Kidnap? Je n'oserais jamais!
|—"The Cat's Car"|
Samantha, more commonly known as The Cat, is a traveling con artist and self-proclaimed entrepreneur who claims to know the Conductor. She is able to travel across the train cars in her personal shuttlecraft, attempting to sell seemingly useless items to the unsuspecting inhabitants in each car. She even owns and operates several cars on the train including the Lucky Cat Car, Le Chat Chalet Car, and her own namesake car.
She appears to conduct business dealings on the train only using her title of "The Cat": the only characters shown to know her by Samantha were Simon and Grace.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 History
- 3.1 Book One - The Perennial Child
- 3.2 Book Two - Cracked Reflection
- 3.3 Book Three - Cult of the Conductor
- 3.4 Book Four - Duet
- 4 Trivia
- 5 References
The Cat is a short-haired, white cat with yellow eyes. In Book One, she wore a green, buttoned vest with a blue ascot. In Book Two, while running the Lucky Cat Car, Samantha wore a blue vest with a red ribbon and a skimmer hat. In Book Three, during her vacation, the Cat wears a light purple robe with a dark purple, fuzzy lining (which suspiciously matches Frank's). In Book Four, Samantha wears a blue poofy sleeved Victorian dress with a blonde wig and two blue feathers in her hair.
The Cat is a shrewd business-cat, always looking for opportunities to collect unique things and make sales, even of entirely useless items. Outside of her business schemes, her intentions are difficult to read: initially, she planned to deliver One-One to the Conductor and schemed with the Conductor to trap Tulip in her memory tape. However, it is implied her plan to deliver One-One to the Engine was to help him regain control of the train from Amelia. This is in line with her stated philosophy that she always "does the right thing," even if her reasons are unstated in the moment.
Her overall relationship with the passengers is somewhat unclear: as shown in "The Old West Car" she is not above selling out passengers like Ryan and Min-Gi for profit, although she also helped orchestrate the plan to free the two later on. She also genuinely cared about Tulip's safety, and even helped her get to the Engine to fight the Conductor; when she mistook Lake for Tulip, she was initially worried that Tulip was still on the train.
Her former companionship with Simon shows she is capable of connecting with passengers on a deeper level, to the point that she stayed with him for months. However she left him behind after an attack by a Ghom and this left Simon with lasting trauma. Whilst initially trying to justify her actions, when Simon asked why she never went back for him, the cat admitted "I am who I am...I can't give you more than that." The Cat held guilt for this but never provided a direct apology to Simon, only ever offering material goods.
When confronted about this, she attempts to make things up to him by offering help where she can, including giving him a device that will give him access to Grace's memories: however, she warns him in vain that this could be dangerous, and laments that he has no idea what he's doing when he is out of earshot. This demonstrates that she knows her actions may not help Simon in the long run, a notable contrast to her claim that she always does the right thing.
The Cat has been on the train for at least 150 years. At one point she traveled with a young passenger named Simon Laurent for a few months, with the two becoming extremely close to the point that the cat acted as the boy's parental guardian. They were separated when the pair were attacked by a Ghom in the Box Car. Fleeing from the creature, Samantha slid through a box and did not realize Simon was not with her until she was too far away. However, she never went back for the child, leaving their relationship in a tenuous position.
The Cat is aware of Amelia Hughes' take over as conductor of the Infinity Train, and has had more than a few encounters with her, claiming Amelia has tried to kill her numerous times. Nonetheless, they have occasionally formed grudging alliances, which are generally one-sided due to the threat Amelia poses to the Cat. She has also encountered the Apex on a number of occasions, holding a bitter rivalry with Grace Monroe but a tenuous tenderness for Simon despite his actions since joining the Apex.
Tulip first encounters the Cat in the Beach Car, where she is trying to sell a lead pipe, or as she calls it a "Donut Holer," to Randall. The Cat claims the Donut Holer is endorsed by the Conductor of the train. Tulip immediately runs to meet her, asking for her help. Seeing One-One and evidently recognizing him as the true conductor, the Cat offers to speak to the Conductor in exchange for Tulip fixing her shuttlecraft and taking One-One. Tulip reluctantly accepts, but later changes her mind and with the help of Randall chases the Cat across the train, destroying the shuttlecraft. The Cat vows revenge, only to get chased away by the Randalls.
The Cat is ordered by the Conductor to keep Tulip in her car until Amelia can arrive with the Steward. She does this by having Tulip watch her own Memory Tape, planning to trap her. However, Tulip escapes, and she and her group leave the car. The Cat quickly retrieves a tape to potentially use as leverage before her car is taken to the Conductor and the Steward. The Conductor initially orders the Steward to kill the Cat, but she successfully begs for mercy by claiming she is the only one who can keep track of them. The Steward tells her not to fail again before completely destroying the car, much to the Cat's horror.
After tracking Tulip down to the Ball Pit Car, she is told by the Conductor to find One-One. However, the Conductor betrays her by ordering the Steward to open fire on the parts of the jungle gym she went into.
The Cat survives the Steward's attack while trapped under the wreckage. In exchange for Tulip freeing her, she offers her the information needed to save Atticus, who was turned into a Ghom by the Conductor's actions. She brings Tulip into the tape she retrieved, revealing it belongs to Amelia, and documents her life before she boarded and took over the Infinity Train. The tape serves the double purpose of showing a cannon Tulip can use to save Atticus and allowing Tulip to recognize her own troubles and gain an exit off the train. Tulip vows to remain on the train so she can save Atticus, and the Cat offers her own help by using her modified shuttlecraft to take them to the Engine.
After taking Tulip to the engine, she bids her farewell, cryptically noting she always does the right thing before taking off in her shuttlecraft.
As she is operating the Lucky Cat Car, she runs into M.T. and mistakes her for her prime. She tells them that if they want to leave, then they must get a combined score of 1000 points, but they have an opponent. When the opponent wins, she reveals herself to be Grace Monroe and she lets The Apex ransack the car.
The Cat is taking a vacation with Frank and Randall in Le Chat Chalet Car when Grace, Simon, Hazel, and Tuba arrive to escape a snowstorm. She initially tells Grace to leave until she sees Simon and allows them to stay. During their stay she bonds with Hazel, offering to show her how to make tea and inspecting her mysterious non-glowing number. Simon repeatedly tries to tell the Cat off, eventually explaining to the group their past history and her abandonment of him. She does not deny his accusations though she shows clear guilt over it. When the group discovers the snowstorm is actually Randall, they successfully ask him to stop so they can leave. As they leave, she bids a sad farewell to Simon.
She receives another visit from Simon, who demands help with figuring out Grace and advice in general. When Simon asks if Grace was right in telling him not to trust the old British lady with the high number, the cat identifies the woman as Amelia and warns Simon not to trust her.
After a brief discussion of her abandonment of Simon, the cat begrudgingly admits she never came back for Simon despite knowing he was alive. Shortly after this, the cat then gives him a device to extract Grace’s memories, instructing him on how to use it on Grace and that people can be trapped in their own memory tape. Before Simon leaves, she tells him to be careful.
She is seen in a saloon in an Old West car when Min-Gi Park, Ryan Akagi, and Kez rush in and beg her to hide them from the sheriff. After learning their numbers are synchronized and have not changed, she agrees to hide them but rats them out when the sheriff offers a reward. Later she helps orchestrate a plan to liberate the passenger and succeeds but tells them they owe her.
- The Cat was given the name Kate Mulgrowl by a fan during a Reddit AMA, a pun and reference to her voice actor. The name was accepted by Owen Dennis, though the only official material the name has appeared in at this point is several gifs by Cartoon Network that have been tagged with the name.
- Whenever the Cat first appears in each book, a sequence of four notes that's similar to the theme for the series can be heard in the background.
- According to Owen Dennis, the writers made the decision early on that The Cat would use random French words, and simply assumed that Kate Mulgrew spoke French, only to realize they had no evidence for this claim. "Then she started recording and immediately said the most perfect French and we were like 'this is the most amazing thing we've ever seen.'"
- Ironically, in The Cat's Car she says, "Je ne serais jamais" which is an incorrect translation of "I would never". While grammatically correct, it doesn't really correspond to how a native French speaker would speak in this context and translates to "I would never be (missing unspecified thing)". One possibility is that this is derived from the similarly pronounced "Je n'oserais jamais", which would more fittingly translate to "I would never dare": this pronunciation is how it is spelled in the HBO Max captions of "The Cat's Car."
- The Cat holds the distinction of being the only character who has appeared in all four seasons of Infinity Train.
- It is unexplained how long the cat has been known as Samanatha and so far Simon is only character to call her by that.
- Simon shared her tendency to hoard items and reluctance to own up to mistakes.
- At San Diego Comic-Con 2018, Cartoon Network hosted a voice acting seminar for attendees. Among the example sides handed out to participants were audition sides for the Cat, Randall, and Amelia. The official description given for the Cat was as follows: "She is a sly, shrewd, business-cat. A canny schemer. The Cat is constantly thinking about how any situation about benefit her in some way. She cleverly tries to orchestrate people on the train to her own benefit. Her voice and speaking style sound educated and refined, almost a transatlantic/mid-Atlantic accent, but warm enough that you could believe whatever she's trying to sell you (though you definitely shouldn't)."
- The audition sides also included some example lines (none of which have been used in the show).
- (reassuring with ulterior motive) My, my, my! This is truly a stressful situation for you my dear! Surely we can find some sort of arrangement for you to get off this train...
- (panicked, afraid) No! My things! I'll do anything, but please, don't destroy my things!
- (sincere for once) I'm proud of almost every choice I've ever made in my 9 lives, but falling in line with the conductor is not one of them.
- The audition sides also included some example lines (none of which have been used in the show).