Skitty, Delcatty

#300 – Skitty

It’s kind of hard to look at a Normal-type cat on their own considering that, up to this point, one of the most-recognizable faces of the franchises is also a Normal-type cat. Yet here we are, six years later, coming back to the well.

It shouldn’t be that surprising, considering that Pokémon is a bit of a “what if my pet had superpowers” fantasy, and cats are one of the top-two domestic pets in the world. Still, Skitty feels a little redundant right off the bat, even if he is pink and cute.

Thankfully, her design inspiration his pretty different, too, with a pincushion (or, arguably, a cattail plant) for a tail and a much more mellowed, tame look compared to Meowth’s wide-eyed monster. He’s even overtly colorful where Meowth just a plain beige; the two contrast each other quite nicely, I think.

Delcatty’s standing up a bit more proper, his tail has gotten a nip-and-tuck, and now he has a nice hat and fur collar.

That’s right, Delcatty is a fashion-cat, preferred companion of the bourgeoise. That collar even doubles as the orthopedic neck-pillow that they probably paid a cool 20 for at the airport for marginal comfort. Hey, at least it canonically lets him take a comfortable cat-nap wherever he pleases.

I don’t know that I have much else to say on him, to be honest. Delcatty just kind of is for me. He’s nice, he’s got a sensible theme, but he doesn’t really spark my imagination in the way that some of the more out-there concepts do.

He also isn’t super-enticing in battle, having subpar stats across the board except for average-ish speed, even after being buffed up in the Ruby and Sapphire remakes. A passive ability like Normalize can pull some fun shenanigans like paralyzing Golem, but ultimately she just doesn’t have a lot to contribute to most teams.

That low aptitude for fighting is probably a reflection of all the flavor text around Delcatty in the games, what with explicitly emulating an actual domesticated cat. The Pokédex in Sapphire will even tell you outright that he’d rather just leave than defend himself if attacked, which tells you everything you need to know about his pampered behavior. In fact, barring Darwinian evolution in the games (which we have just a little evidence for), it’s a bit of a mystery how the subspecies survived before humans came around.

These two are hardly offensive, but the long and short of it is that this series already has an iconic, plain-ish cat. Delcatty just doesn’t bring much more than that to the table, and while I appreciate having diverse species within the same niche from a worldbuilding perspective, this is the kind of design that can easily be Retired.

Any and all appreciation for Skitty and Delcatty is welcome in the comments!

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