My cat is my best friend. I get side-eyes and worried looks when I admit this, as if I’m a friendless goon, a sad 30-year-old cat lady, a loser indebted to my loserdom. But I don’t care. My cat has been my life partner for six years now, a loyal friend and family member who brings joy to my life. We’ve moved across the country together. We’ve mourned together. I wake up every morning to his fluffy body wrapped around my legs, fast asleep and latched to me. My symbiotic cuddle buddy.
That’s why it always pains me when people talk ill of cats, as if they’re all standoffish and evil. Some are more guarded, absolutely. But so are some dogs. Every animal has a distinct personality. In reality, cats are ridiculously cool. They regard the world with the same disdain a misanthrope like myself does, but they also find joy in the most bizarrely mundane: plastic wrappers, lint, the shine of a phone.
It’s always saddened me that cats get passed over for dogs in films so often. I imagine some of that has to do with training limitations, but it’s still a disservice to this strange, beautiful creatures. That’s why Captain Marvel‘s Goose is such a unique joy. Finally, some good kitty representation!
Though Goose is not an average house cat—she’s actually an alien creature known as a Flerken—she presents as one, and instantly wins over surprise cat-lover Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). I can’t remember the last time a cat got this much love and consideration in a big-budget film since Jonesy in Alien, another ginger tabby with survival skills. But Goose gets even more of a spotlight in Captain Marvel; she’s there for most of the action and feels like a member of the team. It’s a genuine delight to watch how she prowls across the screen, soaking up love and attention.
But not only does Goose add an extra dose of cute to Captain Marvel—she also saves the day. In the final act, when her Flerken identity is revealed, she uses her tentacles to knock out the evil Kree soldiers and help Fury, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), and the rest of the surviving Skrulls escape. She also swallows the Tesseract, which helps the good guys smuggle it away from Yon-Rogg (Jude Law)—if you stick around for the post-credits scene, you’ll get even more Goose/Tesseract goodness.
Goose is just the first in line for what looks like a huge year for cinematic felines. We’re also getting Church in the new Pet Sematary, Rajah in the live-action Aladdin, and a bunch of big kitties in The Lion King.
You heard it here: 2019 is the Year of the Cat. Thank you Goose for putting a good, brave name to your kind. It’s about time.
Images: Disney, Marvel, Paramount Pictures