If there’s one fact that I’ve learned from the internet, it’s that people are unnaturally obsessed with cats. Reading about cats, watching cat videos, memes about cats, the list goes on and on. Invariably, once technology has reached a certain threshold, some scientist somewhere will attempt to uplift domestic cats by increasing their intelligence and giving them the ability to speak. Trust me, if there is technology that would allow for such a thing, it will happen, no question about it. Once our cats are able to think and speak as well as humans, someone will get the bright idea to invite them to role-play. It is to you whom I write! I urge you not to role-play with cats and present to you these four reasons why:
1. Cats are poor team players:
Cats are inveterate loners by nature and would make no effort to play as a member of the team. Expect the cat’s character to often wander off from the group, even in the midst of a tense confrontation, probably idly chasing a small animal or rubbing against the leg of a tavern wench. Heaven forbid the cat chooses to play as the cleric, no one but them would be receiving any healing. They wouldn’t listen to the advice of any of their fellow players and would often lead their group into trouble. If your group has foolishly made the cat’s character the group leader, expect to become servants doing the whims of their master rather than adventurers fighting evil and slaying dragons. Cats would be better relegated to a role of unreliable thief or milk-obsessed hermit.
2. Cats desire to mess with everything:
Cats have an inherent desire to mess with their owners’ possessions, whether it be by knocking that expensive vase off the table or shredding the drapes. This could manifest itself in game in a variety of ways. Any small or valuable items held by other players will likely end up missing, never to be found again. Unlike normal thieves, who are interested in money, I think cats would steal the items, destroy them, and discard them wherever it wouldn’t be discovered, perhaps in a sand box. It’s not just possessions that cats enjoy manipulating. Expect the cat’s character to suddenly attack random NPCs, with seemingly no rhyme or reason. Even worse, their character will likely befriend your group’s worst enemies and attempt to cozy up to them whenever they are given a chance. Given their stealthy nature, cats will likely play sneaky characters, which will often go missing and be found hours later hiding in some obvious place, just watching the rest of the party frantically searching around.
3. Cats blatantly disregard rules:
Cats see no reason to follow rules set by their owners. This is incredibly problematic, as all RPGs are played according to a defined set of regulations. They would be in constant conflict with the GM, balking at any imposition inflicted upon their will for their characters. I imagine that they would be the worst sort of rules lawyer, prone to arguing every little point to the fullest extent of the possible argument. When forced to follow a rule they dislike, they will sulk and probably end up destroying something in the house of whomever is hosting (though no one will witness them doing it and they will deny it staunchly). God forbid you have a cat as a GM, as they will make up rules as it suits them and you will undoubtedly find yourself playing a game of mouse.
4. Cats startle easily:
Any cat owner knows that cats startle for seemingly no reason at all. There’s no reason to think this sort of behavior won’t translate into the game. At any sign of danger, expect the cat’s character to flee and hide under a table, bush, or in any hole large enough to house them. A cat will be no help in a battle with any creatures large or even remotely loud(or wielding magical vacuums); I expect you won’t be able to find them for at least an hour after the battle has been won. Even outside of combat, expect there to be problems. If your group is sneaking into the evil baron’s castle and the cook drops a pot, the cat will invariably give away your position by his or her hissing, jumping, and scampering away. On the bright side, their characters would be fantastic at taking the night watches (though you should expect them to walk over their fellow sleeping characters every few hours or so).
I know that these warnings will not prevent you, future cat-lover, from attempting to role-play with your cat. Your group will come to grief and you’ll end up having to kick your cat out, which will invariably lead to a long sulk in which the furniture in your home is mysteriously damaged, you will be unable to sleep for more than one hour at a time due to their nocturnal calls, and your life becomes generally miserable until you’ve bought them enough catnip and milk to make up for your terrible mistake. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.