Tue. Nov 12th, 2019

SARGON — PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER

If you want a serial killer for a pet and identify with lunatic animals then the Bengal cat is the ideal companion for you.

The Bengal cat is a domesticated hybrid of an Asian leopard cat and an Egyptian Mau. But you will also find a liberal splash of black panther in his DNA.

Bengals have distinctive tabby coats that are either marble in pattern or covered with spotted rosettes. Their coats have a fine golden shimmer and while Bengals may appear wild, they are in fact very wild, regardless of what their owners will tell you.

Bengal cats are cold-blooded killers that torture their prey for amusement and leave the mutilated carcasses on the floor of your kitchen as well as on your driveway.

A food and water dish will be your Bengal’s favourite possessions, apart from mouse heads, and trophy parts of bird bodies he will keep around for when he’s bored. You will need to own a shovel and a decent bed of earth to serve as a burial ground for all of his animal victims unless you find the partial corpses of slaughtered critters aesthetically pleasing.

You may also wish to invest in a good supply of bandages and mercurochrome for when your friends turn up and he shreds their unprotected skin with his razor claws.

The pictured cat is Sargon. He is a nut. He lives in the inner-west of Sydney and his body count is already up to about 50,000 birds, including protected species. His rodent count is not capable of being calculated even by the immensity of modern computing standards, but it’s safe to say that’s it’s a lot. In that sense, he replaces the need for pest control or mouse traps because he’s more efficient than an exterminator.

Sargon is a friendly cat, up to a point. He’s most friendly when he wants you to feed him, which is constantly.

However, Sargon is a finnicky cat, and a confirmed gourmet. He is not about to be fobbed off with cheap tinned-food. He prefers whatever you’re eating, as long as you are not eating anything below a certain gastronomic standard. The best rule of thumb to follow in regards to food is that whatever is yours, is his, or soon will be, if you turn your back for even a second while prepping dinner.

There will be times when Sargon is disinterested in food, and this is because he is not about to rely simply on whatever comestibles you happen to bring to his bowl. Sargon has an entire network of eateries throughout his territory, his favourite being the local pub, which has an outdoor dining area.

The kitchen staff at the pub have long given up trying to keep Sargon away from the larder. They have wisely capitulated to his will when it comes to doling out portions of whatever is being served, such as salmon, and the finest quality fillet steak. Besides, any food parcelled out to Sargon is not charity, but wages earned, considering his value as a local rat catcher and mouse liquidator.

Diners are also coerced into slipping Sargon tidbits from their plates when they become enamoured by his Oliver Twist solicitations.

If you happen to be eating, Sargon will demonstrate his liberation from concepts of personal space by jumping up on the table and trying to snatch whatever is literally on the end of your fork.

Sargon loves to sleep on the hood of his owner’s car, particularly when it’s still warm from being driven. However, when he’s not sleeping, he wildly leaps about the house, climbing up high on shelves and cornices, and crawling into ridiculous spaces. He loves to patrol the house atop the carport roof from which he has a prime vantage point to survey the territory.

Indeed, climbing is one of his natural skills, and he can scramble to the top of a tree in the time it takes you to shield your eyes from the sun. His stealth is remarkable and sometimes he’ll leap out at you with such deftness you’d think that Special Forces had just launched a silent raid.

Far from being a ditzy Tinkerbell, Sargon is a very intelligent cat, in much the same way John Wayne Gacy was a highly intelligent serial killer. He will study you until it becomes unnerving as he tries to understand in his Bengal cat way just what makes you tick. This is just one of his quirks. 

When you’re lying on the couch, he has an idiosyncratic habit of commandeering one of your arms. For some reason, human arms fascinate Sargon, yet he hasn’t figured out that they’re attached to your shoulder. He will be puzzled and slightly irritated if you try to shift out from under the weight of his warm purring body when he’s just got comfy.

It’s fair to say that Sargon is a complete bastard; he’s a prick. But, for some reason, you can’t help liking him.

Sargon has a friends’ list that would make any PR rep envious. Everybody loves him, and this is in spite of the fact that he’s actually a misanthrope that, if he were just half-a-size bigger than his already impressive body size, would kill you as dispassionately as he swats a cockroach.

Sargon is not a fan of rain and cold and during winter will grow grumpy indoors and probably make you suffer for his inability to stretch his four legs outdoors. When it’s summer, you’ll hardly see him for dust. But he likes to jump on his owner’s bed, if that’s the right word, and flatten him like a wrestler.

According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, which is a faultless source for any academic citation, Bengal cats are banned in Australia. Like 1000% of everything on Wikipedia this is outright twaddle.

This is Sargon examining the contour of the photographer's neck
Sargon is ever alert for protected birds, nuisance rats, and the opening hours of the pub's kitchen

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