Where Can I Find Cat Cyberpunk?

What is Cat Cyberpunk?

Cat cyberpunk is a subgenre of cyberpunk that incorporates cats and cat themes into the typical cyberpunk aesthetic and narratives. It combines the high-tech, dystopian urban landscapes of cyberpunk with images of cats to create a unique blend of science fiction, fantasy and feline culture.

Some common themes and aesthetics of cat cyberpunk include advanced bionic cats, cats with augmented reality glasses, neon-lit urban cityscapes filled with stray cybercats, hacker cats, and dystopian societies where cats have superintelligence. There is often an emphasis on the cats coexisting in a grim, high-tech future environment amongst humans and advanced technology. Visually, cat cyberpunk art and media incorporates vibrant neon colors, rain, fog, glowing LED lights, holograms, and shadowy backstreets alongside cats.

In terms of narrative, cat cyberpunk often explores the relationship between humans and technology while incorporating themes of transhumanism specific to cats, like genetic engineering and cybernetic enhancements. It examines the alienation of cats in an increasingly technology-driven world. However, it also celebrates the resilience and adaptability of cats even in the face of great adversity.

Origins of Cat Cyberpunk

Cat cyberpunk first emerged as a genre in the early 2010s, combining elements of the cyberpunk science fiction genre with internet cat culture. Though cyberpunk fiction had existed since the 1980s, cat memes and viral images of cats had also grown enormously in popularity online in the 2000s and early 2010s.

Influenced by classic cyberpunk works like William Gibson’s Neuromancer as well as the ubiquity of LOLCats and other cat media online, artists and writers began exploring the intersection of dystopian, high-tech futures and cute yet badass cybernetic cats. This new genre used tropes of cyberpunk such as advanced technology, evil corporations, and transhumanism, but injected playful and ironic elements through its feline protagonists.

Some of the earliest examples of cat cyberpunk art and fiction came out of communities on Tumblr, Reddit, and other social platforms in the early 2010s. Over time, the genre expanded to include music, games, fashion, and more. However, at its roots, cat cyberpunk remains tied to both the gritty, dystopian futures imagined in classic cyberpunk works as well as the quirky and absurdist humor of online cat culture.

Notable Cat Cyberpunk Works

Some of the most notable works in cat cyberpunk include:

Neuromancer by William Gibson – This 1984 novel is considered one of the seminal works of cyberpunk. Though not focused on cats, it helped define many of the tropes of the genre. Gibson’s innovative ideas like cyberspace and the matrix paved the way for cat cyberpunk.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson – Stephenson’s 1992 novel features a cyberpunk world where Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for the Mafia and becomes involved in a new cyberdrug called Snow Crash. Though cats don’t play a major role, the novel’s unique ideas influenced later cat cyberpunk works.

Gunnm (known as Battle Angel Alita in the US) – The 1990s manga by Yukito Kishiro follows cyborg girl Alita and her cybernetically enhanced cat. With its dystopian cityscapes and cybernetic enhancements, Gunnm exemplifies the cat cyberpunk genre.

Stray – This 2022 cat adventure game takes place in a neon-lit cybercity and allows players to freely explore as a cybernetically enhanced stray cat. With its rain-slicked streets and moody synth soundtrack, Stray immerses players in a fully-realized feline cyberpunk world.

The Cyberpunk 2077 sidequest “The Heisenberg Principle” – This optional mission in the hit video game Cyberpunk 2077 tasks players with finding and caring for a small black cat named Nibbles in V’s apartment, earning the cat’s trust in a cyberpunk setting.

Common Tropes and Themes

Cat cyberpunk fiction often explores gritty urban environments where advanced technology exists, yet most individuals still struggle to get by. This high-tech, low-life dichotomy creates an atmosphere ripe for cat hackers, outlaws, and rebels to thrive. Stories feature dystopian societies, corrupt governments, and mega-corporations with too much power over people’s lives.

Transhumanism gone wrong is a major theme, where biohacking and enhancements like cybernetic implants have unintended consequences. Protagonists frequently grapple with losing part of their humanity or individual identity as technology consumes them. There is a dark, often cynical tone in examining how advances meant to improve lives can instead dehumanize people and take away their agency.

At the crux, cat cyberpunk cautions against unchecked technological progress, sacrifice of ethics for efficiency, and overreliance on machines. It reminds us to value freedom of choice and what makes us living beings.

Cat Cyberpunk Fashion and Aesthetics

The fashion and aesthetic of cat cyberpunk has a very distinctive visual style. Cat cyberpunk characters often feature glowing robotic eyes, cybernetic enhancements like bionic limbs or antennae, and futuristic body armor or tactical gear. Neon colored elements are also very common in cat cyberpunk fashion.

Cats featured in cat cyberpunk art will frequently have augmentations like cyborg implants, mechanical ears or tails, or ports for plugging into computer systems. Robotic limbs with an industrial look are a popular cybernetic enhancement. Glowing neon stripes or circuits are also commonly incorporated into cat cyberpunk aesthetic and fashion.

The overall look draws heavily from the cyberpunk genre with its integration of futuristic technology. But it incorporates cute cats and playful elements to create a unique cat cyberpunk style.

Cat Cyberpunk in Pop Culture

Cat cyberpunk has become a notable fixture in various pop culture mediums, particularly video games. One example is the game Cyberpunk 2077, which features a minor character named Nibbles. Nibbles is a cat who roams Night City and has developed a small cult following in the game’s community. Players have theorized about Nibbles’ backstory and place within the cyberpunk world (https://www.reddit.com/r/cyberpunkgame/comments/klmk25/sad_theory_about_the_cat/).

Cats also feature prominently in the anime series Ghost in the Shell, a landmark cyberpunk work. The main character, Motoko Kusanagi, lives with dozens of stray cats. This reflects broader cyberpunk themes of transhumanism, as the cats represent connection to nature amidst a high-tech setting.

Overall, cat cyberpunk in pop culture highlights the genre’s interest in exploring technology’s impact on humanity. Cats act as symbols of our connection to the natural world and the need for empathy in an increasingly digital landscape.

Notable Creators in Cat Cyberpunk

Some notable creators who have contributed to the cat cyberpunk genre include:

BlueTwelve Studio

BlueTwelve Studio is a French video game developer founded in 2015. They are best known for developing Stray, a 2022 cat cyberpunk adventure game featuring a stray cat as the protagonist. Stray has received critical acclaim for its immersive cyber city setting and emphasis on cat parkour gameplay.

Mike Pondsmith

Mike Pondsmith is an American game designer best known as the creator of the Cyberpunk tabletop roleplaying game. Pondsmith helped consult on the cat character designs and worldbuilding for CD Projekt Red’s cyberpunk video game Cyberpunk 2077, which features futuristic stray cats.

Impact and Legacy

As one of the first genres to prominently feature cats as protagonists, cat cyberpunk has had a significant influence on other genres seeking to explore themes of technology, transhumanism and the relationship between humans and animals with a feline lens. Works like Stray 1 and the cat V in Cyberpunk 2077 2 show the continued popularity of cat cyberpunk tropes and aesthetics.

Even as the cyberpunk genre evolves, cat cyberpunk continues to capture imaginations with its vision of technologically-enhanced cats navigating futuristic cityscapes. The potential for future games, films and literature focusing on cybernetic cats seems high, as the relatable feline protagonist offers a unique perspective on transhumanist themes. As gaming technology improves to simulate cat behaviors and environments more realistically, cat cyberpunk will likely gain an even broader audience.

With its pioneering role in depicting technologically-enhanced animal protagonists, cat cyberpunk has cemented its place as an influential subgenre that will likely continue inspiring creators across mediums for years to come.

Cat Cyberpunk Communities

Cat cyberpunk has developed an enthusiastic community of fans who connect online and at conventions. Online forums like Reddit’s r/Cyberpunk and gaming forums allow fans to discuss and share cat cyberpunk creations. Sites like DeviantArt enable fans to showcase cat cyberpunk-themed artwork.

Conventions and events bring cat cyberpunk fans together in person. Many anime conventions have dedicated panels and events for cat cyberpunk themes and cosplay. For example, the anime convention Anthrocon has an annual event called Furtastic where fans can dress up their pets in cyberpunk costumes and accessories.

Social media also facilitates cat cyberpunk fandom engagement and community building. On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, hashtags like #catcyberpunk and #cybermeow allow fans to discover and share related content. Facebook groups unite niche cat cyberpunk interests like cosplaying cats or feline-themed games and art.

Overall, cat cyberpunk’s online forums, conventions, and social media groups enable fans worldwide to celebrate and contribute to the community.

Getting Started with Cat Cyberpunk

Cat cyberpunk is a fun genre to explore for both existing cyberpunk fans and newcomers. Here are some recommendations for diving into the world of cat cyberpunk:

One of the most famous examples of cat cyberpunk is the character Nibbles from the video game Cyberpunk 2077. Players can adopt Nibbles as a pet cat for their in-game apartment. To start your cat cyberpunk journey, playing Cyberpunk 2077 and bonding with Nibbles is a great introduction.

The webcomic TechnoCats by Pixel Prism is a great comic to read, featuring a dystopian city of cybernetic cats. Many fans recommend it as a quintessential cat cyberpunk work.

For cat cyberpunk fashion and aesthetics, search sites like Etsy for things like cat ear headphones or LED collars with neon lighting. Dressing up your own pet cat can be a fun way to explore the style.

Join online cat cyberpunk communities on platforms like Reddit and Tumblr to connect with other fans. Seeing fan art and discussions can help immerse you in the genre.

Cat cyberpunk is a creative genre that lets imagination run wild. As a new fan, don’t be afraid to experiment with your own cat cyberpunk ideas and creations!

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