I was reluctant about penning the final review for Cat, cos tbh, it’s quite a boring show. And I don’t want to have to write one sentence and get stuck continuing. In a nutshell, the plot can be summarized as: boy learns to open his heart to other humans, thanks to his cat. As in literally. Cos Bok-gil turns out to be Ha-ru, the missing cat owned previously by Na-woo.
Not that Bok-gil’s identity is a secret. From ep1, we already guessed that Cat‘s plot will lead this way. Like why else will the narrative include a missing cat in our heroine’s life if that cat is NOT Bok-gil… As for Bok-gil’s death/ disappearance at the end of Cat, it’s also foreshadowed. Once Jong-hyun learns to trust other humans, and becomes less of a prickly self centred cat-like human himself, the real cat has to make way for an imaginary one.
The thing that irks me the most in Cat is how the PD doesn’t really bother to wait and match the animal’s expression to Bok-gil’s running monologue. The result is a visual image of a cat who sometimes looks the exact opposite of what Cat tells us it’s “thinking”. Given that it’s a show where the animal is as much of a star as the human…can’t the crew do better? (ah well, that’s juz me ranting)
Anyway, Bok-gil’s significance in Cat is like a go-between or bridge. She appears in Jong-hyun’s darkest days, when he loses his best friend cum love interest and also his love for life, and disappears when a real human girl becomes Jong-hyun’s new best friend + love interest and when he reignites his passion for drawing. Not coincidental that Jong-hyun sees the ghost of Soo-in in conjunction with Bok-gil’s existence. With Soo-in’s death hovering over him, it also caused him to slip into some form of depression, which is reflected in his drawings and pointed out by PD Dokgo. And when Soo-in disappears, Bok-gil also goes missing for good (aka dies). In replacement, preppy and bright Na-woo enters Jong-hyun’s life, removing the dark clouds that are perpetually hanging over his head.
However, while Soo-in has been permanently banished, Bok-gil will continue to remain in Jong-hyun — and Na-woo’s — hearts. That cat has gone one full circle from being lost, to found (twice around), and finally leaving her family for good.