The cats win, the cats win

February 6, 2013 • 10:17 am

by Greg Mayer

The intertoobz has spoken: kittehs rool! By an online poll, a cat has replaced the iron as a new Monopoly playing piece. The Scottie dog’s nemesis now joins him in battle on the board itself, and a cosmic imbalance has been rectified.  (I never knew why an iron was a playing piece– makes no sense to me.) Thanks to all WEIT readers who helped make this sensible and long overdue action a reality.

The new player on the block.
The new player on the block.

I feel that order has been restored.

h/t Tom Canfield

34 thoughts on “The cats win, the cats win

  1. I’ve always been a top hat man, myself. Sure, I had an occasional fling with the racing car. But I always come back to top hat.

  2. I voted for the Robot. A Cat on Monopoly is more illogical than an iron. You can move irons about and they now how to follow simple rules. If one were to play as a cat the dice becomes irrelevant, cats don’t follow rules and they don’t know how to run a hotel, not like a top hat.

  3. This was the set of tokens that I remember from when I was a kid. I don’t remember which one I usually got; but my older brother always got the favored one (racing car). He’d also kick the game over is he didn’t win. Sort of took the fun out of it.

  4. (I never knew why an iron was a playing piece– makes no sense to me.)

    This may, or may not, be true, but a clue in the crossword I was working on over my lunchbreak implied that an early New York skyscraper went by the name of “the Flat Iron”. So, given the American origins and the property basis of the game, that might be relevant.
    Or it could all be the result of something like Coleridge’s opium pipe. Just as credible.

    1. Maybe the iron, like the thimble, were supposed to encourage the whole family (even Mom and Sis!) to play. After all, it was developed in the early 20th century.

      Back when I was a child and dinosaurs ruled the earth, the iron was a fascinating object. There it was, brought out on apparently special occasions, and you were not supposed to touch it! In fact, you were not even supposed to go NEAR it, or pull on the cord, or be tempted to or encourage anyone else to do so either. That was impressive. Plus, it smelled nice on the clothes. And even a very small child could figure out the improvement between wrinkled … and now smooth.

      I had a toy iron. I’m pretty sure I liked it a lot. And iirc the iron was usually my favorite token on Monopoly, too. Power and control, with the lure of the forbidden and the in-your-face femininity.

    2. There is indeed a Flatiron Building in Manhattan; however the street names and properties depicted in the game are from Atlantic City, New Jersey.

    3. The Flatiron Building is a landmark building in Manhattan, between Fifth Ave. Broadway, a block from where they cross. Monopoly is supposed to be based on Atlantic City, but New York isn’t that far away.


      1. That is, of course, the US version. (Wonder why they chose Atlantic City?) I’m used to the British version that was based entirely on London (with values, of course, in pounds). But the tokens were the same.

  5. It’s been ages since I played Monopoly, but I would suspect that, in most felid-blessed households, the cat would already be on the board. Directing the cat to change positions in accord with a roll of the dice might be a bit dicey, though….


  6. I would not rule out the very distinct possibility that Anonypuss had a large role in garnering votes for the at token!



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  7. Aww.. I have a soft spot for the iron. Before I adopted the car, I always used the iron. But I am happy the kitty made it!

  8. Why Monopoly has such stupid playing parts? Tall differently colored peons sounds a lot more logical to me. We replaced our silly metal little things with colored peons because we kept confusing them.

  9. The loss of the iron piece is sadly noted. The piece was symbolic for the essential absurdity of playing a game that makes you rich. Puppies or even kitties are feel good surrogates and do not convey the “seriousness” of the game.

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