Sunday, 11 April 2010

Sac a Puce

Isn't he gorgeous!

This fiery ginger puss used to live next door to us in our other appartement. It was on the ground floor and so the cat would just invite itself in through the windows and make itself at home.

Well, it is a cat, so of course it does what it wants.

We didn't know its name, so we named it Sac a Puce, which means fleabag. The first few times it came to see us it was smothered in fleas and starving hungry. Its owners had gone away for the summer and pushed the cat out the window to fend for itself whilst they were away.

I know. Don't even get me started! Deep breathing, calm counting..... and continue

I deflea-ed the cat and fed it, and of course, it decided to move in with us whilst we lived on rue Lepic. No objection from us as it was such a funny little character and very vocal. It used to follow me around the corner when I went out, howling that I was leaving it. When I came home it would be sitting at the corner building and would follow me back home.... once again howling all the way. He learnt to put his front paws on the front door and help me push it open, to curl up on my feet and purr (a good way of guaranteeing that I would not move and he could cuddle for a while), and to be as cute as possible at every opportunity ensuring that everyone thought he was wonderful. His conversational skills were always at the ready and the slightest noise or movement would have him sitting up and ready for a meowing chat.

He kept me company during the day and developed a rather refined palate. His favourites were jambon blanc from Madame Langlois, and Scottish smoked salmon. An egg whipped up with a dash of creme fraisch was also a nice meal, alongside croquettes and the occasional morsel of steak or chicken.

One night in winter it was snowing rather heavily and all our windows and shutters were closed. The cat had gone out earlier and I thought maybe gone to visit it's owners. Wrong. At 3am we awoke to the most horrendous howling noises coming from our buildings foyer (alongside our bedroom wall) and when Wayne put his head out to investigate, there was sac a puce all wet and bedraggled.

You see he knew how to get into our appartement through the front door as well as the windows. Someone had obviously come home in the early hours and he had slipped in the front door with them - but was not quick enough to get through the second glass door into the building proper. Hence the howls for us to save him.

Once rescued and brought inside he proceeded to wiggle in between Wayne and I in bed and stick his frozen paws on us to warm them. Horrible. We felt so sorry for him that we didn't kick him out, and from that night onwards he would try to sleep with us. Needless to say I kept up the flea treatments and worm treatments because of this.

For the first year after we moved to our new place, every time I walked past the old one he would see me and meow out this pathetic story about how I had abandoned him and would I please take him inside and feed him now. All the while trying to get me to open the door of the building.

Even now I still get told an extraordinary tale of woe every time I see him, and am nearly smooged to within an inch of my life. The affection is mutual.

I felt so guilty when we moved..

We had talked ourselves hoarse trying to decide whether to take him with us when we went. The only reason we didn't is that he really didn't belong to us and it wouldn't have been morally right to steal him. I felt terrible and worried about sac a puce constantly.

Now we have our own furbaby and I wouldn't be without him..... but it would be nice to have a fur brother or sister for Guy one day.


  1. Oh, kitties! They're such heartbreakers. M. sac a puce seems very sweet and I'm sorry you had to let him go -- his owners sound absolutely dreadful.

    He does remind me of a similar tabby tomcat we have wondering around our neighborhood, one that I believe begs to be let as much as yours did! He is definitely loved by his owners, however, as I see two parents and a child running after him constantly and trying to bribe him into the house with treats. He welcomed me home the other day by ceremoniously gnawing the head off a bird he just caught. How lovely of him, right?

    Love love love,

  2. Oh how privileged you must have felt to have been given such a wonderful treat.....

    Hope you thanked him and made a fuss.

    They are funny creatures. I miss my baby as he went to catsitters last night. I hardly slept without him to purr at me and snuggle with. Didn't know what to do with almost half the bed for me, instead of a tiny sliver between my two boys!