NEW YORK — Buddy the Cat has taken to wearing Joseon dynasty royal robes and insisting others call him “Jeonha” — a style of address for a king which means “Your Highness” — after binging Korean historical dramas over the last several months.
The silver tabby, who once pretended to be Spanish and has previously tried to ingratiate himself with lion prides and zoo tigers, took on the persona of a king of Joseon, the historical name for the kingdom of Korea as it existed for half a millennium. The move followed an extended TV binge during which Buddy watched Netflix’s Kingdom, The Crowned Clown and Six Flying Dragons.
“Where is the Left State Councilor?” Jeonha Buddy shouted on Friday while lounging atop a replica of the famously elaborate Phoenix Throne. “The Ministry of Yums is late with my dinner once again. This will not be overlooked!”
Committing fully to his cosplay, Buddy designated each floor in his apartment building as its own “province,” appointing cats in other apartments as governors, Confucian scholars and tax officials. In addition, he created a court schedule dictating three official audiences per week, demanding reports on “the state of the cat food cupboard” and vigilance in looking for signs that a Japanese neighbor, Mr. Fuji, planned to invade his realm.
“We must not underestimate the Shogunate,” he said. “Have the Chief Secretary draw up an official mobilization order for the Five Armies so that we may have a regiment stationed along the border in case Mr. Fuji has military intentions.”
“Yes, Jeonha!” the other cats said, bowing. “Your grace is immeasurable!”
Asked on Sunday what he thought of the group of cats who stood watch outside his apartment, Mr. Fuji said: “I like cats!”
Most of Jeonha Buddy’s royal decrees, however, have dealt exclusively with food. Royal Proclamation #11, for example, specified the size and serving time of the king’s late night snack, while Royal Proclamation #19 clarified that seafood must not be served two meals in a row, and should be served only after meals of poultry or beef.
Meanwhile, Royal Proclamation #22 sought to appoint Big Buddy as the king’s eunuch.
“You’re pressing your luck, ‘Jeonha’,” the human said, glaring at Buddy. “I still have my balls. You, however, do not.”
As of press time, Buddy consulted the basket that holds his many toys and confirmed that he did indeed still possess his balls, including one that lights up and makes a beeping sound when it’s batted around.
“My court eunuch is a liar,” Jeonha Buddy declared. “Eighty lashes for him!”