and persian I guess

For a long time, Meowth and its evolution were the only explicitly feline pokemon, and to this day, I don't think there's any other as charmingly designed as this little dweeb. The huge eyes, oversized head and lack of a nose are so much more adorable than any more detailed cat could ever be, even if the first time I saw a Meowth, I thought I was looking at some sort of lemur-like monster.

Meowth's design is specifically intended to invoke a maneki neko, the "beckoning cats" said to bring good fortune and typically shown holding gold coins. Meowth is the only pokemon in the game that learns the move "pay day" by leveling up, which seems to just create actual, spendable in-game money out of nowhere and begs the question of how the Pokemon world can possibly hold together any monetary system at all when this is a thing.

Admittedly, this otherwise average, unevolved normal type could have been one of the first generation's most forgotten pokemon if it wasn't such a unique and unusual mainstay of the animated series. I can't think of anyone who ever liked pokemon to any degree and didn't love Team Rocket's Meowth. The conniving, desperate rapscallion is impossible not to root for the hardest of the central cast even if his ultimate dream in life IS to climb the ranks of what's basically the mafia, proving how cute literally anything can be once a small, pitiful non-human is doing it.

What I just want to know is why nobody in the show's canon is more awed that this one random pokemon learned through sheer determination to speak in complete sentences. Even when it's threatening your life through some sort of interpretive poetry with the two sexiest people you've ever seen pedaling a giant, mechanical goldfish, your mind is PROBABLY going to remain kind of stuck on the existence of a talking cat.

Meowth would be a darling pokemon even if one of them wasn't also a precociously devious criminal mastermind who's spent the last twenty years somehow stalking and terrorizing the same perpetually prepubescent boy.

...But then, there's Persian. I'm sure there's people who like Persian more than Meowth, but I'm not gonna pretend I can wrap my head around why, unless you associate Persian with a real cat you had or some other personal, special case. Otherwise, how BLAH can a pokemon possibly get? After something as iconic and precious as Meowth, you just turn it into sort of a normal looking housecat with a marble on its head? Meowth should have evolved more like Pikachu or Jigglypuff, just sort of scaling up and elaborating a little on what made it stand out.

Meowth is the most endearing cat pokemon out there...but evolves into the most forgettable.