Serenity Now with Neko Atsume

Who knew collecting tiny digital cats would be the most mindful thing I’ve ever done? Then again, I did practically stalk Will Wright at game conferences back in the day, so I’m not really sure why I’m all that surprised.

I read The New York Times daily via means of social media. It’s the only publication that keeps drawing me back with interesting articles. Last week I stumbled upon this article about Neko Atsume. The reason why I was drawn to the article is because of friend of mine LOVES cats, and this might be interesting enough to share with her.

Cute article. Send it her way, and she tells me she’s already playing it. I still don’t think anything of it, but decide it’s basically free with In-App purchases, so there’s no harm as long as I do not get suckered into buying anything. Besides, I won’t get addicted to a game about collecting cats of all things. Honestly.

Start off buying some toys with the pre-allotted money, and wait. No cats.

Put some food out and wait. No cats.

WTF is going on here?!??! Where is my promise of cats?

I text Yvo about this enigma and am frustrated.

Me: Where are my cats?!?! I have food and toys.
Yvo: Just wait. They will come. It takes a while to get started.

And they do come. Adorable digital cats rolling around the screen playing with a ball, hiding in boxes, sleeping on cooling mats. They eat the food and leaving me fish to buy more toys and treats. You can take photos of your cats in a Pokemon collect-them-all spirit kind of way, and there is a Catbook to keep track of your kittehs and what their favorite toys are in your yard.

Yvo sends me two links to how get currency faster so I can expand to a bigger yard for more kittens to come visit.

Taking photos of the cats, having them bring you mementos when they’ve visited a certain amount of times is so precious and mindful. The goals are simple, it makes me smile and by George I think I really like it. Then I realize via Twitter that another coworker is also playing it for the same reason.

It’s a really nice way to hit pause, and focus on immediate goals that make me happy, especially recently when there have been some stressful things going on.

Digital cats. I dig them. I’m becoming a digital pet hoarder and while I never thought I’d say it, I’m really happy about it.

P.S. There are adorable special cats with names like Joe DiMeowgio, Chairman Meow, and Mr. Meowgi that make collecting extra fun and adorable.

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