The 12 Best Cats In SciFi History

first_imgThey say there are two types of people in this world: cat people and dog people. Dog people are loyal, friendly and kind of dumb, while cat people are independent, intelligent and can be dicks.So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that after I wrote a piece on the best dogs in science fiction, the cat people got a little pissed at me. What have dogs done to deserve an article that cats haven’t, they asked? And I had no answer.Well, now I do. I went back to the Space Pound and rounded up a cool dozen of the greatest cats to ever appear in science fiction books, movies, TV shows, video games, and comics. Have you ever tried to round up a dozen cats at once? It’s not easy.JonesySpace travel can be a lonely experience, so it should come as no surprise that the crew of the Nostromo brought a cat along to keep them company. And while we remember Ellen Ripley as the sole survivor of the events of Alien, Jonesy the feline also made it through. The cat even made a brief appearance at the beginning of the sequel when Ripley was roused from cryosleep. The fact that a simple housecat managed to avoid one of the universe’s greatest predators should give the Weyland-Yutani corporation pause.Cait SithThe Final Fantasy series has long prided itself on giving you a wide variety of characters to join your party, but Cait Sith might be the oddest. He’s a cat, riding atop a giant Moogle. But he’s not actually a cat, he’s a robot being controlled by an executive of the evil Shinra corporation to spy on the party. Eventually his handler has a change of heart, but Cait remains one of the most perplexing yet enduring characters from the game.SpotLt. Commander Data’s android quest to understand the human mind brought him into contact with a number of life forms on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but few touched him as deeply as his cat Spot. The fickle feline figured into a number of storylines, but possibly the most entertaining was when her newborn kittens saved the crew from a de-evolutionary plague. When Spot survived the destruction of the Enterprise-D, Data’s new emotion chip got quite a workout.JakeIf you’re of a certain age, you probably have a soft spot for the bizarre live-action Disney movies of the late 70s and early 80s like Escape From Witch Mountain and The Cat From Outer Space. Jake, the titular cat of the latter flick, was an Abyssinian from beyond the stars named Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7. Because that’s kind of a mouthful, he went by “Jake.” Blessed with massive telepathic and telekinetic powers, he mostly uses them to fix horse races and pool games, because this is a Disney movie and the stakes are low.Dex-StarrFor a cat that’s much less friendly, we turn to the DC Universe. The power rings wielded by the various Lantern Corps typically seek out hosts that are attuned to their values, so when a Red Ring of Rage needed a new master, it’s not surprising that an alley cat from Brooklyn fit the bill. After watching his owner murdered by a home invasion, Dex-Starr was rescued from death by the arrival of his ring and embarked on a bloody campaign of vengeance against all who wronged him.JeaneThe No More Heroes games are relentlessly cynical tales of an otaku assassin climbing his way up the rankings by slaughtering his superiors with an energy sword, but they also contain a little bit of surprising sweetness. When Travis Touchdown returns to his crappy motel room to save the game and change his clothes, he can also spend some quality time with his cat Jeane. You can even learn new combat techniques by playing with her.DoraemonOne of the most beloved Japanese cartoon characters of all time, Doraemon is a blue robotic cat from the 22nd century who comes back in time to help a tween boy get his act together so his descendents won’t be total losers. Originally a manga series by Fujiko F. Fujio, Doraemon has appeared across tons of different media since his creation in 1969. Who wouldn’t want a personal cat bodyguard with a magic pocket full of future gadgets and a time machine?Mort(e)After the bombs drop, it’s highly possible that the ruins of our civilization will be populated by lesser creatures making their way through. Robert Repino’s novel Mort(e) takes as its premise a global event that elevates the intelligence of domesticated animals suddenly and irreversibly, causing them to rise up against their former masters and slaughter humanity wholesale. In the new world, former pets need to come to terms with their independence, and the titular cat doesn’t have an easy time of it.TinkerBandit, the dog from Grant Morrison’s We3, earned a spot on that other list, so it’s only fair that his cat counterpart in the triad of cyborg animals shows up here. Tinker is more pragmatic and less friendly to humans than her counterparts, but when the chips are down she helps take down a similarly enhanced pit bull and eventually gets her mechanical implants removed to live a normal feline life again. James Gunn recently expressed interest in helming the film adaptation, so we’ll see if that happens.RaulHoward Chaykin’s American Flagg is one of the most fondly remembered independent comics of the 1980s, a cutting satire of a vacant, corporation controlled Earth in the year 2031 with a dazzling supporting cast. For our money, the most interesting was Raul, a talking cat equipped with a pair of cyborg human hands who was protagonist Reuben Flagg’s confidante and information source. It’s never explained in the book how Raul got his unique abilities, and we never meet another animal with them. But if there’s one thing cats are good at, it’s keeping secrets.MaoThe Shadow Hearts series is one of the weirdest role-playing franchises in existence, blending steampunk and horror in an alternate universe during the Great Depression. Its characters are utterly bizarre as well, featuring vampires, detectives and flamenco guitarists. In the third game, you can also recruit Mao, a massive human-sized cat who drinks alcohol to improve her combat ability. Her sidequest sees Mao battling through a pagoda of other cats in an homage to classic martial arts flick Game Of Death.CatWhen is a cat no longer a cat? On classic British sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf, one of the inhabitants of the derelict ship is the result of three million years of evolution starting from a standard housecat. So, sure, he looks mostly human and walks on two legs, but he still identifies as a cat and we have to respect that. Cat is the freewheeling id of the ship, an endlessly vain and preening creature obsessed with mating and marking territory.last_img

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