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November 09, 2015

Lykoi, so-called "werewolf cats," are taking the internet by storm. But before you go out and by one of the custom breed, be careful you don't get scammed.

The internet loves cats, and the latest internet cat craze is all about the Lykoi, a new breed of cat developed in Tennessee. The breed has quickly earned the nickname “werewolf cat” for its resemblance to the scraggly physique of the mythological monster. If you’re anything like me, you rushed out and purchased one of these cute little guys the moment you heard about them on Huffin-Pos over the weekend.

I brought my new pet home, but my excitement was quickly tempered when a friend of mine brought up a troubling question: What if I’d been scammed? You see, with all pet crazes, there is always a chance that you’re going to get scammed. Remember a few years ago when toy poodles were all the rage? Well, if you purchased yours from an Argentinian breeder, there was a chance the furry fluffball you’d be shipped was not a poodle or even a dog, but actually a giant weasel tricked out on steroids.

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People expecting toy poodles were sold rats on roids — could I have been similarly tricked and sent a real werewolf instead of a werewolf cat?

That’s a true news story. And like the old saying goes, ignore a true news story, then you’ll be a true newly sorry … person. So, after only a few hours after my sweet little Lykoi Lenny arrived at my front door step, I started to get paranoid: What if I wasn’t sent a werewolf cat … but an actual werewolf?

I set about doing some research:

Werewolf cats first started appearing as a mutation in domestic short hairs about 20 years ago, and were started to be bred in larger numbers as recently as 2010. Folkloric belief in werewolves first began in 15th century Europe and, parallel to persecuting individuals for witchcraft, spread outward with colonialism.

Hmm, that doesn’t do me much good!

Werewolf cats molt and at times become almost completely bald since they have no undercoat, with their lack of fur around their eyes, nose, and muzzle contributing to their unique look. Werewolves are cursed shape-shifting humans who take on a wolf-like countenance upon the emergence of the full moon, rapidly developing increased size, strength, hair, curved fingernails, low-set pointed ears, and a swinging stride.

Still no closer to the truth!

Just as I was about to give up, I came upon an interesting tidbit in the ancient tome I’d checked out from the evil magic section of the library: A werewolf is vulnerable to being shot with a silver bullet. I consulted with several veterinarian chat rooms online, and found an interesting connection: Werewolf cats are also vulnerable to being shot with silver bullets!

So at last! I had it, a foolproof way to tell if my werewolf cat was indeed a genuine werewolf cat and not a mere counterfeit werewolf trying to be be passed off as a genuine werewolf cat. All I had to do was shoot my new pet, whom I’d named Lenny, with a silver bullet and, as he died, if he shriveled into a human form, then I would know he had been a werewolf all along and that I’d been hoodwinked. If, however, after shooting my pet Lenny with a silver bullet he just turned into a dead cat, then I’d know I hadn’t been tricked and that my $2,500 check had gone to a real live (now dead) werewolf cat.

When I got back from the gun shop, I sat on my porch loading my revolver with six silver bullets (in case I missed five times — if I missed six times, well, I’d be shit out of luck) and I found that my heart was heavy with the task ahead. Like everyone, I’d of course shot a beloved pet before, so I knew from firsthand experience that it was no picnic. As I sat there, though, my new pet Lenny came out through the screen door and sat down next to me. He took one look at what I was up to, and I could tell his animal instincts sensed something was wrong. Then the most amazing thing happened. Lenny looked me in the eyes, put his at that moment human hand on top of my hand, and said, “Does it really matter if I’m a werewolf?” And with that, as a tear dripped down each of our faces, the full moon rose into the sky, and Lenny underwent an ungodly transformation before he howled and ran out into the darkness of the night.

As I heard the shrieks of terror following in his wake, it hit me. Lenny was right — it didn’t matter if I’d been sold a werewolf or a werewolf cat. What I’d purchased was a new best friend, and that’s exactly what I’d gotten.

So if your new Lykoi kittens bounce around like these two, I’m happy for you:

But I’m perfectly fine sticking with my Lenny, who is pretty cute in his own right, thank you very much. Just check out this video I took of him the other day with the camera on my phone: