“Family Cat” makes as much fun of cats as you might expect, but that’s always funny, and the argument that they’re not-so-secretly evil has some validity.
This recap of Family Guy season 19, episode 19, “Family Cat”, contains spoilers.
Of all the cutaway gags that Family Guy tends to indulge in, I can’t say that I was expecting “Family Cat” to open with a riff on that chubby kid who almost died on a rollercoaster. Yet, here we are. It has apparently been a good while since Peter, Quagmire, Joe, and Cleveland did anything together, so they all decide to start their own home renovation show which involves turning all of their clients’ rooms into kitchens and installing five front doors on the front of Peter’s house.
It’s through one of the holes that Peter smashes into the wall for this purpose that the titular family cat emerges, immediately earning its cutaway stripes. Pouncy (Tracie Thoms) takes a particular shine to Meg (who is being featured a lot more in the back half of the season) and is immediately a sworn enemy of Brian, who (correctly, I think) insists that cats all have ulterior motives.
Jokes about cats are easy, but they’re always funny. Soon Brian realizes that Pouncy can talk — “All cats can talk. We just choose not to respond. To anything. Ever.” — which only facilitates the same kind of patter. Of course, Pouncy considers the humans to be the pets and has “big plans” for Meg, but Brian can’t convince anyone of her inherent evilness (I laughed an embarrassing amount at the Chairman Mao gag.) Things get especially weird when Meg and Pouncy share a rather erotic dance and Pouncy is able to ensnare her with a swipe of her claw.
Luckily, Quagmire — who is written into this story in the most roundabout way possible — arrives to tell Brian that cats use toxoplasmosis to enslave humans, turning them into crazy cat ladies. Suddenly, Family Guy season 19, episode 19 is a horror story, of sorts, about deranged masterminds convincing the naive and vulnerable to do their bidding, which, as someone who owns three cats, is something I can get behind. There’s also some solid animation in a sequence wherein Brian fights a gang of cats using a spray bottle and a laser pointer, but he’s outnumbered. It’s only the heroic self-sacrifice of Quagmire, who dons the knitted cat sweater in Meg’s place, that is able to save the day.
Judging by Meg getting the peanut butter involved when Brian offers to be the best dog he can be, it’s hard to say whether he might have been better off with the cat.