Just as the wedding goes south, a prophecy is fulfilled.
Comic: "I Just Love Weddings (click for full size)
|Number of Comics||37|
|Dates Published||September 9th - December 2nd 2013|
|Sabrina, Fido, Jata, Grape, Maxwell|
One-offs in Between
THE GALLIFRAX PROTOCOL
Yes, Jessica, There Is An Opener Of Ways
Jungle Fever is the 72nd arc in Housepets!.
At 37 strips, it was the longest single arc in the series until it was surpassed by Real Stories of the K9PD.
- Jata (debut)
- Neighborhood female cats (including at least one Mr. Bigglesworth)
- Keene Milton
- The Wolves Pack
- Uncle Deadeye
- The Other Daryl
- Stanley D'Angelo (mentioned) (voice recording)
- PETA (off-panel)
- Rock Milton
- Keene's good squad (off-panel)
A leopard, Jata, arrives in Babylon Gardens. The moment he sets foot on solid ground, Grape's "hunk sense" is tingling. The large cat is quickly mobbed by a group of female cats, who initially assume he's an actor from Pridelands. Keene steps in and says he's not an actor; he's a prince from an African micronation. They all instantly swoon.
But one cat in Babylon Gardens instantly recognizes the feline: Sabrina. She breaks through the barricades and hugs Jata, a childhood friend of hers. He tells her he came to America for her. He says his father has died, and his nation's borders have re-opened. He has come to take her as his bride.
Fido pulls Sabrina away, making it look like normal security work. Behind a tree, he demands an explanation. Sabrina says her anthropologist father, Stanley D'Angelo, spent six months in the African micronation of Feraga. They got close to the royal family, and she befriended Jata. When her father angered the king and got kicked out, she and Jata professed eternal love for each other. She never told Fido because she didn't think he'd be interested.
Sabrina decides the best way out of this is for another cat to pretend to be her boyfriend for a week. She initially asks Maxwell, but when he starts making demands, Grape butts in and offers her services for free. Meanwhile, Miles and the rest of the wolves are tasked as Jata's bodyguards. Uncle Deadeye instantly doesn't like the leopard.
Jeeves announces to Jata that Sabrina has arrived. Jata's response to Jeeves is rather personally condescending. Sabrina presents Grape as a male named "Concord". Jata is rather easy to brush that off as they get ready to out to dinner. Sabrina is concerned with how Max feels about Grape doing this, but Grape is confident Max will be okay with it. Cut to Max begging Kevin to be his personal trainer and pump him up.
The dinner date doesn't go well, as "Concord" is too busy swooning over Jata. Fido tries to alert Sabrina to something while Jata has stepped aside, but cannot before he returns. Jata comes back and starts talking about his and Sabrina's future. He says her relationship with "Concord" is irrelevant, as their profession of love is a legal obligation in his country even though they were only kittens when they did so.
He says he could always challenge "Concord" to a trial by combat, and flexes his muscles, exploding out of his business jacket. "Concord" faints, which Jata takes as fainting from sheer fright. Jata says their marriage will be mutually beneficial to both their countries. Sabrina wonders who told him that. Cut to Keene with his ears burning.
Back in Fido's basement, Sabrina explains that Feraga is anti-slavery, and considers all sentient beings equal citizens. Fido points out the hypocrisy of a shotgun wedding under those circumstances, which Sabrina agrees with. When she confronts Keene, he says he agreed to the wedding so he could set legal precedent. In exchange, Feraga would get modern industry courtesy of the Milton business enterprises. He's also befriended international legal counsel to ensure any legal challenges are dealt with in his favor. Sabrina calls his actions evil.
Sabrina tries to reach her dad, but cannot. He is too busy, and any emergencies actually track back to her. The only hope to get out of the marriage is for Fido to challenge Jata, something Sabrina is hesitant to ask him to do, mostly because Jata is so much bigger and stronger. She did say "marriage is just words on paper", something Jata had told her earlier. She was confident she and Fido could continue together in secret if it came to that.
The day of the wedding arrives, and the media is there. A host interviews Miles, who has already subdued protesters from PETA. Sabrina has one more talk with Grape, admitting she pined for Jata for a long time, but drops a clue on her true age when she says it extends before there were cell phones. Spo is actually pleased when Fido tells him that Sabrina is marrying someone else. Fido takes his criticism to mean he shouldn't let others put him down for how he feels.
With that, as the wedding begins, Fido speaks up. While others try to restrain him, he says he loves Sabrina. Just about everyone around Babylon Gardens is shocked, especially Maxwell and Fox. But there are those who are not shocked—unfortunately, that includes Bino. Initially, Jata thinks this is an American-style joke. But Sabrina confirms it. Jata initiates the trial by combat, and removes his business jacket. As they begin to fight, Keene calls for his goon squad. However, they are being distracted by Karishad.
As Jata gains the upper hand, Miles steps in, with the other males of his pack, and asks if a champion can be declared in someone's stead. Jata accepts the challenge. It is complicated as the K-9 Unit steps in and tries to arrest the interlopers. As the fight goes out of control, Sabrina tries to stop Jata, telling him he has nothing to prove by doing this. But he knees Jack so hard he's knocked against Sabrina, tipping her off-balance and sending her into the pool. Before she goes in, she remembers the prophecy three years earlier, and swears she thought that would happen at a lake.
Fido gets away and dives into the pool after Sabrina, finding her dress stuck in a drain that was left open by a disgruntled poolboy. As he struggles to free her, Jata ultimately ends up nose to nose with Uncle Deadeye. The older wolf, shockingly, makes quick work of Jata, and dumps him in the pool right as Fido frees the drowning Sabrina. Seeing Jata, and remembering Sabrina's habit of putting animals in need on his care, he grabs Jata on the way up.
Fido surfaces, with both Jata and Sabrina unconscious. While others tend to Jata, he gives Sabrina mouth-to-mouth. It doesn't take long for her to revive, and throw up water in his face. He comments that wasn't very romantic. She tells him to shut up and get her to the hospital. Rock and Keene don't fret over the ruined wedding; they actually welcome the publicity it will generate.
Later, Fido is under review for his actions. The legality is uncertain, since the Milton mansion was declared a Feraga embassy for the event. Fido confesses to Ralph that it was true that he was in love with Sabrina. Ralph says he's glad. With Fido's odd behavior while keeping his relationship secret, Ralph was worried he was involved in nefarious dealings. His relationship with Sabrina is none of the department's concern. He just wishes Fido had warned him about what he was planning beforehand. With that, Fido is put on leave for two weeks. Kevin wonders what a relationship between a dog and cat would entail.
Elsewhere, Bino has Fido ejected from the Good Ol' Dogs' Club. Fox tells King he abstained from the vote. He says he's livid Fido didn't tell him about the relationship, but doesn't blame him. What irks him worst is that the fact that an old friend is a cat-lover has called his beliefs in question. He does wonder about King when the Corgi says his not blaming Fido for his relationship is comforting.
Sabrina sees Jata off. Jata, who has a broken arm and a black eye, has nothing to say to her in the end. Maxwell stops his training with Kevin after very little effort, and comes to Grape like a conquering hero. She finds him adorable and pathetic.
Fido feels a lot better now that he's no longer hiding his relationship. Sabrina gives him a scare when she jokingly claims she has another childhood love. Fido tells as much as he loves her, she does terrify him at times.
- Sabrina reveals that she was born in Malta, but lived in Feraga for six months until her father angered the king.
- Fido publicly reveals his relationship with Sabrina (on national TV.)
- Tarot's predicition in Theme Park World comes to light.
- Fido is removed from the Good Ol' Dogs Club by a vote of 4-1 (Fox abstained).
- This is second longest arc in the series, at 37 comics, with the longest being Real Stories of the K9PD.
- Grape's alias "Concord" is also the name of a type of grape, which is a play on her name.
- When Grape was disguised as "Concord" she wore a goatee to appear more masculine. Ironically many readers did not notice the goatee, and is a reference to how many believed Grape to be boy before Cat Tail.
- Sabrina's near-drowning was predicted in the arc Theme Park World, strip "In Bed", three years before this comic. Tarot foresaw that Sabrina was going to nearly drown about three years after those events, in reference to a claim that the ride "Chinese Buffet Express" would make someone the wettest they'd ever get.
- Grape's line from Honey, Nuts And Dates is used for the sixth Housepets! book, "Will Do It For Free"
- The one-off was a Halloween special comic. In that one it shows Fox painted to look like Karishad (Fox dressed as a fox), and Karishad painted to look like Fox (a fox dressed as Fox). It also shows King dressed as Mario, and Bailey dressed as Princess Peach. That strip was posted on a Thursday, and did not interrupt the normal flow of the comic.
- A background poster in Show Some Respect showcases the doberman character "Blitz" from the TV series Road Rovers (in a panel that also showcases Kevin, who is a doberman as well).