Cats: why do we worship their every judgmental glance and begrudging move? Perhaps its writ in our DNA to adore their disdain for us, and to, day in day out, pick up the stinky poops of a creature that (on a good day) barely puts up with your people crap. Ever since the Egyptians up and declared them sacred, cats have been fated to become humanity’s disgruntled overlords. The internet isn’t helping, either, with their dickhole feline antics translating perfectly into six second Vine clips. I mean, just look down below at this Google Books Ngram Viewer chart to see how successfully the cats have invaded—not only taking over our physical spaces (like your bed), but also our very ethos.
Games like Catlateral Damage and Neko Atsume prove just how deep their cultural infiltration goes. Unsurprisingly, the zero-fucks-given attitude of a feline adapts well to the videogame medium—fueled by power fantasies that let you run amuck in worlds that are not yours, yet somehow still assumed to be at your disposal to destroy.
Many of these games allow us to empathize with the plight of our cats, as we get to become our furry furies. But Will Herring’s autobiographical text My Garbage Cat Wakes Me Up at 3am Every Day takes another approach, as an exposé on the horrors of trying to do things while your feline prowls. The game captures the mixture of diabolical and lackadaisical that is the essence of a cat soul, distilling their temper tantrums to a few keyboard buttons and NES soundbites.
Your mission: awaken your human in the most destructive way imaginable. My Garbage Cat mimics the dynamic of real life human-cat relationships, by giving the cat all the power and confining the human to his vulnerable position in bed. Because living with a cat can feel like you pay a small, hairy roommate to kinda lurk around your apartment, expecting food. Most of the time, you feel like your cat really wishes you’d just take the hint, do the decent thing, and move out of your apartment already. “Your presence makes me uncomfortable and I require your bed to practice my kneading and to iron out my plans to destroy all of humanity,” your cat’s eyes tell you, with a pathological wink.