It’s International Cat Day! You know, one of those days reportedly invented by a charity, spread by the internet without question, and propagated by the scoundrel media because quite simply we are desperate to post pictures of cats, big cats, fluffy cats, kitten cats, any cat, any excuse for any cat, please, just let me have this day, please, I don't care if it's a fake day, please, I need this.
Here are some good videogame cats for International Cat Day.
Margaret Catwood, the cat in Tacoma
Tacoma is about wandering through an abandoned space station, watching holographic recordings of the crew and wondering where the hell they all disappeared to. But there is one member of the crew who never speaks. Who basically just sleeps all day, on warm pipes and power cells. You can find the pink holo-cat snoozing in so many of these 3D recordings that there is an achievement for finding every appearance of the comfy creature. I don’t care about what happened to the rest of the crew in this sci-fi Mary Celeste. As long as Margaret Catwood survived.
The cats in Yakuza
I have only caught the briefest glimpse of some cats in the Yakuza games that have arrived on PC so far, games about beating up bad people and dispensing fatherly advice to Tokyo’s residents. The felines I saw were lounging on a car roof outside the apartment of lead headcracker Kiryu Kazuma, and I wanted to pet them but alas, I could not. In the latest Kamurocho adventure, Judgement, there are some secret cats to spy in the streets. But that’s not on PC. And neither is Yakuza 6, which features a full-blown cat cafe that you must stock with rescued meowers, all of whom grow to love and respect you. Why will you not allow us PC players the comfort of these gracious animals, Sega? Do you think we would not appreciate these mewling beauts. You’re wrong, Sega. You’re wrong.
Purrfect Date’s cats
Bit weird, yeah, a dating sim about cats. But listen, we’ve had dating sims about pigeons and monsters. So, live and let live. But definitely do not think about having sex with a cat in Purrfect Date. Even though that sentence and linked article made you think it already. The cats in this game have names like Floofybutt and Paws For Thought, and I put it to you that this is good. Some of them are even based on the creators’ own pets (game developers are fond of doing this). But I don’t know if the bad Irish stereotype cat, McMurphy, is one of them.
Alvina, the fat cat in Dark Souls
Be wary of cat. Alvina lives in an awful forest in Dark Souls and is responsible for an untold amount of pain and death. She is the fluffy, merciless ruler of the Forest Hunters, the band of players who protect the gloomy forest. These awful humans will appear to murder you whenever you step foot among the trees and shrubs around her little stoney ruin. They seem to be protecting her, but now that I’m here, looking up at her, I don’t see what the big deal is. Just a big cat. A big, impressive cat. Talking cat. Smiling cat. Powerful cat.
I will kill anyone who threatens my queen.
M’aiq the Liar from Skyrim
M'aiq knows much, tells some, is a cat.
Monster Hunter's Palicos
In Monster Hunter: World, everyone gets a cat friend, which is a stellar feature that every game designer of this generation needs to acknowledge and seek to emulate, lest they be rendered obsolete and all their games fall into disrepute on popular gaming website Rock Paper Shotgun. This is not a threat, only an observation. The Palicos in this sword-swinging dino basher not only provide health in dire moments and sneaky shots from the sidelines of a battle, they also cook. The head cook among the cats is called the "Meowscular Chef". Which is another example of why these are some of the best felines in videogames: the fantastic puns that accompany them.
The cat meowing in Alien Isolation
Early in xenomorph dread simulator Alien: Isolation, there is a single room where you can hear a cat meowing. It stops crying after a while if you move through the area, and as far as I know you never hear it again. This is one thousand times more stressful than the worry I have for the cat aboard the space station in Tacoma. I emailed Creative Assembly seeking clarification on the cat’s ultimate fate, and a spokesperson told me that, "It remains a meowstery, and one that has yet to be answered." When, Creative Assembly? Please, I need sleep.