Cats are one of the several creatures in the world of SSSS to have survived the Rash Illness . They were notably the only mammals to not be affected by it. Their immunity to the illness, and their usefulness in detecting and hunting grosslings led to them being considered Blessed Felines.
Survivors of every nationality hold cats in high regard and are frequently shown to employ them as guards. The main uses of cats are alerting humans of danger (also, in certain cases, joining them in fight) and getting rid of vermin that could spread disease and ravage farm fields.
Cats possess natural hunting instincts and immunity to the Rash Illness . They are thus one of humanity's best defences, and can be employed in many fields. Cats were shown guarding flocks of sheep, leading the way for Norwegian hunters and being deployed along with medical crews. They are commonly employed as guards, both in actual means of transport (trains, boats) and at arrival stations. Cats are also an important part in the Cleansers ' activity, being used to detect remaining troll nests after a cleansing.
Apart from housecats living with humans, feral cats have been shown living in the Silent Lands, and a comment by the author stated that the immunity also covers other felines, reaching at least as far as lions and tigers.
As the very young, feral, and completely untrained kitten in chapter nine demonstrates, cats have indeed an innate, reliable ability to detect the proximity of trolls, even through the cat-tanks closed hull, a building's wall, and the pod the troll has not yet hatched out of. It reacts - supposedly unless trained otherwise - with fur standing on end, claws emerging, pupils going wide, and hissing to such a presence. There is enough of a correlation to the distance to the grossling that Sigrun can wave the cat around with her outstretched arm to make it into a direction finder in a combat situation.
Cats are classified in three different 'grades' in the post-Rash world.
Grade C Edit
Grade C cats are ordinary house or farm cats with no training. They posses the basic abilities of a cat and are able to protect their masters to a rather low extent.
Grade B Edit
Any normal cat between ages of 0-5 can receive training to become a Grade B cat. Grade B cats are able to properly alert humans of danger and will dispose of vermin Beasts in a healthy and safe fashion.
Grade A Edit
Grade A cats are the top of the line cats. Breed and raised for demanding military tasks, they can be employed to many uses, from scouting to medical care, to guarding transport trains. These cats may only be obtained through official training facilities.
Known cats Edit
Berit Eide's cat Edit
Berit Eide's cat (no name given) appeared in the prologue as living with the old woman. It was comically labelled by Aksel Eide as "the Devil", while it appeared to be a rather affectionate animal. Along with Berit, it transferred to the small town of Dalsnes upon Aksel's request.
Magnus was Michael Madsen 's cat. When first introduced he was on a ferry, being brought to Michael's sister's house. Denmark closed its borders while the ferry was still out in the sea, and Michael and Magnus transferred to the Madsen house. He was last shown as a shadow in an archive document, close to the Madsen family while they were listening to a radio.
Misu-Misu was a black cat belonging to the Hollola family. She was aboard the boat with the family when they decided to escape from the Rash. She apparently was fond of pizza, stealing Eino's pizza and eating the slices that fell off Veeti's box.
Västerström Family Cat Edit
The Västerström family also had a cat (no name given). She was first seen in the backseat along with Mia Västerström and the family dog, Bosse. She was also shown in an archive document, clawing the plastic used to block the windows, and in a family portrait in the Västerström house of year 90.
Paddlewheeler / Timbercruiser Edit
On the Timbercruiser, cats aided the hazmat teams in determining if any monsters had attached to the underside of the Paddlewheeler. It can also be assumed they patrolled the decks, looking for vermin beasts.
The cats on the Paddlewheeler patrolled the crew and passenger compartments, especially while the ship was under lockdown while passing a seclusion. One cat was able to sense when it was time to open the window shields, indicating they were beyond the seclusions and approaching the cleansed lands east of Pori. This also showed an example of cat intelligence, when the same cat lifted an eyebrow at Tuuri when she ran to and pressed her nose against the window. While not actively patrolling, they were free to curl up anywhere they saw fit, even under a table with Lalli. There was also one cat, in particular, who served as a kind of protocol observer in the passenger compartment...
Shusher Cat Edit
The only on-duty military cat to receive a name so far (though it's likely that the author wasn't entirely serious in her blog post), "Shusher Cat" made sure passengers on the Paddlewheeler remained quiet to appease Vellamo while bound for Pori. Shusher Cat would admonish those who thought that whispering would qualify as "quiet", which included Taru Hollola and Tuuri. It even held a paw to its mouth when making the "pssh" sound, as a human would hold his finger to his lips when saying "shhh".
BosseEditA cat seen in the house of Siv and Torbjorn Västerström. Judging by Emil's familiarity with it, the cat has been owned by the family for some time. Its distinct lack of collar designates it a Grade C cat. Incidentally, the name of the cat is the same as that of the dog from the prologue Västerström family.
Military cats served aboard the Dalahästen the same as any ship on the water. On the Dalahästen, however, they served a different purpose, being an early-warning system against beasts, trolls, or giants who managed to get on the train car and not be deterred by the saw blades. When Lalli received a vision of a troll, he ran into the central compartment to warn the crew. When the cats started mau-ing nervously at the roof, the conductor knew something was wrong and yelled out "breach!", just as a giant broke through the metal roofing and attacked the crew.
Silent World Edit
Chapter 7 clarifies that there also are feral cats living in the Silent Lands, as we are shown a cat caring for at least six kittens. The dissimilar appearance of the kittens suggests that they were sired by different tomcats (which is an actual possibility in housecats).
Sigrun and Emil find these cats in The Fictional School, where Cthulhund chased the mother up a pillar after wounding her badly. They return to the cat-tank with the mother cat, at least four kittens that were already dead when found, and the one surviving kitten, but Mikkel finds it unavoidable to euthanize the (unnamed) mother.
The surviving kitten, which looks like a younger version of the tri-color "Derp Kitty" from the concept sketches (see below), is helped overcome hypothermia and joins the crew, thus becoming a main character.
- For the main page on this topic, see Kitty.
More Cat Cameos Edit
- Sketches of the main-characters-to-be have shown no less than three different cats (, , and a ) accompanying them until Kitty, matching the latter, actually joined the expedition.
- Also, an animated "stretch goal kitty" that looks very much like Kitty was part of the artwork for the book 1 crowdfunding campaign.
- Cat-like appearances apply to their vehicle, nicknamed the cat-tank, and the general behavior and visual magical effects of Lalli.
- The celebratory artwork for the and the showed the (human) main characters in cat form.