Remember Uggie? You know, that lovable Jack Russell terrier who won our hearts in last year's Oscar winner, "The Artist"? Oh, yes, you remember now. How could you forget? But did you know that Uggie is a murderer? Yeah, that one came as a surprise to us, too.
After his groundbreaking performance in "The Artist," Uggie wrote an autobiography titled "Uggie -- My Story." (He did have some help. According to the dust jacket, this is his story "as barked to Wendy Holden.") Now, this isn't some puff piece of an autobiography, focusing on Uggie's professional successes and philanthropic efforts. No, Uggie writes about a dark time. Specifically, the time Uggie murdered a kitten.
Uggie, quite surprisingly, had been adopted from a pound after being abandoned by his previous owner. Or, as Uggie explains it, "My previous human had decided to give me up, all because I'd rid the world of a pesky cat." In describing that time in his life, Uggie then proceeds to compares himself to Robert Mitchum -- as dogs are wont to do.
The book makes it clear that, while Uggie regrets what happened, he isn't the biggest fan of cats. "I'm not proud of killing a cat. Now, if it had been a squirrel or a zebra, then that would be something to brag about," Uggie writes. "They not only slaughter birds, mice, and any defenseless creature they can get their claws on, they torture them for ages first -- batting them with their paws to see how long they can survive without an ear or a leg or an eye." Indeed.
So, do you want to know the grisly details? (Beware, cat lovers; it is not pretty.) According to the autobiography, Uggie attended a barbecue when he was just a few months old. At one point, free from his owner, Uggie ran under a hedge in a neighbor's yard where he came face-to-face with an aggressive cat. From there, well ... here are Uggie's own words:
Before I could bark my surprise, it was upon me, scratching and biting, hissing and clawing at my fur, my face, my eyes.... It sank its teeth into the soft folds of skin at my neck, causing me to let out a high-pitched yelp that surprised even me.... I lunged at it in the darkness and clamped my jaws down hard on what I hoped was its throat. Tasting blood, I knew I'd hit my mark, so I shook what I held between my teeth with all my terrier rage, until finally it stopped moving... I sensed that they weren't pleased. Dropping my gift to the ground, I saw, to my amazement, that I hadn't slain the creature that had attacked me in her lair at all, but -- most pitiably -- one of her kittens.
For the record, I like cats. So I am not condoning Uggie's actions here, even though he does appear to have a legitimate self-defense argument -- that is, if you believe his side of the story. But, if nothing else, it does lend Uggie a certain edginess that he'd been missing. Perhaps we should start thinking of Uggie as a candidate to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond. Or maybe he should co-star in the next "Expendables" movie. If nothing else, we can recruit him to direct "Star Wars VII."
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.
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