We had a huge orange tomcat named Rusty when I was growing up. He weighed about 21 lbs. His head was the size of a large grapefruit, and he was over 36" long (sorry, don't know British equivalents
) front-paw-to-tip-of-tail when he stretched out on the floor. People used to ask us if he was part bobcat. (We said yes, of course.
) My father, the biggest joker of our bunch, would then get a serious, worried look on his face and tell them the cat was only 5 months old, and we were afraid of what it might do when it grew up. The cat could terrify a lot of our friends just walking through the room after that. But it certainly was fun! Especially when they would nervously ask us if we had considered giving it to the zoo.
Dad referred to our big, spoiled baby Rusty as "Killer" around unsuspecting folk, too. Which made us die laughing. Rusty was a real softie. He'd grumble and fuss every time we picked him up, but he'd be purring under his breath. Just liked to pretend he was a grouch. The only time we heard him growl was when one of us would shout at one of the others. That upset him, and he'd always defend the one being yelled at. It was pretty hard to stay mad when that big fluffball started strutting around. He broke up a lot of fights, as I remember.
Rusty didn't like most people-food, but you could wake him up out of a sound sleep by passing a green olive under his nose. They drove him wild!
We loved him with all our hearts. He lived to be 16 and died after I left for college. I cried for a week when I heard. In fact, I've shed a tear or two just writing this. He was one of a kind.