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taming a cat the Minecraft way

Every Friday, my six-year-old son, Porter,  gets excited. It’s stay-up-late, skip-the-bath night, and he can’t wait to play Minecraft. If you have a boy at home between the ages of five and forty-five, you’re probably familiar with this highly-addictive game. I am opposed to video games, in general (that’s a WHOLE other ball of wax you don’t want me to go into here), but when a few of my trusted mommy friends began singing the praises of Minecraft and Porter began to beg for us to “just check it out,” I decided to cave–literally–and let Porter give it a shot. It seemed creative and something that might require actual thinking with a brain rather than mind-numbing button mashing.

For those of you unfamiliar with this game that can be played on basically any platform you can imagine, the Minecraft Web site summarizes it:

Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew, players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things.

It can also be about adventuring with friends or watching the sun rise over a blocky ocean. It’s pretty. Brave players battle terrible things in The Nether, which is more scary than pretty. You can also visit a land of mushrooms if it sounds more like your cup of tea.

The game developers release periodic updates. One of the recent updates is a big hit in our house. You can have a pet cat! Or lots of pet cats!

I’ve talked before about the why I don’t have a cat. But virtual cats? I let the kid bring home as many as he could wrangle.

You see, these cats don’t start out purring in your hands. They begin their Minecraft existence as ocelots, roaming wild and free. In order to have them as pets, you have to gain their trust through being near to them and offering fish. Lots and lots of fish. Fish = love.

And the best part? No litter box!

So Porter showed me how he trains ocelots to become suitable pet cats. Talk about a fun way to spend a Friday night! First comes the approach, and like any decent cat would demand, you must prove yourself with a delectable offering, getting close enough to the ocelot so he can smell it, but not so close that you scare it. Once you’ve enticed the creature and gained his trust, you give him fish. More fish means more love, and your new pet cat isn’t shy about showing his affection.

MinecraftOrangeCat

After you’ve earned this kind of devotion. You can’t shake it. So Fluffy then follows you everywhere, practically winding between your legs. And if one isn’t enough, you can go for more.

MinecraftTwoCats

Just as Porter had trained his pride, the rain set in. And we all know how much cats like to stand out in the rain.

MinecraftCatsInRain

So in order to keep his feline family happy, Porter had to quickly build a structure. He has gotten very good at building, so he threw something up rather quickly and baited the cats inside.

MinecraftCatsInside

Everyone needs something to do in the rain, right? It was then that I noticed the kitten. It appeared as if the cats had already gotten busy entertaining themselves in the inclement weather. I asked Porter where the kitten came from. He explained it well: “Well, Mommy, when you have two cats, you get a kitten.” I didn’t probe for additional details. Cute kitten, right?

In Porter’s rush to create a shelter for his new cat family, he skimped a bit on the windows providing only bars as a barrier to the open air.

What happened next is too graphic to show you, and it happened so fast that I was unable to capture a photo. As the virtual storm grew to a crescendo, the lightening began to strike. Porter started to block up the windows, anticipating the inevitable. In a split second with a flashing crash, two of the cats were struck simultaneously and went up in flames. It was heartbreaking.

As the duo burned in a meowing fury, Porter summed up the whole experience: “Oh, NO! Cats are much more harder to take care of than dogs.”

RIP, kitty-cats.

We can’t replace our beloved pets in real life, but, thankfully, Porter can spawn new kittens in Minecraft. We don’t want the cats who have passed to feel as if they have been replaced. But they’ve been replaced.

Minecraft demands a lot of animal interactions, but this new cat training update is proving to be a fun challenge both to play and to watch.


8 Comments on “taming a cat the Minecraft way”

  1. Shemira says:

    Kai and I enjoyed reading this…Kai says “Porter, watch out for the zombies and creepers and Endermen (apparently bad guys with purple eyes)…. 🙂

  2. That is hilarious! My 2 kids just got into Mindcraft a few months ago. They are so totally hooked. After reading this I asked my son if he had any pets and he was like, “of course. I have a dog and a cat!” Then he checked out this whole post and got a little nervous.

    Geesh, I hope they are both still alive. Maybe I need to get in there and make sure they have proper shelter and food 🙂

  3. Okay, I laughed out loud when the cats got struck by lightning and went up in flames. Please forgive me. It’s not funny. Tell your son I’m sorry his kitties went kapoof. But when these things happen in games in a cartoonistic (probably not a word) way… is IS funny.
    On another note, keep an open mind about video games. Most of it isn’t mind-numbing button mashing. In fact, gaming stimulates the development of precise hand-eye coordination, and because there are usually many, many things happening at once, it trains the brain to process incoming information faster, as well as forces you to make quick decisions based on that information. Neural pathways are being continually forged and stimulated. On top of that, many games require a ton of complicated math and reasoning to improve your character’s skills and gear. Take it from a middle-aged female gamer 😉 – not that I have time for it anymore.
    Since your son’s only six, the kind of games I’m referring to are still above him… so he probably would just be button-mashing with those games. BUT, there are educational games made specifically for his age that are pretty brilliant. Kids get their video game fix – but what’s REALLY happening is some sneaky learning :). I’m just saying… don’t be turned off of video games entirely… just be VERY picky about what he plays and limit his time playing. That’s the main problem with video games and children: that some parents allow their kids to just be absorbed for hours and hours on end. They don’t go outside to play… they don’t read… they don’t do anything else. They also get to play whatever they want, and a lot of it is violent/very inappropriate for children. Just stick with the educational games/games made specifically for children and he’ll be okay. Although… he’s already seen cats get torched by lightning… 😉

  4. boriskitty says:

    OMC now my human can be a crazy cat lady in a virtual werld too!


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