Study Guide

Marked Cats

By P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Cats

Cats and vamps apparently have a lot in common. This parallel extends to the point where the cats that associate with certain vampyres or fledglings actually represent their character traits.

Nefret makes a remark to Zoey about one connection between people and cats: "I've found that the way a person feels about cats—and the way they feel about him or her in return—is usually an excellent gauge by which to measure a person's character" (7.12). Further, she says, "Cats have always been closely allied with vampyres" (7.14). Okay, so the two go hand in hand… er, paw in hand… with cats revealing their human cohorts' character.

Okay, we get it, there's some connection between cats and vampyres. But we're going to dig a little deeper and say that the connection gets pretty specific in this book: The cat that chooses a vampyre or fledging even represents that person's characteristics. As Stevie Rae explains to Zoey:

"That cute little Cameron is Damien's cat. Beelzebub belongs to Erin and Shaunee; he chose both of them—together. Yep. It's as strange as it sounds, but after a little while you'll be like the rest of us and start thinking that they must really be twins." (10.54)

To be clear, Beelzebub—the cat that chose the twins—is outgoing and a little aggressive (just like Erin and Shaunee), while Damien's cat is sweet and doesn't necessarily stand up for itself. Hm. See the parallels? If not, hop on over to the "Characters" section and read their analyses.

Zoey's cat, Nala, is a little grumpy but protective of those she cares about—you know, kind of like Zoey herself. So when ghost-Elliott shows up, Nala flips out and growls: "Her back was arched and her hair was standing on end, making her look like a fat little puffball, but her slitted eyes were no joke, and neither was the ferocious hiss that snaked from her mouth" (26.41). Nala goes into full-on attack mode, and totally defends Zoey from the Elliott-creature… just like how Zoey is capable of taking charge and going on the offensive to protect her companions.

Interesting, while Nefret seems super nice, her cat Skylar is not so nice. Perhaps this is a bit of foreshadowing? As Nefret tells Zoey, "He likes you, which is definitely unusual. He doesn't like anyone except me. He even keeps the other cats away from this end of campus. He's really a terrible bully" (7.10). Yeah, she doesn't make her cat sound like a friendly critter. Is there the chance that Nefret is not-so-nice under the surface, too? Time will tell, Shmoopers.

The moral of the story (okay, symbol) is this: Pay attention to the behavior of the cats associated with specific vamps, and you might learn a little something about them.