Ninjacat is the latest victim of Windows 11's emojigate

Ninjacat Meme
Ninjacat Meme (Image credit: Twitter: @michaelgillett)

Ninjacat became something of a mascot for the Windows 10 Insider Program a few years ago, showing up in blog posts and memes across the web. Microsoft even had a statue dedicated to the intrepid feline at its Redmond campus at one point, which may even still be there. There's one place where it definitely isn't anymore, though, and that's Windows 11.

Microsoft unveiled its reworked emojis for Windows 11 in a preview build recently, and reactions were mixed. Why? Because the much-advertised 3D versions have been squished flat, depriving them of an entire dimension. Upsetting, I know. Many other users were upset too, with over 45% of our readers decrying the flat versions, with a further 35% shrugging dejectedly, stating that they simply don't care. If there were any other reasons to be mad, it could be this one.

Emojigate Part 2 Electric Boogaloo

Source: Reddit: u/mattbdev (Image credit: Source: Reddit: u/mattbdev)

Reddit user mattbdev noticed that the new flat Windows 11 emojis have an unfortunate omission. The unique Microsoft emoji combinations that gave us special Ninjacat characters have, alas, been removed. It seems that Ninjacat will not be joining Clippy in this new pack of emojis, an unexpected twist in the saga of emojigate.

Not only has emojigate deprived us of the promised, fabled 3D emojis, but now, it has added insult to injury by robbing us of our beloved Ninjacat. My keyboard sodden with tears, I ask, dear readers, is there no justice in this world? Why are we still here? Just to suffer?

And yes, it may well be that many, or even most of you were unaware that Windows 10 even had Ninjacat emojis in the first place. And it may even be that Microsoft plans to reintroduce them at a later date. I would email PR to ask, but for some reason, I don't think they will be forthcoming with an answer. It could be that we're simply not ready for the truth. Perhaps they have better things to do on a Saturday, leaving it to me alone to pick up the pieces of this shattering betrayal. And perhaps, more likely, they simply don't care.

We care though, Microsoft. We care.

RIP Ninjacat, 2014 — 2021. 😢

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • An outrage. Ninja cat holds a special place in many hearts. I must admit though, I haven’t noticed if he’s still there in Windows Update for the Insider Programme.
  • Yes he still there in the Windows Insider Programme (under Settings). At least it shows the image there. Too bad it's gone everywhere else on W11 😭
  • Thank you for writing this article, @JezCorden. I'm incredibly sad and upset at Micro$oft for killing off Ninja Cat, even more so than they not delivering 3D Fluent emojis. For anyone reading this comment, everyone, PLEASE let's try to make #bringbackNinjaCat trend on Twitter. Please!
  • Last straw. After sixty years using a Windows PC, I'm switching to Mac.
  • YOU MANIACS! YOU changed IT UP! AH, DArN YOU! Gosh! DArN YOU ALL TO HELL! I feel deprived of all sanity.
  • Windows 10: 🐱‍🐉
    Windows 11: 😺🐲
    How are they even remotely close?
  • Uhm, They aren't. I just felt like voicing my opinion with a movie quote. It just stinks.
  • I was going to do "The horror, the horror" but I think this is better, I admit it.
  • “ I would email PR to ask, but for some reason, I don't think they will be forthcoming with an answer.” The intern at PR wouldn’t know what’s going on with Windows development so there’s no point asking.
  • In the last article, I didn't care, but now I realize what we are dealing with. Tell me when we protest and I will be there with you locked arm in arm. We will march to Redmond, thousands strong. We will get the change we deserve, no, require.
  • Dozens strong, more likely...
  • Up to THREE dozen ...
  • Of all the first world problems, complaints over emojis are definitely near the top of the list.
  • Ha ha yep. What an article!
  • You missed the sarcasm? :P
  • Well, why limit ourselves to only complaining about the important things?
  • Now what emoji am I going to put in the title of my Windows Terminal Powershell profile to demonstrate that I can put emoji in the title bar of my Windows Terminal Powershell profile? What an outrage!
  • That is a good point. How about Clippy?
  • Where's the poll? I, like many, am outraged that Ninja Cat has been thusly maligned and would like to know by the numbers who is with me.
  • OMG that's a huge oversight.
  • The ninjacat eating rice with chopsticks could be seen as a cultural sterotype.
  • Why does anyone care about this? Is this article supposed to be sarcasm?
  • yes. yes it is.
  • This is easily the best comment here.
  • Let us try to save Ninja Cat in Windows 11!
    As instructed by the official Windows Insider account, PLEASE UPVOTE IT at in the FEEDBACK HUB – and use the hashtag #bringbackNinjaCat
  • Ninja Cat was a mascot for the underdog status of Windows Phone as a platform, and I believe that it enabled a lot of people to show their love and retain the emotional connection to the idea and vision of that time. I think this just shows that a corporation does not necessarily value the same things as the fans of its products.