About Me and This Site
About me... Well, my name is Denise, and I run this website. I live in the United States, and, in case you were uncertain, I am a girl. My hobbies include reading, drawing, programming, playing video games, and fiddling with my websites. I'm a Capricorn and my favorite color is green (also a probably fairly noticeable fact).
My first exposure to Pokémon was a commercial for Pokémon Red and Blue, where Pikachu gets onto a bus with all the other Pokémon and subsequently gets compacted into a Game Boy. Like a lot of Nintendo commercials back then, this ad doesn't do a very good job of actually introducing the concept at all, and I think I first thought Pikachu was a Hello Kitty character or something silly like that, so I was unimpressed.
But then my little brother received Pokémon Blue as a Christmas gift, and everything changed. He was pretty young then, and the graphics are notoriously ambiguous, so, understandably, he couldn't figure out how to get out of the house. Having other presents he was anxious to investigate, he gave up pretty quickly and moved on to something else. Then I picked up the game.
Back then, I hadn't played too many video games. I had always loved video games; I would spend hours and hours visiting my cousin and watching him play Contra and Battletoads and Mario and Sonic and Rocket Knight and other games on his NES or Genesis. I always enjoyed watching, wondering where the map would go and what cool thing would appear next. I was not very good at playing myself. I didn't have the necessary eye-hand coordination back then. I also didn't have any sort of game system to practice with. I did play games on the computer, but I grew up with a Mac, so there was a limited game library, and I preferred point-and-click games that didn't require much reaction time, like Spelunx and 3 in Three. Later, when my little brother had his black-and-white Game Boy, I would sometimes play his Mario game when he wasn't using it. So, that was the extent of my video game experience before I started up Pokémon.
I am a bit more patient than my brother, so I figured out how to get out of the house and started progressing through the game. I was immediately hooked. There were all these cool creatures, and I could explore all these places. I remember coming across a Kakuna in Viridian Forest and thinking, "Wow, there are so many of these Pokémon, I can't wait to see what they all look like!" I remember exploring Cerulean City, thinking of how far I had wandered from my little home in Pallet Town. And that was just the start!
While I was playing, my brother saw how much fun I was having, and he wanted to try playing the game again. But there can only be one save file at a time, so he had to wait until I was done! He'd sometimes start a new game and play the beginning over and over again without saving. It really wasn't a good state of affairs. I did finish my first play-through on that cartridge and then my brother could finally play, but the next Christmas, I received my own Game Boy and Pokémon Red.
I do have to say though, being so inexperienced with video games, my first game was really bad. I only trained my Squirtle, so I ended up going against the Elite Four with a level 70 Blastoise and five weaklings, including, I remember, a level 15 Clefable that I had taught Blizzard. Also, in that game, I ran away from all the Legendaries, thinking I could go back to them after I healed in a PokéCenter. Whoops. And I don't think I even knew about the Unknown Dungeon at that time.
My next game on Pokémon Red was much better, now that I had a clue about what was going on. I'd also like to note that nowadays I train every single Pokémon that I catch so that they are all the same level. Yup, the ones in the computer too. Quite a switch, eh?
The first time I caught Mewtwo (which was with a Master Ball, by the way), I had no idea what it was. I was completely misinterpreting the sprite, and I had no idea what this strange blob was supposed to look like. I figured the scientist mentioned in the PokéDex really messed him up... Sorry Mewtwo.
Eventually my brother and I worked together, and we completed our PokéDexes.
Now enter the mass fandom pandemonium.
My classmates at school were talking about the TV show left and right, so I figured I had better watch it, to see what it was all about. By this time I must have figured out what Mewtwo actually looked like and learned about Mew, because I remember being excited about seeing them in the beginning sequence. But my first real fanatical love was for Team Rocket. Jessie, James, and Meowth were my immediate favorites on the show. It is so great how they are the bad guys, but they aren't really bad. And I love all their punny jokes.
This was back when my family had just gotten our brandy new dial-up internet connection, so, I would spend my free time online navigating to different Pokémon fansites, particularly Team Rocket fansites.
This was during the time when just about everyone and their grandmother was putting up a Pokémon website, so there were a lot of websites. But what really annoyed me was the fact that none of them were very good. Most were copies of the same information, had eye-hurting, animated-gif-filled layouts, and provided me very little reason to ever visit again. And those sites that actually were good were never updated.
One of my favorite websites back then was called TRHQ:Next. It had an Ask Team Rocket section that, as you probably guess, inspired me (together with the Mew emoticons on MewHeart) to make the Ask Mew and Mewtwo section, much later. The Ask Team Rocket section had well-drawn emoticons of Jessie, James, and Meowth's heads, and they would answer all sorts of bizarre questions that fans would send in. Sometimes other characters would answer as well, such as Butch and Cassidy, or even Giovanni. It was a lot of fun and excellently in-character, but I always had to wait a very long time between updates. Eventually, the updates tapered off, and they later stopped entirely.
Another one of my favorites back then was called Team Rocket's Glorious Little Hole in the Wall. It had a lot of cute drawings, such as hand-made animated gifs of Jessie and James twirling though the air, and had interesting essays and other actual content, unlike most fansites back then. It also introduced me to the song Lucky Lucky and all its silliness. I think I only ever saw it update once, in 1999, and then it never updated again.
Visiting all these fansites, and waiting for them to update, made me really want to be able to make my own Team Rocket website, but I had absolutely no idea how one went about making a website. I assumed it was difficult and that it cost money.
About a year later, around 2000, I found out otherwise. I had an opportunity to learn HTML and I found out about Yahoo! Geocities free website hosting (which this site was on for a long time...). The first website I ever made was actually a Team Rocket fansite. It was called Team Rocket's Jail Break and was relatively popular, as far as I could tell. I updated at least once a week and it had all sorts of crazy features, including Butch and Cassidy's Pokémon Horoscopes (I changed existing signs to those of fitting Pokémon, like from the episode where the two run a horoscope book scam and James thinks he's a Moltres), excessive biographies of every Team Rocket member ever shown anywhere, Rants, News, Rumors, and a heck of a lot more. The problem was, the site was based entirely on my continual updates. There was nothing on the site that could just sit there for awhile without the cobwebs being apparent.
The TV show reached an all time low during the Orange Island League episodes. Brock left, the incredibly annoying Tracey came, Team Rocket was practically shoved off the show and abused worse than ever before. At that time, I stopped watching. Without watching the show, there was no Jessie, James, and Meowth in my life, and gradually, my interest waned. The site stayed alive for a few years more, but as my amount of free time decreased as well as my amount of interest, I just could not maintain Team Rocket's Jail Break anymore. Regrettably, I made the decision to delete that website because I was too ashamed to look at the neglected state it was in and because I knew I probably would never seriously update again.
(I now am of the opinion that I shouldn't delete stuff like that, and I should leave it online for others to enjoy, even if the cobwebs are apparent. So, don't worry about Copy Cat ever vanishing. If it ever vanishes, it is due to technical difficulties, not because I decided to delete it.)
Some time before Team Rocket's Jail Break disintegrated, I had started working on what would become this website. However, it began quite differently than the state it is today.
Copy Cat started not as Copy Cat, but actually as Mew Caverns. It was a site to be dedicated to the Legendary Pokémon. By that time, Mew had become one of my favorite Pokémon. As such a elusive Pokémon, I figured she spent most of her time hiding, so I imagined a secret cave in which Mew and the other Legendaries could hide out in and relax. Mew was to be the main star of the website.
However, as I started working on the Mew Caverns, Mewtwo came into more and more prominence. The simple fact is, Mewtwo is just a much more versatile character than Mew is. What does Mew do actually? Flies around? Looks cute? Possesses mighty powers that she normally decides not to use? Plus, right at that time, I started learning all sorts of things I had never known before about Mewtwo. Finding out about The Birth of Mewtwo CD Drama was probably what pushed it all over the edge. More than half of my little site was devoted to Mewtwo already, and here was a vast new quantity of information that showed Mewtwo was an even more interesting character than the English version of Mewtwo Strikes Back had led me to believe. With such an imbalance, I decided it would be better to devote the website to Mewtwo (and Mew and maybe some other legendaries) rather than to Mew (and Mewtwo and some other legendaries).
It wasn't far into the life of Mew Caverns when I completely revamped it with a more Mewtwo-centric focus, and Copy Cat emerged, around the summer of 2001. As you can see, Mew is still very prominent in the site, not only because of how much I like her, but also from Copy Cat's beginnings as Mew Caverns.
The great thing about Copy Cat is I can invest as much time as I want into it. Unlike Team Rocket's Jail Break, I'm not stuck having to kill myself so that the site is worth looking at. The site is not dependent on me watching the show or keeping absolutely 100% on top of the Pokémon news. It really is based on The Birth of Mewtwo, The First Movie, Mewtwo Returns, and Mew and Mewtwo living in my closet. That's not going to change, so I don't need to worry so much. The information Copy Cat contains will still be valid if I happen to be unable to update for a few months. Yet, there are also parts of the site that I can always update, so it is not always static and boring. It's a nice mix, that keeps the pressure off me, while, I think, still providing an informative website that is also interesting enough for my visitors to want to return to now and again. At least I can hope, hehe.
I don't have a single remnant of Mew Caverns anymore, so I cannot show you that, but the original layout of Copy Cat, circa 2001, consisted of a giant HTML table. I was very fond of using tables for everything back then, heh. A lot of the sitely elements came from the now defunct MewHeart, such as the tiled black Pokéball background, the Master Ball icons, and the original Mew emoticons (although later on I drew my own versions). The example screenshot is reconstructed using the WayBack Machine, so some things are a little off, such as that broken image (and I can't even remember remotely what it was), but the basic gist of the original site should come across.
During the summer of 2004, the site was revamped with a pretty layout involving frames and an image map that took me quite some time to figure out (I was setting the pixel dimensions of the click-able areas manually, eep). I unfortunately do not have a screenshot of the site in action, but I do still have the image for the image map. I am sure you can imagine what would have been inside the window. One feature of this layout was image headings for each page, which were fun and let me make some subtle jokes, but weren't very flexible for later updating (and I later seriously regretted my choice of font). During this layout, I, of course, still used Masterball icons for bullets, but when you clicked on the navigation categories, you would be brought to a page containing a list of sub-pages. To differentiate those lists, rather than Masterballs, I instead used hover-over images of Mewtwo's black Pokéballs that I had found online somewhere. I was very fond of using hover-over images for everything back then, heh. Here, you can play with this one:
Around this time, my host, Geocities, was shutting my site down all the time for exceeding my hourly alloted bandwidth. Back then, I would edit the website live using the Geocities online editor, and I would refresh to check things, so I know I was eating a lot of bandwidth myself. And I definitely wanted as many visitors as possible to be able to look at the site too, without it turning off all the time. So, I looked for a new host, and during the summer of 2005, I moved the site to Fateback because they advertised free unlimited bandwidth. While I was moving, I decided to revamp everything (and I also started keeping the website as a backup of files I would edit and upload, rather than edit live). During the revamp, I made Copy Cat a more simplified layout because, while the other one was cool, it didn't work with Fateback's ads, and plus I had gotten complaints that it was a bit overly complicated to navigate. A simpler layout was easier to both edit and use, so that's what I did. (Also, you can see here, I continued using the header images from the previous layout for awhile, but, as they were no longer being viewed inside a fixed window, they looked too short and I eventually abandoned them.)
I revamped the layout again the summer of 2007 because, while simple was nice, I wanted something a little bit more interesting to look at. I also really wanted to have the navigation present on every page, rather than forcing people to hit the back button all the time. This layout featured a purple navigation bar stuck to the left side of the screen, which was implemented in a hacky way due to limitations imposed by Fateback (I'll spare you the gruesome details).
In 2008, I held a contest to replace the logo image for the site. It was won by Wee the Axolotl, and her excellent artwork graced every page of the site for several years. The unofficial runner up was Gemma, whose art was used on my splash page for several years as well.
Fateback's service got worse and worse until finally, in 2011, it was completely impossible to reach or update Copy Cat. After a long, fruitless email exchange with customer service, my friend Rosy graciously forced me to share her webspace so that Copy Cat could continue to be online. Now that I am no longer on Fateback, and no longer have their ads or arbitrary restrictions, it was time to revamp the layout!
Rosy helped me revamp my layout at the end of 2012 (til almost the end of 2014, eep) so that now it does everything I wanted it to do back in 2007 (but couldn't), plus much more! The side bar is on every page, and not in a horribly hacky way! And you can flip the menus open and closed, huzzah! I am quite proud of my new, vectorized logo and the city along the top. I also finally put away MewHeart's Master Ball icons and replaced them with the snazzy sprite from Pokémon Pinball.
Credits & Disclaimer
Mewtwo, Mew, and Pokémon in general belong to The Pokémon Company. Copy Cat is a fansite and means no copyright infringement. I do not own Pokémon. But they do live in my closet.
All writing, artwork, ideas, etc, that are not mine belong to their respective creators and owners. I have tried to give credit where credit is due. If I missed something, please contact me and I will either properly credit or remove the offending item.
I personally believe that no one can "own" screenshots except for the original animators and artists and corporate owners of Pokémon who actually made them in the first place. It's not like you deserve a medal for pressing the Print Screen button while watching a movie. Therefore, I will not waste time trying to keep track of sites I swiped screenshots from. Also, although a link is nice, screenshots can be swiped from this site without any obligation to me.
However, I do own my own writing, artwork, ideas, etc. that I specifically created. For these, there is no stealing without permission. Also, there is to be no stealing of writing, artwork, ideas, etc. that were specifically created by random other people without their permission. We clear?
In the making of this website, I must thank all those who submitted information, humor, drawings, questions, ideas, suggestions, motivations, constructive criticism, support, fanfiction, poetry, discovered errors, links, guestbook entries, graphics, say whats, whoopsies, news, odd scenes, general praise, etc. Without fans, this site would stink. The end. I would want to thank you all by name, but I am really bad at keeping track of names, eeep. Thank you all anyway.
People that I really do need to thank are:
- Peanutbuttermewtwo, for inspiring me to create this website in the first place, introducing me to The Birth of Mewtwo CD Drama, alerting me to the existence of Mewtwo's Origin, being willing to do an art trade with me even though my drawing was completely awful, and being a cool person and good friend. Peanutbuttermewtwo and I also think a heck of a lot alike. When she was building her website, often we would both make practically the same page at the same time without knowing or copying each other. Downright freaky, eh?
- Rosy, for testing my layouts on various browsers, alerting me to broken links, helping me with CSS, graciously forcing me to share her webspace, being my friend despite the distance, and going on all sorts of adventures with me!
- Lumina Sumnor, for killing her fingers on our behalf as unofficial transcriber extraordinaire! Plus, for keeping me updated on all sorts of stuff, giving me birthday presents, and being funny!
- Also thanks to all those who participated (or wanted to participate) in my logo contest that ended May 2008: Wee the axolotl (who won, providing me with a navigation bar image), Gemma (who provided me with a splash image), InuMimi, and Keep.
- InuMimi again, for providing me information on Pokémon Cards and keeping me updated in that area.
- The very helpful Ancient Mew Version Guide on eBay.
- Kumori's Mew collection and Armaina's Mew and Mewtwo collection.
- >Gemma again, for all her high quality and panoramic screenshots, and for adapting my personality into a character in her awesome fanfiction, Rebirth.
- I must thank everyone who has ever provided me with scans or photographs of their delicate drama booklets over the years, including Peanutbuttermewtwo, Pixen, Rosy, and Mondu.
- Mondu again, for allowing me to re-post the translation he paid for of the Birth of Mewtwo CD Drama.
- Serebii.net and Bulbapedia, for always being on the ball with Pokémon info and news. I've swiped a lot of icons, screenshots, scans, and the like from them, and even though I usually don't feel a need to credit such things, I'd still like to thank them for being such an informative sites and for posting so much.
- And like I just said, probably tons of other people who I fear are angry and sad for not being mentioned... *runs and hides*
Sorry for boring the heck out of you. Thanks for reading this far!