There was something very mysterious about the cat on Rick and Morty Season 4 Episode 4 on Adult Swim. Fans will be coming up with theories about that mysterious ending for a long time. Why could the cat talk? And what did Rick see? This post will have spoilers for Season 4 Episode 4.
Rick Saw Something Terrible When He Looked into the Cat’s Mind
For most of the episode, the cat just seemed to be a cute little side story. He had some fun times with Jerry and just wanted to go to Florida, party, and get away from it all. But he also didn’t want to talk about why he could talk, and kept changing the subject when asked about his vocal abilities.
Of course, Rick would have none of that. So he read the cat’s mind, and then Jerry did so right after him. Whatever they saw was so terrible that Jerry threw up and Rick almost killed himself. He didn’t kill the cat, though. Instead, he shooed the cat away and took away Jerry’s memory of what he saw.
Later, in the after credits scene, the cat met the dragon and they were going to bond and then go to Florida to party. The cat said he was ashamed of his past. It seems like really does just want to forget about his past and move on.
Of course, this could also be like Total Rickall where the most innocent looking creatures end up being evil. (In fact, this is a theme often repeated on the show: you can’t judge anything by how it looks.)
Fans Have A Lot of Theories About What Rick Saw in the Cat’s Mind
Fans have a lot of theories about what Rick saw in that sweet-looking cat’s mind.
Theory 1: Morty Turned Into a Monster Who Turned Into the Cat
This one seems far-fetched, but the idea is that Morty turned into some kind of terrible monster and then subsequently the cat we see now. This would explain why Rick couldn’t bring himself to kill the cat, since he typically doesn’t have a problem with killing threats.
One Redditor, u/girlfriendpleaser, wrote about the theory: “I think it was morty turning into a monster and (subsequently a cat) then committing terrible acts.. Rick let him go cause he can’t kill him and wanted to commit suicide because he may have caused it and doesn’t want to see that ever happen.. jerry freaks out cause it’s his kid. And it ends with morty bonding with the dragon like he wanted to in the beginning… don’t be surprised if they become a duo opposite to rick and morty as well.”
Theory 2: It’s a Reference to ‘I’m Sorry Jon’
A big theory circulating among fans is that this cat is a reference to “I’m Sorry Jon.” This is an alternative and very dark storyline where Garfield turns into a demon who consumes souls and all of mankind. There’s a subreddit that some may find disturbing (here) connected to the storyline with 714,000 subscribers. This also references Garfield inspired artwork depicting the same alternative storyline. According to Know Your Meme, the alternative universe was made popular by William Burke in Autumn 2018 when he drew a series of drawing connected to the theme. The idea originates from October 2013 and a comic where Garfield ate Jon’s house.
Some think that the fact that the cat’s mouth didn’t move when he talked, like Garfield, is another hint that this is the correct theory.
Theory 3: Game of Thrones Season 8
This one is my personal favorite. A great video imagining this theory is included above. Several fans have brought up the idea that since the episode was about dragons, sex, and had incest jokes, it means that Rick and Jerry saw Season 8 of Game of Thrones in the cat’s mind. It certainly would explain why they were so upset.
Theory 4: The Cat Pooped in the Sand & Covered It Up
This joke theory just assumes that all the cat did was poop in the sand and other public places and cover it up. Everyone’s overreacting, like they might do to stepping on cat poop. Remember in the beginning of the episode, Rick told the dragon he could stay as long as he cleaned his own litter.
Theory 5: The Cat Was the Victim of Something Terrible
Some think that the cat has memories of something terrible that happened to him, and it was so terrible that Rick needed to remember but Jerry couldn’t. However, this would also explain why Rick couldn’t kill the cat. (But it might not really explain why he would shoo the cat away.)
Theory 6: The Cat Eats Old People
Others think the cat used to eat old people, and that’s why Jerry made the comment about his parents. But still, this wouldn’t explain why Rick wouldn’t just kill the cat.
Some fans think this is all going to play out later in the season, maybe in the finale since Rick made a joke about the finale during the episode. Since the cat and the dragon bonded and were headed to Florida, it seems possible that this might all come to play again in another episode some day down the line.
Whatever it was, it was a pretty big deal. Rick rarely gets scared and for him to be that disturbed, it had to be something truly awful. And yet, it still wasn’t awful enough for him to kill the cat, which is intriguing.