updated 05/16/2014 AT 4:15 PM ET
•originally published 05/16/2014 AT 3:30 PM ET
As with the mythological Greek heroes of yore, the legendary feats of our nation’s feline champions will echo down through generations. Today’s epic purr-etry tells the tale of Tara, a California tabby that saved its young owner from a vicious dog mauling.
But in the annals of history lies another hero cat, Mugsy the Gatorbane. Though the bards do not sing of Mugsy as they once did, back in the ancient Internet age of 2010 his story was shouted from the hilltops of Jezebel to the valley of the Telegraph.
The legend of Mugsy began in the swamps of Louisiana, where the wandering stray found his way into the Cajun Pride wildlife refuge and quickly made himself at home. His new owners gave him the name Mugsy, noting that he was running the park “like a little gangster.”
But Mugsy’s territorial spirit soon found its true purpose. When his territory was being overrun by alligators, bold Mugsy stood strong, refusing to cede an inch of land nor an ounce of food. When the gators got too close, he attacked, landing mighty blows upon their snouts with his ferocious paws.
After years of battle, Mugsy’s owners decided the world deserved to know of his labors. They filmed a short video of the heroic cat vanquishing not one but two gators at the same time – a feat that led to his legend spreading far and wide, until the video had racked up over nine million views.
While the world has moved on to younger, brighter heroes, Mugsy is still out there, performing his sacred duty far from the spotlight. Though he moved out of the swamp after a recent illness, the cat hero enjoys defending his new home from the scourge of squirrels.
To paraphrase the Spartan king Leonidas, if alligators block out the sun, he will fight in the shade.
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