One of my favorite parts of The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane is Hannibal, Louisa Tempest’s miscreant cat. A beast of a feline who is known far and wide for his bad manners, Louisa is always, well, you’ll see:
“I do believe I can remedy this,” Louisa told the viscount, catching up the pot and marching determinedly toward the house when a protest arose from underneath the lilac bush.
All three of them turned and she reversed course, climbing down through the weeds until she spied Hannibal tucked beneath. Moving quickly, she scooped him up.
“Bad kitty,” she chided her cat, who she swore was grinning at her. “Actually this is why I was here in the first place—Hannibal came over the wall and—”
She left off the remainder of that sentence since it was rather redundant. And I feared he’d wrought more damage.
As her father liked to say, “Any sentence that begins with ‘Hannibal’ always ends with an apology.”
Over on my Pinterest board for The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane, you’ll find some pictures of cats who inspired Hannibal’s tabby appearance, and his tabby attitude. But I also drew Hannibal from my own cat, Pi, a rescue with tons of attitude and like Hannibal, a questionable habit of bringing presents.
That and always being on the wrong side of the door.