Neko Atsume app foreshadows impending cat-astrophe

by Samana Shrestha
by Samana Shrestha
by Samana Shrestha

They’ve infiltrated our lives, our houses, our minds—and most of us don’t even realize it yet. It has been clear since the unstoppable wave of adorable cat videos infected the Inter­net that these fluffy masterminds are devious. They use their furry complexion and their un­bearable cuteness to gain the trust of humans, but we must not falter. Yes, these felines are painfully adorable and yes, cat videos have pro­vided me (and many others) with endless hours of entertainment. But we cannot let them win.

Recently, the cats have struck again. In re­lease of the Japanese smartphone app, Neko Atsume, they have invaded the sanctity of our smartphones, and soon, our sanity. Do not be fooled, comrades; this app may seem like an in­nocent game—another transient gaming craze that will soon fall into the void of oblivion (I’m looking at you, Candy Crush)—but it is far more than that. Neko Atsume is a possible vision of our future. It is the cats’ way of subconsciously subordinating humans to their whims and de­sires.

In the ideal world of Neko Atsume, we put out offerings and gifts in hopes that our feline “friends” will grace us with their presence. We painstakingly arrange the cat toys in order to entice them to our home. Then, we lie in wait, in anticipation for our favorite cat to return.

In the app, there is also an option to rename the cats. You could assign ridiculous names to cats, like, Sir Fluffyballs or Fuzzkill or Poopaloo. The cats seem to accept their names, but there is no way to tell what they really think. You could look into those cold empty void of eyes and search for any hint of emotion—even the tiniest smidge of acceptance, but you will find none. Sir Fluffyball and Fuzzkill and Poopaloo will continue to gaze into your soul, their stoic countenance never faltering for a second.

The cats bring gifts to you too, but do not be disillusioned by this false act of generosity. The carcasses of dead meat that the cats drag into your yard are a warning: “This could be you.” We laugh it off nervously and accept the gifts. We must not show them our fear. Of course, since Neko Atsume is made to be a kid-friendly game, the corpses have been replaced by “inno­cent” mementos, such as dead cicada skins.

On one frightening instance, I caught a glimpse of a certain Joe DioMeowgio. I blinked and rubbed my eyes and looked away from the screen before returning back but it was real. There he was: Joe DioMeowgio. Dear God, I whispered in trepidation, the cats have taken the skin of famous humans in an attempt to win our love. They have integrated themselves seamlessly into our bipedal society. This is just another indicator of their impending domina­tion. Sadly, Joe DiMeowgio is not the only vic­tim. Guy Furry, Chairman Meow and Billy the Kitten are other members of human society that have fallen into the furry grasp of these cats. Is no one safe?

Astonishingly, neither the dead corpses the cats gift to us nor the fact that these cats are lit­erally wearing the skins of one of our own kind seems to worry us. In fact, these actions seem to have cemented our love for these furry crea­tures. On seeing the dead carcasses these cats drag into the security of one’s home, we gush and squeal and show our friends, “Look at what Sir Fluffyballs brought home!” We mistake this action for love.

Similarly, when we see cats such as Joe Di­Meowgio strutting around our yard, instead of reeling away with disgust and worry, we snap pictures of him and brag to the remaining hu­man friends we have left about them.

These warning signs have all been ignored for far too long. The cats have numbed our sense of fear—our natural survival instinct. Don’t be fooled; this is all intentional. We must not forget that underneath those furry paws are claws.

Not even the ancient powers of Nintendogs, Webkinz and Neopets combined can stop the tour de force of these felines. Neko Atsume is merely a stepping stone to grander schemes. Cute cat videos ignited an uncontrollable love for these fluffy animals. Neko Atsume has sub­consciously introduced the notion of feline domination.

The obvious next step is for them to creep up the household ladders. Eventually (if they do not already) these cats will be the heads of the house. You will feed them tuna, but soon they will demand salmon sashimi imported from the coasts of Japan—and you will give this to them. After this, they will make their way up the soci­etal totem pole, obtaining office jobs and head­ing corporations that humans are well qualified for. At this rate, in the next 2024 presidential election we could be casting our votes for the next Purrnie Sanders (“Feel the Puurrrn”).

The future looks bleak. It is a future of subor­dination and oppression in the hands—I mean, paws—of cats. We will be subdued into sub­mission; forced to continually serve them, feed them and scratch them behind their fluffy ears that adorably twitch every once in awhile. If we continue down this path the destruction of our society is imminent. For now, we mustn’t let the cats sense our fear. We must continue to feed them tuna and rub them and clean out their lit­ter boxes.

It is clear that in times like this, we must stand together, united against this impending catastrophic apocalypse. But before we do, I need to check on Sir Fluffyballs.

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