One of the human’s author friends, Veronica Scott, whose book we so delightfully cattified for her a year or so ago (Pretty Kitty of the Nile), has released another Egyptian book and this time had the good sense to put a cat in it! Obviously we had to interview this cat and get the scoop about Warrior of the Nile.
1) So, nameless cat in Warrior of the Nile (whom I’m going to call “Djet” because reasons…and because the author told me it’s your secret cat name as well as the name of an ancient Pharaoh), what do you look like?
I’m a one-eared black tomcat, proudly wearing my battle scars, won in fights up and down the Nile. No sissy harbor cat is going to beat me. I’ve got one green eye and one yellow eye, sharp teeth and claws like knives. No vermin on my ship!
2) How did you and your human lady love, Tiya, meet?
Pharaoh and the goddess Nephthys send her on a journey to a distant province, where she’s supposed to help the goddess kill some person who’s doing black magic. It’s a fancy, human plot. (Yawns, stretches, pulls his claws on the desk chair.) I could have solved it much more efficiently than with all this mumbo jumbo they were insisting on.
3) Why did you hate Khenet so much? Is it his fault you didn’t have more scenes in the story, which clearly should have been about you saving Tiya from that jerky goddess Nephthys?
Exactly, he was always taking Tiya’s attention away from me, getting her to play board games like senet when she could have been petting me. Or drawing pictures of me. Or letting me eat crumbs from her lunch. And he jumps in the Nile to save someone’s life, which made Tiya worry about him because of the crocodiles – he’s just a showoff. Cats are much more subtle and we expend less unnecessary energy. Let the crocodiles have the water. Too bad they didn’t eat him when they had the chance.
4) How long did you, Tiya and Khenet spend on that boat cruising down the Nile before they so cruelly trapped you on board and went off on adventures without you?
Tiya had to travel down the Nile on my ship, the River Horse for about ten days. Ten of the best days of one of my nine lives! Except for the sandstorm… We usually carry cargo only, not beautiful ladies who smell good and eat fancy food, so it was a treat to have Tiya as a passenger.
5) What did they feed you while on the ship? What did they eat themselves that they refused to share?
I will say Khenet was a good fisherman. He showed Tiya how to catch Nile perch. (Cleans his whiskers reflectively.) I love fresh fish in the evening. And the morning. And at noon. They ate bread, dates, beans figs – boring human food. Khenet went hunting a few of the evenings so we ate duck, once we had roast gazelle….I definitely begged my share of those dishes. Tiya gave me anything I wanted if I just purred and rubbed her ankles.
6) When Tiya confesses all her troubles to you while you two are trapped together during the sandstorm, what advice do you give her about Khenet? Probably to ditch his butt, right?
I definitely thought she could do better than some grumpy, tattooed, musclebound brother of Pharaoh. She could have stayed on the River Horse with me, for example. I did tell her to watch out for Nephthys though. Sly and tricky, these goddesses. Except for my beautiful deity Bubastis of course.
7) How much do you hate crocodiles? More or less than dogs?
(Arches back, puffs out rather skinny tail, hisses in Egyptian) I’m not afraid of dogs or crocodiles. Let me at them, I’ll teach them a trick or two. But as I said, I don’t care what the overgrown reptiles do in the water.
8) Let’s say you had talked Tiya into ditching Khenet. How would you have miraculously saved the day so she wasn’t sacrificed to the whims of the gods?
I’d have gotten my goddess to intervene, turn Tiya into a cat so we could have spent 8 or 9 lives together, cruising the Nile. And eating fish. She’d have been a very pretty cat – we could have had gorgeous litters of kittens. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be – Khenet took her away and I never saw her again. She did leave the picture of me that she drew for the ship’s captain and he put it up in his cabin.