Cruelty to Animals Act 1835

Speaker-to-Animals

Speaker-to-Animals (or later Chmeee) is a fictional character in the Ringworld series of books, written by Larry Niven.

In Ringworld, Speaker-to-Animals is a junior diplomat who is trained to deal with other species without reflexively killing them. He is recruited by Nessus, a Pierson's Puppetteer, as a member of an expedition to explore the Ringworld.

Background

Speaker is a Kzin (plural Kzinti), a member of an alien race of large catlike beings. He is a trained diplomat posted to the U.N. His name is a polite reference to how Kzinti to refer to non-Kzin races. Following their return to Known Space, he is given the name of Chmeee (the "ch" is pronounced like a guttural German "ch", as in "ach") and given breeding rights by the Kzinti Patriarch.

In the sequel The Ringworld Engineers Chmeee, along with Louis Wu, is kidnapped by the Hindmost (the exiled leader of the Puppeteers). The Hindmost wants Louis and Chmeee to uncover the secret behind the creation of the Ringworld. Chmeee escapes and manages to conquer the Map of Kzin and become its new leader.

Chmeee appears briefly in The Ringworld Throne and Ringworld's Children. His son, Acolyte, is a supporting character in these novels.

As a member of the Kzin species, Speaker-to-Animals is extremely dangerous and always ready to fight despite the fact that he is a diplomat. He was the one that caused the most damage to the Ringworld village of Zignamuclikclik and were he not a part of the Docile Kzinti project, he probably would have leveled the village to the ground. He is also responsible for the expedition's safety on Ringworld and therefore is in charge most of the time.

Physical description

Chmeee is approximately 8 feet in height and 400-500 pounds in weight. He, like all kzinti, is covered with a thick coat of long fur that comes in various combinations of orange, yellow, and black. His face has black fur across the eyes resembling a bandit's mask, or the facial markings of a raccoon. His tail is naked and similar in appearance to a rat's tail. Kzinti ears are hairless, pink, and shaped liked a segment of a Chinese parasol (or Cocktail umbrella); they can fold back flat against the head for protection during a fight.

Chmeee was badly burned during Ringworld; and as a result, his body was covered with scars. After involuntarily receiving an injection of the Kzinti analog of boosterspice, his scarring gradually disappeared.

Character Traits

Honor: Chmeee places a very high value on honor. Late in the novel Ringworld, he is deprived of food. Rather than eating Louis Wu and appearing to be a coward, he would rather starve in reach of meat and be seen as honorable.

Warlike: Chmeee is very warlike. He is always on guard in case he is attacked. There are numerous examples in both novels he appears in where he sees things as weapons first, tools second. Early in the second novel, he gored Louis Wu by accident when Louis shook him awake. Chmeee is a fantastic fighter and will kill without a second thought.

References

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