exactly with my ears? They seem to be the centre of attention.

Yes, they're very pink. And yes they might seem a little out of proportion to the rest of me (at the moment), but really...can't a cat have her little bit of peace every now and then.

Anyway, just to show you what I have to put up with and the results of that "whirr, click whirr" hEAR'S (sorry I couldn't resist it) a selection of the photos I deigned to pose for.

Plus a short film taken just as I was coming to the end of whizzing around the hall....

"Sigh" or as we say in French "soupire".

Haricot B.

I was TRYING to have a rest

I said I was sleeping

So, what are you looking at?


OK. "Ears, smile for the camera"

Have you finished yet?

The thing is, sometimes I have the attention span of a goldfish

Friday, July 10, 2009

Keeping healthy - the dreaded "vermifuge"

Do you think comfy laps would like some of this?

Bonjour. Ici Haricot Blanc, your blogging French cat.

De retour as you can see.

Hope you enjoyed the last entry from Hiro.

And it's true what she wrote, we've bonded. Even though she's still huge in comparison to me, she doesn't seem to mind when I invite her for a grapple although she gets a trifle antsy when I forget that my choppers are still a little on the sharp side.

One of the hazards (for her) of my teething I suppose.

Besides she's not around all the time, and when she makes an appearance I like to make the most of it.

Wasn't it interesting what she wrote about the PRESENCE? I wonder why she insisted on capitalising it. And who or what are the "lop-eared nutters"? She has refused to divulge any further details telling me that, "All will become clear in good time."

I'll certainly keep you posted when I know more.

One thing I rather liked was the way she signed off, promising that in her I have, "A faithful friend, playmate and protector."

Now that's what I call true cat solidarity.

And I thought her phrase for describing HMDT and Toowfu collectively as the "comfy laps" was quite appropriate, especially as I spend a lot of time sitting on HMDT's when he's trying to work in the study.

Think I'll use it too in the future.

Actually HMDT's not in my good books at the moment.

It was his turn to give me breakfast this morning, but before doing so he picked me up (ever so gently mind you) and started squeezing something into my mouth.

No word of explanation beforehand and no warning what was coming....and it was just ghastly.

I attempted to spit the lot out and struggled quite a bit with my legs flailing in all directions in protest. But to no avail. He kept a firm hold of me and I had no option but to swallow.

Apparently, as I had explained to me afterwards, it was all "for my own good". Don't you just love it when you're told that?

I was, so I learned "being wormed" or "vermifuger" as it was put to me. Somehow it sounds nicer in French although the experience is just as unpleasant in whichever language you choose to use as far as I'm concerned.

After all that I needed something to get rid of the taste and eagerly tucked into my grub.

But do you know what Hiro told me later in the day? I would have to go through the same procedure in a month's time and then every four weeks until I'm six months old. After that it'll be twice a year.

She gets pills rather than paste - something I hope I'll be given instead in the future.

I mean, do you think comfy laps have even tasted the stuff before subjecting us to it?

Rhetorical question really as the answer is obvious.

Yeeurk. The thought of it still makes me shudder.

I have a sneaking feeling that it was that dreaded three-letter word (the vet) that put him up to it. I'm going to have a few things to say to her about that when I next see her - next week I believe.

A bientôt.

Haricot B.

Oh good shoes....and LACES!

I need somewhere to hide

This'll do nicely

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hiro, le blogging French cat's bigger buddy

Bonjour. Perhaps you were expecting to read something from Haricot Blanc, but she has kindly allowed me to paw away at the keyboard for a while.

Let me introduce myself. I'm Hiro (pronounced "Eero"), le blogging French cat's slightly older and wiser confidante.

I see she described me earlier on as "a supposedly friendly little madam who still seems like a giant compared to me and as far as I can tell is prone to mood swings".

Well I would like to set the record straight. Let me reassure you that I am as HMDT told HB "the gentlest, best-natured kitty around."

In fact if they were handing out certificates in good behaviour and mild temperament, I would be given an A+. And that's not idle bragging.

Admittedly things got off to a hesitant start with HB - she seemed so small in comparison and madly keen for a whole heap of rough 'n tumble. I wasn't really sure what to make of her, and it just seemed easier to show who was boss - rather hissily I'm ashamed to acknowledge.

But now we've bonded, and it looks as though we're going to have a great time together. I just can't wait to help her explore Outside and discover what the world has to offer.

Of course that's all in the future.

I see myself as the quintessential "Kool Kat". Nothing fazes me, well apart that is from HER, the rather - how should I put it politely - "highly strung" and "capricious" PRESENCE that (thinks she) rules the roost here.

I don't want to give the game away too much, but HB has rather a surprise in store.

You see we're not the only ones to have adopted the Fontainebleau couple (or the "tin-openers", "biscuit-providers" and "comfy laps" as I variously call them). There's another one she has yet to meet - a grimalkin, if you will, who is....well, exactly as the terms describes.

Plus - oh I shouldn't really - there are some four-legged, lop-eared nutters around. But I'll leave it up to HB to give you her impressions once she encounters them.

After all I don't want to influence her opinion or worry her unnecessarily over matters that really aren't that alarming.

It's all part of the learning process, and I'll let her discover and share with the rest of you, all in her own good time.

For the moment though, back to me. I'm two years old (born on 23 May, 2007 in case you're interested) and as you can probably see, as black as HB is white (although in direct sunlight you can see that there's definitely more than a hint of brown to me too).

I have a thundering purr, which I frequently put to full effect; and an even louder "singing" voice with which I make my presence felt and demands for food known.

Not that I'm a gourmand mind you. Toowfu makes sure that I watch my weight, and I haven't been allowed anywhere near HB's grub, which smells and looks gorgeously rich in protein. Oh memories!

Oh yes, and (again) contrary to what you might have read, I've absolutely nothing against having been given a boy's name. I like to think it marks me out, and it has certainly confused a couple of the comfy laps' friends when they come to visit.

"Oh he's gorgeous," they say on learning my name. Only to be corrected by Toowfu that I'm very much a girl.

Apparently I was named after one of their favourite characters in a US television series called "Heroes".


That's my introduction done. I hope HB gives me the chance to blog here again at some point.

For the moment though, I'll take my leave, and rest-assured, in me she has a faithful friend, playmate and protector.



Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Haricot Blanc speaks out

Bonjour. Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat here.

Guess who got a little too close to the camera

Just a quick entry as I'm just about to about to be driven somewhere in the car. And that, in my admittedly brief experience, never bodes well.

Doubtless I'll have more to say on that subject shortly.

Now remember I told you earlier that I was bilingual - born and being brought up here in France, but having adopted an Anglo-French couple.

It's no big deal really as the following short video illustrates.

It sort of goes to show that music isn't the only universal language because we cats know a thing or two that we could probably teach those tin-openers, biscuit-providers and comfy lap cushions about in terms of crossing cultural and linguistic barriers.

HMDT kindly shot it a couple of days ago just before my midday meal, although to be honest I would rather less time had been spent trying to capture me on film and more attention spent to the matter at hand.


A bientôt.

Haricot B.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Teething troubles chez moi

Bonjour encore. C'est moi, Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat.

As you've probably gathered by now I've been in my new home for over three weeks, and while I've definitely settled in - no problems there - I'm now quite literally experiencing what can only be described as "teething problems".

To be precise I've got toothache BIG TIME as I'm starting to lose my milk teeth and the adult ones are making their presence known...and felt.

So it's all rather a testing time - for me and my surroundings - as I plunge my gums into what ever is at hand (or mouth) and attempt to gnaw my way to paradise.

Furniture, towels, cushions, pillows, belt buckles, tassels and (my favourite of all) shoelaces beware! If you're in my line of mouth then you'll soon be making acquaintance with my emerging choppers.

They're not all through yet of course, but I can feel them coming, and so can HMDT and Toowfu, who haven't be spared.

Until now they've both been quite happy to let their hands dangle around my mouth while I've given them the gentlest of nips during a bout of rough 'n tumble.

Now though I'm understandably getting a little bit fractious and sometimes chomp just a little more strongly than intended. No harm meant though - it's just difficult to find some relief.

Most of the time gnawing doesn't present too much of a problem. There's always something to investigate and even if nothing is left lying around, I can usually make sure that it soon is by "bringing it down to floor level".

Soft furnishings have a certain "give" to them. My special toys of course come in more than handy - or mouthy.

Clothes left tantalisingly draped over a chair - sorry but they're fair game as far as I'm concerned.

And I've taken a rather special liking to an ancient pair of slippers that I found by the end of the bed the other day.


Those slippers

Sometimes though, even I get it wrong and can end up with a nasty surprise.

Take the other day for example while Toowfu was taking a shower and I as usual was perched on the edge "minding my own business" and watching and wondering what that green bar might be that was being rubbed into a furious lather.

As though my musings had been heard, there was a sudden thud as it slipped out of Toowfu's hands and on to the floor in front of me.

Ever the curious one of course - after all we cats have a reputation to live up to - I leant forward to investigate and without thinking eagerly sank my teeth into it.

You can probably imagine my horror when my gnashers made contact with what I now know to be the rather disgusting taste of soap. Not to be recommended under any circumstances, and I beat a hasty retreat.

Toowfu was in hysterics, which I didn't think particularly fair. After all it's not kind to those just starting out and don't know any better.

Doorstop, toy or chest of drawers? Decisions, decisions, decisions

Oh well, the best that can be said I suppose is that we all have to learn somehow.

And not everything that falls from on high is worth sinking one's teeth into, even if one has the desperate need to gnaw.

How profound is that?

And with that thought, I'll leave you for now.

A bientôt.

Haricot B.