Fans Theorize That The Next Step In The SM Culture Universe Could Be — Cats?

What could it possibly mean?

What could cats possibly have to do with one of the most anticipated comebacks of the year? It’s a long one, but stick with us here.

Mark from NCT. 

It all started when fans of NCT DREAM noticed the members making cat gestures during a performance of “Hello Future.”

Renjun making a cat gesture while performing “Hello Future.” 

And they even had a giant cat in the background of the stage!

There aren’t any cats featured in the “Hello Future” music video, so fans weren’t sure what the cat had to do with anything.

Fans said Jeno mouthed “cat” (goyangi) during his ending fairy time. 

Some thought it was a reference to Chenle‘s cat gesture during a performance of “Irreplaceable.”

Chenle while performing “Irreplaceable.” 

But, since Chenle is the king of spoilers, maybe he was telling fans something even then!

Jisung (right) has stopped Chenle (left) from making spoilers multiple times.

Fans then connected this cat to aespa‘s Catwoman-inspired concept for their “Next Level” stage on Music Bank.

Winter performing “Next Level.” 

At the time, some wondered why aespa had chosen these dark outfits when they were a part of the “Heroes” team for the special episode. Maybe the members will fill a role similar to Catwoman’s in their fight against Black Mamba!

From left to right: Karina, Winter, Ningning, Giselle. | @aespa_official/Twitter

When member Ningning posted this photo on Twitter, fans claimed the cat in the photo she’s holding looks like the cat from NCT DREAM’s “Hello Future” stage.

Ningning holding a photo of a cat. | @aespa_official/Twitter

Some have theorized, jokingly and seriously, that cats are somehow related to Kwangya!

A few have connected it to the cat in EXO‘s “Power” music video!

Baekhyun holding a cat in the “Power” music video. 

Since we know that SM Entertainment is building a cinematic universe and all the groups are connected, perhaps the cat is significant in the SMCU.

One of the planets shown in the “Power” music video had a giant cat. 

A few theories surrounded a collaboration between NCT DREAM and aespa, but another theory has also arisen related to senior group Red Velvet!

From left to right: Joy, Yeri, Seulgi, Irene, and Wendy.

In June, SM Entertainment confirmed that Red Velvet were preparing to comeback with an album this August.

Red Velvet’s last full-group comeback was 2019’s “Psycho.”

It wouldn’t be the first time an SM Entertainment artist teased another idol’s comeback! Taemin teased aespa’s debut in SuperM‘s music video for “One: Monster & Infinity.”

Taemin calling on aespa. 

So what does it mean? NCT DREAM x aespa collaboration? Red Velvet comeback? Cats are the reigning species in Kwangya? Or maybe these idols just really like cats? Only time will tell!