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Frank Ntilikina isn’t a dog. He’s a Maine Coon cat.

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The Knicks’ best player is the best domesticated cat

Stink

Preface: Shoutout to Stingy for the beautiful artwork

You read the title correctly. Despite the insistence by the team that they are “dogs,” it’s so blatantly obvious that the beautiful, sweet baby French Prince of New York is a Maine Coon cat. (Despite his own insistence that he’s a dog — peer pressure is a hell of a drug.) For the cat lovers reading this, you can effectively stop reading because you know how right I am with this take. You’re thinking to yourself right now, “Holy shit, that’s perfect!” I know it’s perfect, and you’re welcome. For the folks who have absolutely no clue what I am talking about, I strongly encourage you to continue reading, because the case is compelling. Jack McCoy couldn’t even argue against it, and he’s New York’s greatest attorney.

First and foremost, let’s address what a Maine Coon cat is. These cats are of the largest domesticated breed — the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Ragdoll breeds are in the running as well — and are very sociable. If you cannot tell a Maine Coon from other types of cats, here is the primary physical profile:

  1. A prominent ruff along its chest.
  2. A robust bone structure.
  3. A rectangular body shape.
  4. An uneven two-layered coat with longer guard hairs over a silky satin undercoat.
  5. A long, bushy tail.

Long limbs, a robust and distinct bone structure, and a rectangular body? That certainly sounds like the physical profile of our Prince. Frank may not have a hairy chest like a Maine Coon, but it certainly is prominent.

The breed’s fur colors widely vary, everything from being a ginger cat to a silver tabby. If you’re having a hard time visualizing this cat breed, think of Mrs. Norris from the Harry Potter films. She’s a Maine Coon. Known for their intelligence and playful, gentle personality, Maine Coons are often cited as having... wait for it... “dog-like” characteristics. Some Maine Coons will even play fetch with you!

Let’s get back to their size, because I really do not want to undersell how large Maine Coons are. On average, Maine Coon females weigh anywhere from 9 to 16 pounds and their male counterparts weigh anywhere from 13 to 18 pounds. The world’s largest house cat was a Maine Coon named Stewie. Our longboi Stewie was 48.5 inches long from nose to the tip of his tail. That’s over four fucking feet!

Look at that magnificent beauty. His size is almost as impressive as having a seven-foot-plus wingspan. Sadly, our boy Stewie died of cancer in 2013, so RIP to the adorable and fluffy longboi.

Now if you don’t think that the physical profile and their loving, gentle, and people-pleasing demeanor doesn’t fit Frank Ntilikina to a T, let’s talk about their origin story, or should I say lack thereof. Let’s get the most logical and plausible story out of the way, because the one we all should believe is significantly better than what I’m about to write. Maine Coons potentially originated from short-haired domestic cats breeding with longhaired cats, which may have been brought to America by the Vikings or European sailors who docked in New England during the 1700s. Since genetic testing indicates that Maine Coons are actually a descendent of both the Norwegian Forest Cat and a mysterious extinct domestic breed, the Vikings are likely responsible.

I mean, in any other case, being descendants of the Vikings is definitely nothing to sneeze at; it’s an honor, actually. But for the purposes for this article and Frank Ntilikina, this story will be canon from this point on. I’m just going to copy and paste this story from “The History of the Maine Coon Cat” because I’m far too lazy to paraphrase. Plus, the story is bonkers:

In the time of French royalty, and Marie Antoinette’s extravagant tenure at Versailles, the Turkish and Persian Angora cats were a common house pet. Sometimes they were even considered a pest, due to how fast they reproduced and took over the homes. King Louis XVI is said to have used the cats as hunting targets for fun with his friends.

The tale that connects Angora cats to Maine Coon cats is the story of Marie Antoinette’s near escape to the United States. When Marie Antoinette and her family were arrested at Versailles in 1793, her ship captain Samuel Clough, and some of her sympathizers planned an escape to the state of Maine. At the docks, there was an anchored ship which regularly traveled the merchant route between France and Maine. The plan was to get the family on the ship and take them to Maine, and safety.

While Marie Antoinette and her family were kept incarcerated, the ship’s captain and his sailors loaded the ship with royal furniture, royal wallpaper, the fanciest of clothing and according to theorists, quite probably a family of Angora cats. All rescue attempts failed, resulting in the decapitation of Louis XVI and then Marie Antoinette.

When the royal family was executed and dissolved, the ship captained by Samuel Clough, left France in a hurry and sailed to the planned destination in Maine. There, on the coastal town of Wiscasset, the captain’s wife awaited with a large house ready for her royal guests. The huge manor was furnished with all of Marie Antoinette’s regal possessions and opulent decorations. This house still stands and is known as “The Marie-Antoinette House.” It was once a museum but is now a private residence and cannot be visited.

That’s right folks. One of the origin stories for the Maine Coon is that they came from French royalty! You know who else is a French royal? Frank Ntilikina! This is just far too much of a coincidence for this idea to not be true.

And now for the grand finale. The greatest Maine Coon fact that proves once and for all that our sweet baby Frank is in fact this majestic cat breed. I hope you guys are wearing underwear because I’m about to blow your pants off with this.

This time I’ll paraphrase a bit from that amazing aforementioned and cited Maine Coon article. So, this cat breed gained popularity in the late 19th century, especially in cat shows. The history of fancy Maine Coon cats participating in cat shows was extensively documented by a Mrs. E.R. Pearce, who happened to own a Maine Coon named Captain-Jinks of the Horse-Marines. This lady knows how to name her cats. Mine are just named Kit and Kat and I now feel inadequate in my ability to name animals.

Anywell, Mrs. Pearce’s detailed records show that in 1878, a dozen Maine Coon cats were entered to compete in a cat show in Boston. Sadly, none of them won the competition and she did not mention which cat breed won. She was probably disgusted by the results, or the competition was rigged. I mean, how does a Maine Coon lose a cat show competition? It wasn’t until 1895 where a brown tabby Maine Coon owned by a Mrs. E.N. Barker (what’s going on with these names?!?!) named Cosey (adorable) won first place at the first cat show in — WARNING: this is the moment you’re about to have your pants blown off —

Madison

Square

Garden

in

New

York

City

That’s right, you guys. The legend Cosey won her first title in the Mecca of Basketball! Okay, it technically isn’t the Garden that the Knicks currently play in, but who fucking cares! A Maine Coon, in all its splendor, won the first cat show competition at The Garden in 1895. We need to get a banner of Cosey hanging from the rafters.

This amount of evidence is overwhelming. A long-limbed, mild-tempered majestic cat with French origins that plays at MSG perfectly describes Frank Ntilikina. The French Prince is a Maine Coon. Deal with it.