This one started with a typical assignment: all I had to do was hang around with a news crew, waiting for the morning broadcast to go live to us. After that, wave and mime while a reporter talks about my next appearance. Easy, right?
I mentioned before that the costume is very hot, but I'm not sure if I've properly conveyed how hot. In the middle of a blizzard, you'd be sweating in that thing. Have you seen The Deadliest Catch? See how cold those guys look? Well if they were working in kitty suits, they'd be complaining about the heat instead. I'd say that all those mountain climbers, arctic explorers and sled drivers you see in snowy climates should wear character costumes instead of Polartec to keep warm, but I know why they don't: it's just too hot in there.
Anyway, the camera crew had set up an area for me under an atrium skylight, with hot studio lights focused on a small stage. I wasn't too thrilled when I saw the spot, but I told myself it would be fine. After all, we were just there to do a few seconds of promotion during the newscast. What could possibly go wrong?
I got into position with the reporter and was told not to move under any circumstances because we'd only have a few seconds' notice when the camera went live. So I waited.
I can't say for sure how long I was there - you don't get much frame of reference for time when your only view of the world is through a 4-inch window in a cat's nose. I do know that the reporter would periodically confer with the crew, then get back into position and wait for a cue that never came. While I sweltered away, I even saw them all getting bottles of water and finding chairs to sit down, but no such luxury for the kitty! Pretty weak, if you ask me - I was the one standing there in 50 pounds of cat suit under blazing lights! That's the last thing I remember thinking before chaos struck.
[caption id="attachment_1206" align="aligncenter" width="110" caption="You've got to be kidding - I have my own water bottle, but can't have a drink? Call the ASPCA!"][/caption]
I had been staring through my perpetually-happy cat face longingly at the water bottles, then suddenly I was on my back in pitch blackness with my head being forcibly wrenched from my neck! Not just my costume head - my actual, human head! I could hear muffled shouting, and naturally, I started swinging and fighting with every ounce of strength I could muster. I realized that someone was blocking my vision by pressing his face against the costume's eye screen trying to look in (logically, I assumed he was a costume-character serial killer trying to watch me suffer). So I did what any kitty would do and started punching him as hard as I could with my big, puffy cat-paw hands (what I wouldn't have given at that moment to have been a different character - one with claws and a weapon).
[caption id="attachment_1209" align="aligncenter" width="228" caption="I think we're going to need more of these."][/caption]
The shouting got louder and my head - oh my head! Someone still was trying to pull it off of my body, forcing it back and forth. Another hand groped around my neck, trying to choke the life out of me, I was sure. The kitty head, by the way, is held on pretty tightly with chin straps and shoulder supports because it is very hard to balance that heavy, over-sized oval. I screamed for them to stop, for help, for mercy. I even screamed a few choice words that Hello Kitty is never supposed to use. And with adrenalin flowing, I fought like a maniac. A maniac covered in fur and padding. But I would not go down easy! I couldn't get up, but I wasn't staying down!
I can't say how long I fought or how many men I punched that day, but after those moments of blind panic, I finally heard someone shouting, " Just get off her! Get back!" And for some reason, I thought it was because I'd actually hurt someone with my puffy white fists. I felt like a Hello Kitty MMA fighter, and I was getting ready for round 2. Suddenly, everyone backed off for a moment. I stripped off a cat paw and quickly went under the costume to release the straps holding the cat head to mine - I wasn't going to let them use that against me twice!
I threw the head off and tried to get up in one motion, looking around wildly for my attacker while I slipped and fumbled to try to stand.
Of course, all around me was a crowd of worried faces and a lady trying to give me water, begging me to stay down. Now all of this is told from my perspective, inside the cat suit. Perhaps I should also tell you what the camera crew saw:
One minute, Hello Kitty was simply standing on stage, bored like everyone else. Nobody noticed much when my head began to sway side-to-side, but they did see me fall straight backward when I passed out from the heat. When I didn't move or respond though, they started trying to get me out of costume to see what was wrong - that's how I returned to consciousness with people peering into my cat nose, completely blocking my vision while they tried to wrench the head off the costume or find a release for it on my neck. I don't think any of these kind people expected that Hello Kitty would wake up ready to throw down!
[caption id="attachment_1210" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Mega Bloks Hello Kitty Big House is popular, but I wonder if they'd consider adding a Hello Kitty Fight Club basement?"][/caption]
Though I was in a blind panic when it happened, I like to think I gave the best show of my career. Because really, it isn't every day that you get to see Hello Kitty come up fighting, punching and swearing at people in front of a live news crew.
In answer to the obvious question: yes, they filmed part of it, and no, it did not air. They switched on a camera at some point after I went down, and I do know why. If I had not been okay, what a headline! Hello Kitty Dies, Live on Film, News at 11! Fortunately, the alternate story, Hello Kitty Beats Up Good Samaritan, didn't pass editorial review.
Do you think you could handle a job like this? Do you have what it takes to be Hello Kitty, or another costumed character? Tell me below!