Professor Padraic Ratigan was a male talking rat.
Padraic Ratigan was an evil professor who had the bad luck of being born a rat in a society of mice. However, gifted with an exceptional intelligence, Ratigan managed to get out of the sewers to which his species was confined. Constructing himself a gentleman persona, and keeping his frequent excesses of anger under control, he became a respected chemist. But envy led him to start a career in criminality.
Ratigan plundered London, stealing and killing, and eventually coming up against a hero: Basil of Baker Street, a former student of his whose cunning matched his own. Year after year, Basil foiled his former teacher's ever nefarious scheme, without either man managing to corner and confront the other.
Ratigan's most ambitious plan came in 1898, when he plotted to replace the Queen of Mousedom, Moustoria, with a robotic duplicate, that Ratigan could then order to crown him supreme ruler of Mousedom in her place. With help from his new friend Doctor Dawson, Basil once more triumphed over Ratigan, cornering him on Elizabeth Tower. Abandoning his sophisticated clothes and habits, Ratigan became again the wild and vicious rat that he had, deep inside himself, never ceased to be, and almost killed his nemesis during an epic fight. Luckily for Basil, Ratigan in this rage had forgotten just where he was standing; the clock's ringing at the worst possible moment destabilized him. Basil, rescued in extemeis by Dawson, lost sight of his enemy in the deep mist of the Londonian night before he could see Ratigan landing.
But in fact, Ratigan was not dead, far from it. Using his red velvet cape as a parachute, he was able to slow his fall enough to get out of the adventure simply a bit dizzy. Quickly setting up a new gang of thugs, Ratigan resumed to his criminal activities, though he never again reached the heights of infamy he had once known, with Basil and Dawson antagonizing him every step of the way.
Behind the scenes
Ratigan first appeared in 1985 in The Great Mouse Detective. He is closely based on the character of the same name in Eve Titus's books, though the literary Ratigan is actually just a large and ugly mouse, not a rat in denial.