Girl Genius
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Girl Genius

My ears are still itchy!

"Rita" is the current wiki-coined name for an orange cat who, when she first appears, is the resident mouser in the kitchen of an unnamed British submarine. This particular sub happens to be the one that evacuates (among others) Krosp and Tweedle from the self-destructing dome of the Queen's Society. And so, Rita meets Krosp, and affectionately recognizes him as her king. This annoys Krosp more than anything, but Tweedle sees an opportunity, and latches onto her.

Educating Rita[]

Eventually he is given a lab by Hadrian Rakethorn, and successfully alters Rita in two ways: first, physical contact between the two of them allows Tweedle to remain healthy without contact with Agatha, cf. Agatha's Wasp eater. Second, he uplifts her intelligence, producing a demanding and arrogant gal with lightning-bolt patterns on her forehead. He hands Rita's post-op recovery and etiquette training over to his sister Seffie; how successful Seffie was with the latter remains to be seen. It's not been explicitly stated what Tweedle hopes to gain with the uplifting; see below for speculations

And so inevitably Rita and Krosp meet again for the first time. There is an instant mutual attraction, but, well, they're cats. HISSSSS!!

After a further off-screen argument, Krosp and Rita separate and she accompanies Tweedle as he stows away on Gil's Europa-bound airship. En route, she gets some grooming from Seffie, and offers political advice to Tweedle.

Empress Rita?[]

In the scene in which Rita first appears, Krosp refers to her as "the kitchen's cat", which isn't much of a name. An early attempt on this wiki to coin a name for the character resulted in "Floozy", which didn't stick. (Both "Floozy" and some variant of "the Kitchen's Cat" have also been used to refer to Rita in this wiki.) After that, Rita vanishes from the story for some time. When Rita, now uplifted, reappears in the comic, the "section title"[1] "Introducing the Empress" is used. However, it is not clear that the Foglios seriously intend this to be Rita's official title. It may only have been used as a joke because Krosp originally identifies himself to Agatha as "The Emperor of All Cats" and Rita is Krosp's female counterpart.

However, given Tweedle's situation and the comments he's made about Krosp, and to Krosp about the Swartzwalders (his control of whom was lost to Krosp), it seems likely that Rita's ultimate purpose is indeed to subvert Krosp. Conversely, it should be noted that when last seen, Rita displays great antipathy towards the idea of spending more time around her potential target.

Possibly relevant outside information[]

The lightning bolts in her hair resemble the iconic hairdo sported by the Bride of Frankenstein in the classic film of the same name. Rita's first post-uplift appearance, lying bandaged on an angled slab, is likely to be another reference to the 1935 film.

Supergirl adopted a stray cat named Streaky with orange fur and lightning bolt marks on his sides. He was given superpowers when exposed to Kryptonite she had chemically altered.

References

  1. The term "section title" refers to one of the menu items in the humongous drop down/pop up navigation menu that appears at the bottom of every page of the Girl Genius website that displays a page of the comic. To see the title "Introducing the Empress" in the navigation menu, visit the "this "empress" link and scroll almost all the way down to the bottom of the page to see the navigation menu, which should now be displaying the text in question.


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