Dear Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector,
I’m leaving you.
They say that love is blind. But it’s also fleeting, and so it’s with a heavy heart that I am coming clean about my feelings. Now, let’s not pretend this wasn’t a long time coming (two weeks, in fact). When I first met you, I was nervous but excited by the potential you represented. I was, as always, yearning for connection with someone (something) that could lift my spirits and make my heart soar. You gave that to me (however brief), and for that, I am thankful.
But as the bright sun sets, giving way to unyielding night, so sets my boundless optimism and excitement to play within your illusory, alliterative world of kitty kapitalism. Whereas before I was eager to give and share in your affections — as in the humble beginnings of any budding romance — I soon grew weary of the routine, soul-sucking monotony that came to define our relationship. Whereas I once opened you nigh the same hour — nay, the same instant— I opened mine eyes, the marrow-draining malaise of my soul prevents my continuing. I find myself so easily forgetting (ignoring) my duties as cat caregiver.
And perhaps that was the problem: the caretaking. The neediness, the dependency, all for what? Paltry presentations of decaying mackerel? We weren’t partners. If anything, I was no more than a glorified bag of cat food, checking in every so often to make sure the dish was full (and near the end of our time together, it rarely was). Such one-sided relationships are rarely worth the effort: I gave you so much (food, toys, a new yard) and you gave me . . . a dried cicada skin (and a sense of diminishing returns). Where were the sweet purrs to balm my aching heart? Where were the soft kitty whisker kisses to fill my life with song? Where was the reciprocity? (In the real world, probably.)
That’s not to say there weren’t good times. I remember the first cat arriving in my yard, and thinking I had never seen something so cute before in my life. (And I watch Vines religiously. I’ve seen a whole lotta adorable animals in my time.) And we’ll always have those memories to look back on in the Catbook (if I hadn’t deleted you from my phone, that is): those tails twitching seductively, those lil’ squishy smiles, those gifts of death and decay, pressing me to ruminate on mortality. You showed me how fun capitalism can be when it’s not real. You made me laugh, you made me think, and you allowed me to connect with friends in ways I hadn’t before. (Who knew that not having enough fish to pay for treats would be so relatable?)
But alas, the thrill is gone, as they say. The sun has set, and the fish (gold or otherwise) are frankly starting to stink. I think it’s best that we don’t see each other for a while; we’ve reached the ‘love it, let it go’ stage of our imaginary courtship. Maybe, on some sunny day, we’ll meet again. Maybe I’ll be scrolling through my phone, lost in the listless apathy of the internet age, and there I’ll find you: so sweet, so innocent, so pure. Absence makes the heart grow fonder; even with something so unnecessary as a cat feeding game. But until that distant daydream, I know you’ll be okay; there’s plenty of other fish in the sea, and they all play Neko Atsume. You deserve to be with somebody who loves you for you, and doesn’t want something more than what you have to offer.
So farewell, my not-so-secret purramour. May your fur never fly in fury. May your bowl be filled always, just not by me. And, most importantly, may the internet never condemn you to a slow fade into oblivion, like Avatar, or Google+.