Venerable French Cat ‘Clochette’

Clochette a geriatric French cat

Clochette a geriatric French cat aged almost 24

By Marc

‘Clochette’ means a small bell like you might ring for servants at the dinner table, which is a great name in this instance.

Clochette’s original owner owned a restaurant and he lived nearby. When he sold the business and moved with Clochette, she decided to return to the restaurant and make it her home. She crosses busy roads and walks across town. Quite a cat. Now, 3 owners later she is 23 years old and almost 24.

We sat down for dinner and she likes me so she came in and over to say “hi” to me and then meowed a very old raspy meow to be let outside. I went outside with her and took a couple of photos. The restaurant is in front of the sea but there is a big road and car park between.

She didn’t cross the road that evening, rather jumped up onto the wall and down the other side and went down an alley way for a stroll and came inside round the back a bit later. She came and sat on the couch next to my half brother and sat there very still for at least 45mins, very politely and quietly actually.

She is fairly deaf and a little blind. She always seems to have her mouth open in a funny way and has had a sort of little cyst-like ball on her head for years. She seems happy. Eventually when my half brother finished eating she rested her front paws on his lap and he stroked her for quite some time before she got down and came to solicit cuddles from me.

I took photos of everything from when outside to this point. Then her owner, the latest restaurant owner, came and picked her up and gave her cuddles (see photo inserted into a larger photo, below). I took a photo of the pair of them. We talked a lot about her. Everybody there knows I am a crazy cat guy so it was typical of me to be fussing over Clochette and taking photos. She is an amazing cat. Nobody in the restaurant complains thank goodness. Being deaf she has a very loud raspy and demanding meow when she wants something, it’s quite special to behold.

I could have spent all night with her. She is very affectionate but she also doesn’t like many other people who try to stroke her because I guess they don’t realize how old she is and are not gentle so she goes.

She is known for not tolerating many people but liking some others. In other words she knows exactly who she likes and what she wants or doesn’t want. Much better than most of us confused humans manage in our complicated lives. She will be 24 soon. Perhaps I won’t ever see her again. I am glad I took a whole string of photos.

Michael made a selection:

restaurant-cat-outside

restaurant-owner

geriatric-french-restaurant-cat-1

The photos are just taken in sequence starting when we were outside together and finishing when she slept on the couch after the owner picked her up. The photo of her sitting neatly on the cushion is how she was for 45 mins while we finished our dinner. She was waiting for us to finish I believe, so she could then get some cuddles and attention.

Marc

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Comments

Venerable French Cat ‘Clochette’ — 17 Comments

  1. Well, I am in love 😉 God, I love old cats…LOL. It must be because I’m old. Heavens. This is not good.

    Loved reading about Clochette. The pictures and words really convey the place and the cat. They transport me to Nice et La France.

    If you want me to change something just say. Within the constraints of the internet, four pictures of this size are about the limit.

    • It’s all perfect Michael thank you 🙂 I also like older cats. She’s a great cat and the oldest one I know I assume.

  2. Excellent true life story of cat Clochette that has made the restaurant its home irrespective of the change in human owners of the restaurant.23 years is an excellent age at which Clochette seems still young in the photos.Wishing Clochette a long cat life.

  3. Just for the record, I wrote the title to the article. I’ll tell you why I chose the word “venerable”. It indicates respect, charm and something precious.

    “Old”, “geriatric” and using numbers for age (for technical reasons) are less good in my opinion. I hope that helps.

  4. Thanks for a beautiful story Marc. What an exceptional life for a cat! She looks like a very small cat.
    And, of course she likes you. Cats know instinctively who adores their kind. Great pictures of a day in a life of an extraordinary cat.

    • Yes, cats do know who is safe and friendly. She is a bit small but I wonder if American cats are bigger than French cats? The average weight of European cats is probably about 8-12 pounds but in America that seems to go up to about 15+ pounds. These are my assessments based on a poll PoC has run for years.

      • I agree pretty much, and if you research in my garden, you will find equal numbers of huge and petite. Bigfoot weighs under 9 pounds, as does Yellow cat. Shadow probably weighs in at 18 pounds, and Marvin sweet Marvin now 20 pounds. I hope he loses weight now that it is warming up. It hasn’t hampered his speed or agility.

        • Thanks for that quick response dw. I think on average USA cats are bigger than European cats and I don’t mean that more USA cats are overweight. I mean bigger. This is probably because of a different diet over 400 years or perhaps there is a connection with the early cats imported from England that were larger than average.

          • Monty’s extra weight hasn’t hampered his speed or agility either. A friend was surprised that my “fat cat”caught a bird last week. Monty’s somewhere between 11 and 12 pounds. I haven’t weighed him lately.

            I was impressed that the elderly cat in the photos didn’t look overly thin. My sister’s cat Kobe is 14 and he seems to be getting quite thin. He still can perform leaps that amaze me though. Once my sister saw him preparing to leap from the sofa to the top of his cat tree. She said to him, “You won’t be able to do that, Kobe.” As if to prove her wrong, he did it. Though still agile he sleeps a lot more than Monty. My pastor said that after about age seven a cat “turns into a rug” because he just seems to want to sleep a lot more. Prior to that they are more like Monty, who sometimes seems like the cat who never sleeps. He is now actually taking naps during the day. For the first two years of his life I can’t recall him ever doing that. He would lie down, but he was awake.

            • I was impressed that the elderly cat in the photos didn’t look overly thin

              I agree. That is a good point because, as you infer, old cats can become thin and frail. Clochette still has some robustness in her. I think she has a good life. It is a little bit like the life of a community cat in Morocco.

  5. I loved reading about Clochette and seeing the pictures thanks Marc, such a beautiful little cat.

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