Rick And Morty: The True Story Of Talking Cat

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During the fifth season, Rick and Morty continue to play with our heads, giving us the answers to the mysteries that change the rules of the game right before our eyes. Is Beth from space the “real” Beth? Where is Rick’s ex-wife, Mrs. Sanchez? And is it really true that Rick is Morty and Morty is Rick?

Although it’s too early to know if these questions will be answered before the series ends, at least one mystery has been solved, and it has to do with that deceptively charming talking cat.

Think back to the ‘Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim’s Morty’ Season 4 episode. In the midst of all those nasty dragons, Jerry went looking for something accompanied by a talking cat with the voice of Matthew Broderick. Upon meeting the adorable feline, Jerry asked the cat how he could talk, to which he responded with two requests of his own: That he take him to Florida and that Jerry stops asking him how he can talk.

As the episode progressed, other characters would also ask the cat this same question, but he never answered them directly, instead choosing to change the subject each time they did.

At the end of the episode, Rick used a strange technology to read the cat’s mind and try to figure out how it talks. Viewers were not aware of the contents of the cat’s mind, but Jerry immediately vomited upon learning the truth, and Rick even considered taking his own life, unable to cope with what he had just seen.

Naturally, this left us wondering what Rick and Jerry saw in the cat’s brain. Given the things Rick has done over the years, it must have been something monumentally disturbing.

Immediately after the episode aired, theories began to appear on Reddit about what might be going on with the talking cat. Some of the more plausible possibilities, although quite crazy, were the following:

The cat is actually a Morty.
The cat is a cosmic entity of indescribable evil.
The cat is a reference to that horrible Garfield meme that says “Sorry Jon.”
The cat was the victim of unspeakable violence.
As we spoke with Chris Parnell, the actor who voices Jerry, we asked him what he thought about what Rick and Jerry might have seen in the talking cat’s mind, to which he replied:

“Oh wow. I suppose it would be the cat gutting other people, or maybe some kind of Hitler-type ruler overseeing the deaths of millions of people, or I don’t know, doing horrible sex acts.”

Pretty grim, right? Parnell continued, “It’s just that … I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine. It’s probably best left that way.”

Although Chris was a bit unsure of his answer at the time, it turns out he was right. What the talking cat saw is “hard to imagine”, and that’s the point.

According to Decider, Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon has finally explained what the talking cat is all about in the season four DVD commentary. And no, the cat is not a cosmic entity of indescribable evil.

“The cat subplot was an attempt to have fun,” says Harmon. “The cat represents that voice in your head in the writer’s room that alerts you that you are thinking too much.”

In those same comments, screenwriter Jeff Loveness also explains the original inspiration for this idea, saying: “That came up as it happens in movies like Oliver and his gang. They didn’t really explain why cats can talk.”

Pretty grim, right? Parnell continued, “It’s just that … I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine. It’s probably best left that way.”

According to Decider, Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon has finally explained what the talking cat is all about in the season four DVD commentary. And no, the cat is not a cosmic entity of indescribable evil.

In those same comments, screenwriter Jeff Loveness also explains the original inspiration for this idea, saying: “That came up as it happens in movies like Oliver and his gang. They didn’t really explain why cats can talk.”

So there you have it. Fans and critics alike analyze each scene in this series to find meaning, even when it’s not there. So, as we theorized when the episode first aired, the talking cat is actually a spokesperson for creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, reminding viewers to stop analyzing everything so much.

This wasn’t the first time Harmon and Roiland trolled Rick and Morty fans in season four. Do you remember the fascist Morty? And it’s not the first time they’ve targeted Reddit obsessives over-analyzing the series, either.

In 2017, Harmon explained to Inverse that “the showrunner and the fans have different goals. Decoding and theorizing, that’s what fans like to do when they’re thinking about the show at a level that the showrunner doesn’t.”

“You want people to feel that affection for a series, but you don’t want all your answers to be determined at the beginning of some conference, six years before they are important to the plot.”

Roiland agreed with his partner, as he told Inverse that he usually avoids “diving into Reddit stuff” for that very reason. “It’s bad to have those things running through my subconscious.”

And that’s why we’ll never know what Rick and Jerry saw in the talking cat’s mind. Even if the cunning feline returns in a future season (Parnell has told us that “it wouldn’t be a problem”), Harmon and Roiland won’t explain the cat’s past because that would undermine its original meaning.

If it makes you feel better, the Rick and Morty team has promised to answer other riddles, joking that the truth behind Space Beth will be revealed in season five. And yes, we are aware that our desperate need for answers runs counter to everything the talking cat does, but honestly … we don’t give a damn.

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