What’s this? A weekly feature?
Sure, maybe! In an effort to consolidate the cumbersome branding I have cursed myself with, I wanted to draw correlation between the vibe of the articles and the vibe of the cats. What I landed on — or more accurately, what my wife landed on — was that I close the week out with a piece that looks into famous felines of the gaming and entertainment world.
What an excellent idea! My kittens would be very impressed, except for Eziyoda himself, who is only impressed by food and sparkly pom-poms.
With all this in mind, there was really just one candidate who came to mind for the fledgling entry. Tempting as it is to wryly ask ‘who do you think it is?’, you’ve already clicked on the damned article. So yeah. It Meowth. What up?
First Appearance: Pocket Monsters Red/Green (1996)
This suspicious breed of puss is known by many aliases. Japanese players call it Nyarth, while the PokeDex has dubbed it the Scratch Cat Pokemon. I myself named it HARVEY BUTT, which was supposed to be short for Harvey Buttons until I ran out of space.
One of several version specific beasts in Pokemon Red and Blue, only owners of the latter were able to natively locate it in the grassy knolls surrounding the various townships of Kanto. It is, of course, absolutely adorable, and capable of evolving into the limber puma Persian, making it enticing to collectors with an affinity for aesthetics. Cat fanciers, if you must.
Like many Pokemon of its generation, however, its combat capabilities left a lot to be desired, suffering from a shallow movepool and underwhelming statistics outside of its impressive speed. Had this been all it was known for, it likely would have proven a reasonably popular, if not subpar monster.
Its star would soon rise, thanks to its major role in the Pokemon anime. Here, a talking Meowth was one third of the bumbling Team Rocket trio, acting as a bridge between species where communication was necessary, and adding yet another chapter to the ongoing war between cats and mice.
In hindsight, this would have made it the much more sensible choice for Super Smash Bros., as opposed to Jigglypuff, who was limited to cameos here and there. The fact of the matter is, this furry mischief maker had carved out a special place in the beloved batch of gen 1 ‘mons.
As each generation ushered in a bevy of new monsters, Meowth would be left to the wayside, and it wasn’t until 2016’s Pokemon Sun and Moon that it would get an opportunity to be highlighted again. The introduction of regional forms yielded an Alolan parallel to Meowth; this time, a pure Dark-type with access to the helpful utility move, Parting Shot.
It was equally as frail as its Kantonian cousin, but at the very least, the pair had their niche of viability in the overcrowded echelons of the Little Cup.
Stunningly, the family tree would add another branch in the very next generation, this time in the guise of the bearded Steel-type Galarian Meowth. Not only were its statistics a little more skewed to physicality (and hirsute style), it would also evolve into a completely new Pokemon: Perrserker.
Say what you will about Perrserker, who eschews grace to more closely resemble a very short, elderly pervert, it sure does make an impression, doesn’t it? An unnerving, jarring impression that you’ll tell your psychiatrist about during your next session. Hopefully they’ll dish out some Lyrica for that trauma.
Then, to top it all off, Meowth even received its own Gigantamax form, exclusive to the Kantonian edition. The ultimate meme, Gigantamax Meowth’s excessive length truly makes it a sight to be seen. You’d better store all of your ferns at the top of a tower, otherwise this bastard is gonna gobble them up real fast.
Overall, Meowth is a flimsy character who will love you and leave you in short order. But for what it lacks in sturdiness, it more than makes up for in moxie. Maybe next time you’re wandering Route 5, you just may stop to give it a try for yourself.