Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Meowth 
- Persian 
Notable BiologyMeowth and Persian are quadrupedal feline Pokemon with prominent whiskers and retractable claws. The wild-type coat is short and soft, cream to white in color. In Meowth, this is accompanied by brown pointing on the ears, tail and back feet; the ear and foot pointing fades after evolution. The tail of both stages features a distinctive whorl at the end.
Meowth is small, weighing nine to ten pounds on average. It has disproportionately large eyes and a small, furry nose that can be difficult to spot. It is capable of standing bipedally for relatively long periods, which with its unusually flexible (by quadruped standards) shoulder joints allows it to throw small objects- see the section on Behavior, below. Meowth's most distinctive feature is the "coin" embedded in its forehead: actually a keratinous structure more akin to a horn. Metallic deposits within the coin lend it its shine. If its coin is not broken off early, Meowth sheds it on a seasonal basis. The coin reaches full size within two weeks after being broken or shed but takes longer to regain its mature thickness and luster. Because of the presence of the forehead coin and its attraction to shiny things (like money), many people consider Meowth to be a symbol of luck and money and statues are often found near the entrances and cash registers of businesses such as shops and restaurants.
After roughly two years, Meowth evolves into Persian (unless it is exposed to an Everstone, which Meowth owners frequently purchase for this reason; see Hazards). It increases in size, now standing an average of three feet tall at the shoulder, with a more lithe and powerful stature like that of its fellow big cats. Unlike the younger stage, Persian have not been observed to move bipedally. The original coin is shed for the last time, and shortly replaced with a smaller, round red "gem." The gem is harder than Meowth's coin and firmly fixed in place. Persian does not shed its gem.
The Meowth of the Aloha Islands have a notably darker fur than their mainland relatives, and have been noted to have features and abilities more commonly associated with the so-called "Dark-type" (immunity to psychic attacks, high vulnerability to bug venom, etc.). Their general appearance is also slightly different, most notably in their Persian stage, which has a rounder, pumpkin-like face.
BehaviorThis line is remarkably intelligent, with one particular Meowth reported to have learned human speech. However, this particular Pokemon reportedly belonged to the criminal Team Rocket organization, and it is unknown if this Meowth was naturally gifted with the ability, or is the result of genetic tampering, as current understanding of the lines physiology does not support the capability of learning to speak. Despite its intelligence, Meowth's often contrary nature makes it tricky to train. Wild-caught Persian are very resistant to training; as such, almost all trained or pet Persian were raised from the Meowth stage.
Meowth is notorious for its habit of seeking out and hoarding shiny objects, particularly round ones. It carries its finds back to its den, and if forced to abandon it, may take a favorite item along if it is able. Kittens still living with their mother do not accrue their own hoards, but bring objects to their mother instead; pet Meowth frequently do the same for their owner, even past the age when they would normally have left their parent.
In battle, Meowth is known to deliberately break off its coin, which appears to cause it no pain, and throw it at its opponent. This serves as a distraction while Meowth closes in to bite and claw at the foe. If its coin is still growing back from a previous loss, other small objects are sometimes utilized.
The Persian form is notoriously fickle and dominant. Wild Persians are often seen bullying the Meowths (and occasionally younger, newly evolved Persians) that are part of its pack as a way of establishing themselves as the alpha male of the group. Unsurprisingly, this often leads to tension between the two stages, and several Meowths have been recorded as resenting their evolved forms for the treatment they received in the wild.
Variants of both forms found in Alola are notoriously more self-centered and prideful, their introduction to and subsequent surge in popularity in the region giving most a sense of self-importance that often overrides Meowth's traditional obsession with trinkets. Subsequently, they are often found to be even more vain; a Meowth getting its coin dirty is substantial reason to fly into a rage, as can be said for instances of its pride being wounded.
In addition, while both stages are notoriously crafty this variant of Persian is even more cruel and malicious than the norm. Prey unfortunate enough to find itself at its mercy will be toyed with and tortured rather than simply finished off, and in battle they tend to use more underhanded tactics, like Fake-Outs and Sucker Punches, to gain an advantage. Trainers and owners can miss this behaviour entirely, as they are skilled at putting on a front of indifference or innocence to mask any wrongdoing.
HabitatMeowth is native to Johto and Kanto. Populations have also become established on most of the Sevii Islands, likely descended from Meowth and Persian brought there as pets. While their native habitat appears to be forested areas, both wild and feral populations are frequently found in the vicinity of human settlement. As a popular pet and Contest Pokemon, there exists a considerable market for Meowth in other regions.
DietMeowth and Persian are carnivorous, though they may nibble on green plants on occasion.
HazardsMeowth's hoarding can make it a danger to its Trainer's valuables. Appealing trinkets should be kept well out of reach in a household where Meowth lives; it is adept at climbing and making its way into surprising spaces, so often "out of reach" means behind a lock. It is also necessary to provide a scratching post, mat, or tree and train Meowth to use it as soon as possible, as it needs to scratch regularly and will use the furniture to do so if there are no other options.
Many people who keep Meowth as pets purchase Everstones due to Persian's infamously fickle temperament. Even a Persian that has been around humans from birth may claw its owner if annoyed, and it is easily provoked. [Trainer Note: It calms down if you can get hold of its whiskers, but it's much better to just back off and let it cool down.] Watching its body language is a useful tool to know when to back off, as Persian raises its tail when it's preparing to strike.
While Meowth can usually be trained and acclimated to humans and other Pokemon without much trouble, wild-caught Persian are nearly impossible to completely tame. Serious injuries and even deaths have occurred when a formerly wild Persian unexpectedly turned on its owner.
Courting and ChildrearingThis Pokemon reaches sexual maturity during the Meowth stage. Females go into heat roughly twice a year; during this time they make loud calls, and if living indoors, will attempt to get outside by any means necessary. A Persian in heat can be especially destructive in her attempts to escape. Intact males may mark their territory by scratching or spraying, and if allowed to roam frequently get into fights over females. For these reasons, many pet Meowth/Persian keepers opt to have them spayed or neutered. After a successful mating, the parents go their separate ways, and after approximately 3 months the female gives live birth to an average of 2-4 kittens.
The mother cares for her young for the first couple of months. Approaching a wild Persian with kittens should be avoided if at all possible; a tame Persian may allow her trainer/owner near if she's in a good mood.
Human SocietyThe Meowth line enjoys a mostly positive role in human society. Originally domesticated for their great skill at keeping pests like Rattata or Zigzagoon out of homes and food stores, they eventually grew to become beloved pets and companions, with some societies even considering them to be of divine origin. That said, their coexistence alongside humans have not always been completely positive. In more primitive eras, they were often associated with witchcraft, and their occasional sadistic streaks when it comes to toying with prey resulted in the majority of negative depictions in popular culture. Persian more than Meowth are viewed in this manner, a trend that has only gotten worse after it was revealed that Giovanni, the leader of the now-defunct Team Rocket, was closely associated with his pet Persian.
Alolan variants of both forms are more easily-found as pets due not to any positive change in temperament, but because being taken care of by humans feeds their insatiable need for attention. The variant's pride has resulted in them becoming far more difficult to handle and train, but many in Alola proceed to anyway specifically because of this. Persians are often considered to be a symbol of the owner's wealth, Persian with rounder, chubbier faces being considered more beautiful - a more plump appearance implies that they are well-fed, and therefore their owner/keeper can afford to feed them in excess.
Social StructureMeowth tolerates others of its species fairly well, and wild or feral individuals will often form loose colonies. However, it prefers to hunt alone. It can become quite attached to its human trainer, but unlike Skitty and Delcatty, Meowth is not a "lap cat."
Persian is much more solitary, voluntarily approaching other Persians only to mate. A tame Persian considers its trainer part of its territory, and doesn't take well to other people or Pokemon.
Written by Insanity Prelude.