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What Monopoly taught us about cats (and the Internet)

The newest Monopoly token, a cat, rests on the deed to Boardwalk.

Steven Senne/AP

Could the makers of the Monopoly have picked a more divisive beast as its latest board game piece?

Hasbro has added a cat to the collection of tiny tokens that players use to represent themselves as they work their way around the game board trying to acquire fictitious real estate properties and business holdings. They could have gone with a less polarizing symbol, such as, I don't know, the Confederate flag or Justin Bieber, but were obliged to follow the dictates of a public vote on the Hasbro Facebook page. The cat won, but cats always win on the Internet. It was never going to be a fair fight for the helicopter, the guitar and the other also-rans, none which have their own Internet language or general memeness. Or their own Internet film festival.

Reaction has been swift. Many are appalled that Hasbro bowed to the cat lobby, and that cats have been rewarded with any kind of honour at all one week after been exposed as the biggest murderers on the planet. The decision has been called a travesty, among other things.

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One person has already devised a new set of "rules for the Monopoly cat token." They include, "Digs into Monopoly board with all claws whenever you try to move it" and "Suspects game is one giant ruse to trick it into taking its pill."

The change has even sparked a wave of nostalgia for the iron that is being replaced by the cat. Really, only a cat could make people miss ironing.

How do you feel? Is the new Monopoly cat one token over the line?

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