Game of Whiskers: Would Your Cat Rule Westeros?


Anyone who’s spent time in a household with multiple cats knows the battle for living-room domination can rival that fierce Sunday night fight for King’s Landing. It may seem like housecat strategy is more instinct than iron intellect, but even George RR Martin couldn’t imagine the dramatic lengths cats will go to be the king or queen of the couch.

Have you ever watched Game of Thrones and noticed facets of your kitty’s personality playing out on the screen? I’m starting to see some similarities, and they’re not all flattering.

Before I introduced my baby Ghost Cat to other felines, I thought that of all the Game of Thrones characters, she was most like the prostitute-turned-handmaiden Shae. Both are beautiful, slightly exotic, but definitely not highborn or headed for the throne. I never figured my little stray as the power hungry type, until we moved (temporarily) into a multicat household. After watching my kitten scheme and fight until she got her own kitty kingdom, I’m now seeing a whole cast of characters when I look into her eyes.

I imagine it must’ve been a raging cat fight once upon a time that left Ghost Cat with her own battle scars to compare to Tyrion Lannister’s facial trauma. Whatever happened to her before she came into my care wasn’t quite as bad as what happened to Lord Tyrion at the Battle of the Blackwater — she made it out with her nose intact, her ear taking the brunt of the injury. Just like the TV version of Tyrion, Ghost Cat’s scars don’t diminish her handsome features much.

Tyrion isn’t the only Lannister with whom Ghost Cat shares experiences. Just like Ser Jamie, Ghost Cat spent time in a cage after losing a body part, although unlike Cersi’s brother/lover, Ghost Cat still has all her paws. Because the House Marcoux does not have a line of credit at the Iron Bank, we have not replaced Ghost Cat’s missing female parts with golden replicas. She gets along without those bits.

As I’ve said before, Ghost Cat definitely demonstrated her determination to dominate in her dealings with my friend’s cats, Mia and Khaleesi. Khaleesi is petite and beautiful like her moniker suggests, but her delicate looks hide a menacing power. While her fictional counterpart commands dragons, Khaleesi the kitty has unique weapons of her own — her polydactyl claws come flying at her enemies to burn them with scratches.

My Ghost Cat and Khaleesi eyed each other with suspicion upon meeting, each correctly surmising that the other was a threat. One Sunday night I was in my friend’s living room, holding Ghosty while watching Khaleesi’s TV namesake walk around in the desert, when the real-life Khaleesi emerged from the darkness of the hallway to voice her hatred for this usurper of the throne.

Unfortunately for her, Khaleesi never did get a proper chance to lacerate Ghost Cat (as we humans would not allow it). Like Daenerys, Khaleesi the cat was destined to be separated from her enemies, and without an army of unsullied to do her bidding, the bedroom doors proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to drawing Ghost Cat’s blood.

That’s not to say scrappy little Ghost Cat didn’t want to fight, too. As much as The Mother of Extra Toes wanted to get to Ghost Cat, my baby was equally willing to do battle, and hated me for keeping her from fighting. I’m pretty sure her nighttime meows were actually her muttering Khaleesi and Mia’s names to herself before she fell asleep. Feisty and hot-blooded like Arya Stark, Ghost Cat doesn’t need a sword called needle — she’s got 10 of them and she works hard to keep them sharp. Just ask my friend’s dog, who’s dished out a swat or two of her own when Ghost Cat’s gotten out of line.

While Ghost Cat isn’t afraid to suffer on the battlefield, her talents aren’t limited to fighting. She is just as skilled in using the art of love (or the mere appearance of it) to get what she wants. Margaery Tyrell’s got nothing on Ghost Cat when it comes to late-night visits and affected affections. Ghost Cat knows how to turn on the charm with the man in her life, cuddling up to my husband at night in an effort to endear herself to someone who insists she’s annoying.

According to my husband, Ghost Cat doesn’t really love us and is just using us for our warm laps and access to wet food. I disagree … on some points. I know she loves me, but I also know she’s a master manipulator who uses snuggles and head bumps to get what she wants.

What she wants, it seems, is a kingdom of her own. Ghost Cat wants all the toys to be hers, all the food to be hers, and all the humans of the house to do her bidding on command. When she acts like a spoiled brat I warn her, “Remember what happened to Joffrey, Ghost Cat?”

Despite behaving cruelly towards others, taunting and mocking other cats and not really caring about the property or feelings of others, Ghosty was rewarded with seven kingdoms (they’re actually just rooms) of her own when we moved into our new house. I hope her reign is substantially longer than Joffrey’s. One thing is for certain, this cat was born for the throne.

Is your cat a Lannister or a Stark? If your kitty was a character from Game of Thrones, who would they be? Let us know in the comments!

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About the author: Heather Marcoux is Ghost Cat’s mom. She is also a wife, writer and former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts GIFs of her cat on Google +.

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