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Introverted Cat Person

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Hotch: Sergio?
Prentiss: He's the perfect man. He doesn't hog the covers and he poops in a box.

The archetypical pet for Shrinking Violet or loner characters is the domestic cat. An introverted character will often also be a Kindhearted Cat Lover. Oftentimes the cat(s) are a replacement for human interaction, or in the case of lonely single women, lovers and occasionally children.

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The popularity of this trope likely occurs because cats, in contrast with dogs, are an inside pet. They don't require walks and can live their entire lives inside. As a result, they're great for people who dislike going outside. This also applies to other pets such as birds, small rodents, and reptiles, however those rarely appear in fiction (and when they do they're usually owned by "weird" characters).

This person might get called a Crazy Cat Lady, and might develop into one as they get older, but the difference is that a Crazy Cat Lady has a mental illness, while (most) Introverted Cat People do not.

The feline counterpart of Canine Companion. Contrast with Heroes Love Dogs, which this trope tends to be a foil to (with more extroverted characters preferring dogs). Related to Right-Hand Cat if the evil boss is Lonely at the Top. Super-Trope to Crazy Cat Lady.

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Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • An Adult Swim bumper mentions that the viewer is lonely and friendless, except for their pet cat Whiskers.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Azumanga Daioh: Quiet Shrinking Violet Sakaki adores cute animals in general, but she has a special spot in her heart for cats. Unfortunately, cats don't like her (with Word of God being that her intimidating looks makes cats afraid of her).
  • Comic Girls: Kaoruko is excessively shy, fragile and negative, and on the other hand she likes cats so much that the fact that her new apartment does not allow pets left her with cat withdrawal.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: Suzuka is the resident Shrinking Violet among her friends, and her mansion is full of cats. Contrast with her far more outgoing best friend Arisa, who is a dog person.
  • My Hero Academia: Shota Aizawa is a grumpy, unkempt underground hero who can often be found teaching his class from inside a sleeping bag. Vigilantes shows him with a shopping bag full of cat food and cat care books, and Smash!! actually pits him against two of his students in taming a stray cat for a final exam. He's the happiest the audience has ever seen him.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: Fred is The Quiet One who barely talks and keeps to himself...unless it's the 30 stray cats he's feeding.
  • My Roommate is a Cat: Subaru is introduced as so introverted he actively avoids people and even leaving his house unless strictly necessary. The story deals with him taking in and caring for a stray cat, which helps him come to terms with some of his personal problems and open up to people more, though he remains an introvert by nature.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: As one more showcase that she is Not Good with People, Doctor Ritsuko Akagi has a pet cat and cat-themed office furniture in her lab.
  • Osomatsu-san: Ichimatsu is the quietest of the sextuplets. Ichimatsu isn't fond of socializing with others. He adores cats and is most social around them (though some jokes imply his interest in cats isn't exactly chaste).
  • Sailor Moon: Ami Mizuno is a shy bookworm who doesn't make friends easily. According to her official bio, cats are her favorite animal, and she's often seen petting and cuddling with Luna.
  • Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!: Shinichi has very few friends, and mostly keeps to himself. He's a Kindhearted Cat Lover, but his apartment doesn't allow pets, so he's overjoyed when Hana brings him to her house to meet her cats. Hana herself is a bubbly extrovert, though.

    Comic Books 
  • Adrian Veidt, a.k.a. Ozymandias, from Watchmen is Not Good with People and prefers the company of Bubastis, his genetically-engineered lynx.
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    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield: Jon Arbuckle is routinely portrayed as a friendless Loser Protagonist with No Social Skills. His main companion is his cat Garfield, with Odie (a dog belonging formerly belonging to Jon's friend Lyman) being brought into the strip a little later. Though he wasn't always like this, Lyman kept him company from 1978 to '83; and then Liz came in and started dating Jon in 2006.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Aristocats: Madame Adelaide Bonfamille is an old rich woman who mostly spends time with her titular cats.
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: The socially awkward protagonist, Milo Thatch, has a pet cat named Fluffy, who is his only companion at the start of the film.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Batman Returns: Catwoman is portrayed as a socially awkward introvert whose cat is her best friend.
  • Romancing the Stone: Joan Wilder is a successful romance novelist, but has no romance in her own life. She celebrates special events with her cat, Romeo.
  • What Women Want: Erin, the perpetually-ignored file girl, has a cat, which Nick discovers when he goes to her apartment to Must Make Amends when he overlooked her for a promotion.
  • Wonder Woman 1984: Barbara Minerva is portrayed pretty much like Selina above, as in socially awkward and wearing Nerd Glasses, before she turns into Cheetah.

    Literature 
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: Mary Anne, the Shrinking Violet of the group, has a pet cat named Tigger and constantly tells people how cute he is. By contrast, her brash best friend Kristy has a dog.
  • In one of the Cat Pack books, Carlotta offers up her kittens to a local retirement home. The seniors there don't get to out much, so the kittens will help entertain them and keep them company.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Filch and his cat Mrs. Norris. He's a Muggle Born of Mages with resentment towards wizards, who worked as a grumpy groundskeeper for Hogwarts; most students dislike him.
    • Hermione is not shy, but she is still more introverted and bookish than her two best friends and gets her own cat Crookshanks in Book Three.
  • A Legacy of Light: Tutankhamun loves his pet cat Bastet, and is often content to spend a quiet afternoon reading with her at his side.
  • Little Women: Beth is the shyest and quietest of the four sisters. Cats are one of the things she loves the most and she is often surrounded by kittens.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cold Case: Lilly Rush has relationships go down in flames more than once due to her devotion to work, but she always has her cats.
  • Criminal Minds: Emily Prentiss lives with her cat, Sergio. Sometimes, she complains about her romantic life being boring or unsatisfying.
  • Desperate Housewives has two examples: Mr. Whiskers (Alberta Fromm's cat, seen only in season one) and Toby. The latter used to be Ida Greenberg's cat until she died in season 4, then Karen McCluskey took care of him. Season 5 Big Bad even lampshaded this trope, saying that Karen must be lonely since she talks to her pet cat Toby.
    Karen: Toby is Ida's baby.
  • Played with in the case of Sally and Mr. Henderson in The Dick Van Dyke Show. Sally is a brash woman, but she's also single and unhappy about it. At least one episode had her talking to Mr. Henderson about how neither of them had anywhere to go that evening.
  • In Elementary, recurring character Fiona Helbron. She is a fairly asocial, neuro-atypical programmer who was a witness in the episode "Murder Ex Machina" and later became a love interest for Sherlock. She loves cats and once meets with Sherlock at a cat café (because she isn't allowed to keep pets at her apartment).
  • Mad Men: Mentioned during a fight between Peggy and her mother in the fifth season. Her very Catholic mother is quite upset that Peggy is moving in with and not marrying a Jew. When Peggy asks if her mother wants her to be alone, she replies, "Your aunt used to say 'If you're lonely, get a cat'. It'll last fifteen years, then you get another cat. That'll last fifteen years, an then you're dead."
  • In the first few seasons of Sex and the City, Miranda lived alone with her cat, and she's by far the snarkiest, most aloof of the main characters. When she starts opening up and starts living with Steve, they also get a dog.
  • Star Trek:
    • Spock from Star Trek: The Original Series is a Science Hero who has few friends outside his workplace. While he doesn't have a pet cat, in "Assignment: Earth", the Enterprise crew encounters a stranger named Gary Seven, who brings along a black cat. Spock holds and pets it while discussing something with Kirk, admitting that it's an attractive creature and he feels oddly drawn to it. (However, it later turns out that the cat is Gary's traveling companion and can also take the form of a young woman.)
    • Reg Barclay from Star Trek: The Next Generation is a painfully shy Shrinking Violet, as well as the only person that Data's cat Spot is on friendly terms with (besides Data himself). On Star Trek: Voyager, Reg gets his own cat, Neelix.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "The Trunk", Willy Gardner has no meaningful interaction with people as the manager of the rundown Hotel Winchester. The highlight of his day is giving a stray neighborhood cat a bowl of milk.
    • In "Cat and Mouse", the shy, timid Andrea Moffatt is delighted when a black tomcat comes through her window one evening. It turns out that the cat is Guillaume de Marchaux, who was cursed to become a cat during the day and can only revert to human form at night.
  • To show that Wonder Woman's Secret Identity Diana Prince is a friendless introvert, the Wonder Woman pilot ends with her watching television with her cat.

    Video Games 
  • In Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Luthier is a socially awkward nerd who protests the idea that he's never had any friends by bragging that he's gotten very close to a local cat.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has Felix, who is an antisocial swordsman who spends almost all his time training and he likes cats - you get a positive response if you mention cats during teatime with him and he says in his support with Bernadetta, "I don't dislike them."

    Visual Novels 
  • Rin Natsume from Little Busters! plays with this; while she's very fiery around the other Little Busters, she's more shy around people she doesn't know well. To emphasize her introverted side, she's also very fond of cats, looking after several strays by herself.
  • In Melody, Becca, who is socially isolated, owns a cat.

    Web Comics 
  • Chase, from I'm the Grim Reaper certainly qualifies, given how introverted he is and how he adores his derpy Sphinx, whom he named "Lightstalker."
  • In Homestuck, out of the two girls, Rose is an introverted Goth with a penchant for psychoanalysis. Naturally she's a cat lover to contrast her best friend Jade, who has a dog.
  • In Sakana, Yuudai, the angry loner who pushes away anyone who tries to get close, has his cat Hime serve as the one being that he openly loves.

    Western Animation 
  • Discussed in Danny Phantom where Danny mocks Vlad with "As a lonely single man in your 40s, might I suggest internet dating? Or a cat?"
  • In a Schoolhouse Rock! song, Mr. Morton, who is described as "very shy", has a cat.
  • The Simpsons: Aside from early seasons, Lisa is usually presented as a friendless loner. She has a fondness for cats and has owned several.

    Real Life 
  • Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears, who's sufficiently taciturn that a German photographer had described him as being cold (which was the inspiration behind the song "Cold"), had two pet cats in the 1980s: Zero Algebra Waldorf Churchill, and her son Silas Ferdinand Marin Churchill. (He joked that they were "quite aristocratic.") In 2014, he uploaded pics of his cat Schro (which is short for Schrödinger, and Orzabal did compose "Schrödinger's Cat", the B-Side of "Break It Down Again") on his now-defunct Twitter account that was only active for a few short years. He's currently not active on social media, which further accentuates his reluctance to interact with others, whether in person or online. Being an astrology enthusiast, Orzabal's Leonine nature (Leo is the sign of the Lion) would give him a special connection to felines.

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