Rufus is a naked mole rat, the pet friend and soul brother of Ron Stoppable, and the tritagonist of the Kim Possible franchise. Rufus lives almost full-time in Ron's pants pocket and accompanies him everywhere. For an animal, he is exceptionally intelligent, but average by human standards, and is capable of vocalizations approximating limited speech. It is unclear if his "speech" is actual or a case of "audience filter" and not understandable to anyone other than Ron himself.
Personality and Traits
Rufus is generally portrayed as pink, small, light, and very agile, which proves useful time and again. He shares several things in common with his owner: his love of Bueno Nacho food (and subsequently, the Naco), his ability to eat with practically no regard for the food he is eating, sharing Ron's disgust for others, and an overall laid-back, casual attitude. However, unlike Ron, he has been known to abandon this attitude at crucial times, often using quicker thinking than his owner.
Rufus tends to display frustration with Ron when he uses him in an embarrassing way or fails to give Rufus (or others) due credit. However, he has generally stuck by Ron in virtually every situation, and though he does not have the same fear, has the same overall dislike for monkeys. Rufus also possesses mystical monkey powers as he got his when he was in Ron's pocket, but never using them beyond displaying a greater degree of mastery of Yamanouchi ninja training than Ron, as well as once controlling the Lotus Blade. In the episode "Oh No! Yono!", he was the first one to be turned into a statue by Yono the Destroyer but was subsequently turned back.
Rufus is a small, naked mole-rat at a height of about 4 inches tall. He has no hair and is completely pink. Buck teeth and whiskers protrude from his mouth and face. When Ron first bought him, Rufus' appearance more resembled that of an actual naked mole-rat: being wrinkled, eyes barely open, and considerably smaller.
Rufus was a guest star on the Lilo & Stitch: The Series crossover episode "Rufus", where he was mistaken for Experiment 607 (Launch) by Jumba Jookiba. Rufus, of course, could not be Launch, as Ron was about twelve years old when he bought Rufus, while the experiments had only arrived at Earth about a year prior to the episode's events. Stitch confirmed the accusation false when he sensed Rufus wasn't his "cousin".
Rufus appears in the live-action film with Nancy Cartwright reprising her role. Taking place before the animated series, Ron first meets Rufus in a science lab where he is in a terrarium for Naked Mole-Rats and adopts him as his pet. This is however out of the canon, because in "A Sitch in Time", Ron bought Rufus at the Smarty Mart when he was a preteen.
He is the pet and friend of Ron Stoppable, as well as the ally and friend of Kim Possible, and in general, is friendly with everyone he meets.
Debutante, Camille Leon's hairless cat, playfully adores Rufus. Even though it seems to be a one-sided love, at the end credits of the episode "Trading Faces", Rufus and Debutante are both seen dining at a fancy restaurant, but Rufus seemed a little uneasy about it. In "Chasing Rufus", their relationship becomes closer, as they expressed regret for separating to return to their respectful owners.
- Rufus originated from an earlier television series concept from Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle. He was to be one of several characters in a series set in a petting zoo with the lead star being a platypus named Duck Williams. Rufus was then switched over to a show that focused solely on a colony of mole rats before getting recycled in Kim Possible as Ron's pet and sidekick.
- Rufus was named after Ron's imaginary friend in preschool. He was "very big".
- "Rufus" is a slang term meaning "red-haired".
- Ron bought Rufus in his preteens.
- Aside from Ron understanding him, it is unclear whether Rufus is actually able to speak words, or if the vocalizations are a production trick known as "perception filter" for the sake of the audience. This technique is often underscored in other franchises, where animals speak clearly between themselves, but then briefly shown from the perspective of humans as only making animal sounds.
- Rufus has a few links to otherwise unconnected Disney characters. He shares the same name as Penny's tabby cat in The Rescuers, and Timon, the meerkat in The Lion King, was originally meant to be of the same species as him.
- In the Lilo & Stitch: The Series crossover episode "Rufus", Rufus was mistaken by Jumba Jookiba for Experiment 607 (Launch).
- In A Sitch in Time, despite being with the time-lost Kim and Ron, Rufus had a sizable number of progeny, strongly implying that he has already procreated, or a lesser-assumed idea being that he was cloned, explaining the future Rufus descendants' worship of him. They refer to him as Rufus Prime, although, given the social nature of mole rat society, it may not be so surprising after all.
- In the above movie, Rufus is asked by his descendants on what the meaning of life is, and Rufus replies, "Cheese," which prompts one Rufus to tell the other, "You owe me a buck."
- According to the show's creators, Rufus' name is an ironic pun on the name of the naked mole rat's natural enemy, the Rufous beaked snake.
- Rufus has Mystical Monkey Powers that he received in "Monkey Fist Strikes" because he was presumably in Ron's pants pocket when Ron became endowed with these powers, and Rufus was imbued with his own at that time. If he has some level of control over them, it may explain why he can hold his own in a fight and bite through things that a naked mole rat would normally be unable to bite through. However, in A Sitch in Time, he does so even before he gets these powers.