Lord Atticus Platypus, Overlord of Ninja Kitties came to me not as a rescue, fallen to
exile, the dictator dethroned from his reign of terror.
My writer-buddy Jan Yonkin and her husband had managed get this tiny feral kitten into their home, where he immediately declared war on her pair of large, well-behaved pussycats and declared himself King.
Since I’d been cat-free for two years, I took her plight to heart, loaded up my abandoned cat carrier and traveled the 65-mile trek to her home in South Austin to save his scrappy little scruff from his state of disgrace.
I mean really–a tiny kitten.? How bad could a tiny little malnourished stray be?
Turns out, pretty bad. Viciousness can in small packages.
When I arrived at Jan’s, I could hear him ominously growling and snarling, even before I got to the door. “Siamese mix,” I told her.
“You know that without seeing him?”
“They have a really distinctive raspy voice. It sounds like they’ve spent a lifetime smoking and pounding down gin by the bucketful,” I said. “Plus, they’re loud and they never stop.”
It’s not a pleasant sound.
She nodded. “He’s been doing that since he got here,” she told me. “I thought he had just scratched his throat yelling so much.”
” They’re one of the only working breeds of cat,” I They’re trained pretty easily–for a cat. The Temple of Siam where the king lived and ruled. It’s got tall pillars where the cats would hang out, and if they saw a person or people they sensed were threats, they did their bone-chilling banshee scream. And then jump on the intruder’s head and start slashing.”
“Thailand’s answer to boiling oil on palace marauders! Well. Come down the hall the second bathroom.” she laughed. “And be careful.
From the top of the shower curtain rod was a rakish, yellow and white Siamese-triangular face and a bony, barrel-stave chested cat, still caterwauling from atop the toilet bowl.
And so began the Second Tyranny the Platypus, making it clear that he would not tolerate another coup.
Once home, Atticus immediately took his rightful place on the railing of the loft where could rule his new kingdom.
It was clear immediately he would not abide trespassers kindly. Within the first
two weeks, he’d mangled a snake, two birds and a nutria (a water rat) which promptly devoured headfirst, using the giant rat’s tail to pick his teeth.
His best friend is a fox. Early in the morning, the fox shows up in the morning and Atti walks regally up the driveway, where they sit on haunches and make soft little mutters, exchanging news of the evening as they change watch.
Within the third week, the neighbor pounded on my door yelling “Will you come get your devil cat? He chased my dog under the car and won’t let him out!”
As I scooped the little reprobate into my arms, ending his siege of the giant Labrador retriever, I turned to the neighbor and said, “You know, I don’t think I’d brag about that.”
Atti likes to be petted–but only on his terms–*tastes* my arms with his sandpaper tongue designed to shred the flesh from the bones of his kills and periodically stalks up and hisses at me, which I think is hilarious.
Twice the seven-pound bully has picked a fight with the local bob cat. When I hear his shrieking Battle Cry, I know the bob cat is back.
He doesn’t play with his toys, shreds Marlowes “Sitting Box” and he doesn’t bother to attack ribbon, opting instead to attack the source of the movement, usually my hand.
When he deigns to sit in your lap, you are his hostage for remainder of the time he’s allotted for lap-sitting. If I try to get up before his internal dinger goes off, he launches into a terrifying long hiss, glaring at me with Eye of Sauron.
I’ve designated a Bitey Sweatshirt which I don about twice a month so he cantake out his aggression on my arm.
Sitting with no expression on his little triangle face, he perches calmly on the
highest limb of his favorite tree,patiently waiting for unsuspecting deer, visitors, but usually my now-ex-husband. This usually causes a scream whatever (or whoever)and a horrified and a horrified faces who dared to venture into his kingdom.
He began devising his List of Sworn Enemies, and the day I brought Marlowe Kitty home the shelter, he immediately moved to Number One as an being who did not deserve to live.
He regularly parades fresh kills in front of Marlowe taunting his little brother with the spoils of war.
For no apparent reason, he periodically walks up to Marlowe and punches him in the face.
He occasionally challenges Marlowe to a duel, in which they sit on their haunches and take turns punching each other in the face.
At a recent visit to his kindly veterinarian to extract a the remnants of some animal’s broken fang, holding it up to inspect it, his vet said. “Well you’ve got yourself a little character here.”
Obviously, I encourage bad behavior . . .
Yes, Atticus is a ruthless Overlord. And I am happily his subj