5 Wild Fan Theories Behind Rick and Morty's Talking Cat (Which One Is Actually True?)

5 Wild Fan Theories Behind Rick and Morty's Talking Cat (Which One Is Actually True?)
Image credit: Adult Swim

What is that cat and why can it talk?

S4E4 of Rick and Morty titled Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim's Morty aired on Adult Swim over five years ago in pre-COVID times, but no matter what has happened in the world and how many new episodes have aired, the mystery of the talking cat haunts fans to this day.

The episode, which is mostly about the bizarre human-dragon connection, has a subplot in which Jerry befriends a cat with Matthew Broderick's enchanting voice. Since Rick had nothing to do with the appearance of this strange creature and the cat refuses to reveal its past, Rick does a mind scan to find out where it came from and why it can talk.

What he and Jerry see is so disturbing that they scream, cry, vomit, and want to forget it forever. But the audience never gets to see what they saw.

Of course, Rick and Morty fans couldn't let this go and have been theorizing about the talking cat for years. You can still find new theories on social media. Well, let's dive into the five most interesting and see which one is actually true.

Theory 1: Lovecraftian Connection

Rick and Morty is clearly inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Just look at the openings. So fans theorized that the cat could be from the author's short story The Cats of Ulthar. In the story, the cats of a town become sentient and take revenge on an old farmer and his wife for capturing and killing cats. The sentient cats eat the pair alive. Hence Jerry mentioning his parents' photo.

Theory 2: Personal Touch

Jerry is easy to influence. But Rick is much more difficult to disgust. So some fans think the mystery of the cat is connected to the one person both men care about enough to be emotionally touched by. It's Beth. The cat probably did something to her, or was planning something despicable. That's why at least one of the characters had to remember and never let the cat return.

Theory 3: Psychic Attack

Since Rick and Jerry are so opposite, a good explanation would be that the cat has some kind of defense mechanism. Prying into its origins triggers a psychic attack that fills anyone who looks too deeply with complete and utter disgust. Even Rick's powerful mind can't stand it.

Theory 4: Fourth Wall

Probably the wildest theory is that the cat is actually a copy of Rick and Morty's creator's pet and has memories of our world. So when Rick and Jerry looked into it, they realized that their entire reality was actually a cartoon. That would certainly make Jerry sick and Rick want to kill himself. It would also explain why Jerry mentions his parents. He can't believe he was drawn, not born.

Theory 5: Dread of the Unknown

The most popular theory is that there was never supposed to be an answer to the mystery of the cat. There's nothing a creator can write that's as scary as what the audience imagines in their heads. Our own imaginations are far more terrifying than any reality.

What do the creators say?

So which one of these theories is true? Back in 2020, Dan Harmon told Decider that the cat storyline was just a writer's joke.

‘The cat represents that voice in your head in the writers room that you’re overthinking it,’ Harmon said, with writer Jeff Loveness adding, ‘That came from those movies like Oliver and Company and all that, they didn’t really explain why the cats can talk.’

So it looks like the most popular fan theory is actually true. What the cat was doing and why it could talk was the same thing as what was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction or the trunk in Repo Man - it's the worst/best/weirdest thing you can personally imagine.

This is where we declare speculation adjourned.

Source: Decider.

Would you like Rick and Morty to explore the talking cat’s arc further?