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Alllow me to introduce Belaud (as in “down below”).  He is a chartreux, France’s blue cats.  Poet Joachim du Bellay (1522-1560), a member of La Pléiade wrote an exquisite poem on the death of his cat Belaud:  Sur la mort de Belaud (on the internet).

I have been Belaud’s happy hostage for three years.

Belaud is a rather large cat, a big potato on four toothpicks.  This is a borrowed description now firmly entrenched in both oral and learned (i.e. written) tradition.

Tis Summertime (my thanks to Gershwin) so, on sunny but somewhat breezy days, Belaud spends time sitting or lying on the balcony, surrounded by large pots of flowers.  I keep the door ajar so he may run back to the safety of the indoors when he senses danger.

Can he run!  If I have been absent for several hours or a night, no sooner do I enter the apartment that he turns into an arrow, run towards me, and starts climbing.  I quickly pick up this furry person and sit him on my left shoulder.  I tell him that he is a beau Belaud , the prince of éviers (kichen sinks) and lavabos (bathroom sinks).

Belaud enjoys curling up inside various sinks and, at night, he plays hockey in one of the bathtubs, using Gertrude, a rubber ducky, as hockey puck.

Belaud also loves the sight and sound of gently dripping water.  The best we can hope for, says he, are small pleasures.  As you can see, that Belaud is quite the philosopher and a nosy one.

His hero is Agatha Christy’s Hercule Poirot.   The two have a lot in common, including accent and boastfulness.

By the way, Belaud is a musician whose favourite work is Rhapsody in Blue.  As a blue cat, he relates to anything blue.  Once again, I we have Gerschwin to thank.

You may have guessed that Belaud is also a writer.  You are absolutely right.  He even has an email address given to him by John.  He can be reached at lordbrokentail@snoro.com. “Snoro” is North-American French, perhaps Ameridian, for beloved “rascal.”

Write to him, but please do not mention the current debt-ceiling crisis.  Belaud is forbidden exposure to any and all x-rated material.  He is a child.