Updated - Nov 10th, 2023
In anticipation of the upcoming release of Marvel Studios’ The Marvels in theaters November 10, I sat down to watch the prequel Captain Marvel.
While I was gripped by the entire cast, one character in particular had me under her spell – and that was none other than Goose the Flerken. An alien creature who lives under the guise of a cat, Goose has won the hearts of many Marvel lovers and it’s not hard to see why.
Elusive yet charming, there is something inherently mystical about cats. The thought that they could lead double lives has crossed every cat owner’s mind at some point. So, it’s no surprise that this species was chosen to disguise a deadly surprise.
While our cats may not have tentacles that can eat up our enemies (as far as we know) they do have many superpowers. Here are just a few that likely influenced Goose the Flerken’s supernatural abilities.
Incredible homing instinct
When Carol Danvers and Nick Fury discover the Joint Dark Energy Mission Facility, Goose miraculously appears. Even though it’s been several years since Mar-Vell died and Carol became a Kree soldier, Goose found her way back.
Just like Goose, our feline friends have an incredible way of finding their way home after weeks, months, or even years. In fact, according to the Lost Pet Research project, most cats – both indoor and outdoor – are found because they return home on their own.
Take this one kitty who made a 200-mile journey home after wandering off on a family trip. While no one knows exactly how their homing instinct works, experts suggest that cats use the earth’s geomagnetic fields combined with their sense of smell as their compass.
Other than finding their way around, cats spend 70% of their days sleeping – so If you’re wondering what Goose was up to for all those years, the answer may be taking a long nap.
When things start to heat up during the Battle at Mar-Vell’s Laboratory, Goose’s quick reflexes are on full display. While our cats may not have tentacles that wipe out our enemies in a flash, they do have a way of always landing on their feet. Hence the saying, “cat-like reflexes.”
But what makes their other-worldly acrobatics possible? Experts say it’s something called their “righting reflex” aka an automatic response that corrects the body’s orientation when it isn’t in its normal, upright position. Most cats are able to do this by 6-7 weeks of age, thanks to a flexible backbone and clavicle that doesn’t move!
In Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nick Fury says “The last time I trusted someone I lost an eye.” Well, we know after watching Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel that someone was Goose!
Like Goose, many cats don’t like having their personal space invaded, and they’re not afraid to swat at you when it happens. Learn from Fury’s mistakes and proceed with caution when picking up a cat to avoid getting scratched.
If you do get scratched, you won’t have to worry about severe tissue damage that results from Flerken claws, but cats can spread a bacterial infection called Cat Scratch Disease (CSD). However, this is relatively uncommon and is easily treated!
Unique digestive system
In the flurry of battle, Goose swallowed the all-important Tesseract for safekeeping, which she later regurgitated for Nick Fury. This scene is very reminiscent of a digestive process unique to cats – coughing up hairballs.
I think I speak for every cat owner when I say it’s never fun finding a hairball – much less one that doesn’t contain a legendary stone from the MCU. Cats have spiky tongues filled with tiny spines called papillae that push hair into their esophagus when they groom themselves. When too much hair builds up in the digestive tract, cats will vomit it up.
While that Tesseract hairball was good news for Nick Fury, regular hairballs are generally bad news for cat owners. Be sure to check in with your veterinarian if your cat is vomiting up an excessive amount of hairballs. Cat insurance can also help cover eligible vet bills for digestive disorders or intestinal blockages.
In a parallel universe
As you can see, there are more parallels between Flerkens and cats than you might think. But like everything in the Marvel Universe, the storyline has a bit of mystery – so you’ll have to draw your own conclusions on what inspired the Flerkens’ superpowers.