Jones, nicknamed "Jonesy", was a ginger American Shorthair tomcat kept aboard the USCSS Nostromo as Ellen Ripley's pet. While the cat's official purpose was to control rodents aboard the ship, it also served as a source of relaxation and entertainment for the crew on long space journeys.
Jones and Ripley were the only individuals who survived the Nostromo's encounter with a Xenomorph and the ship's subsequent destruction.
Aboard the Nostromo
Owing to Jones' small size and mass, he comfortably shared a hypersleep capsule with one of the crew members during the Nostromo's long journeys. When the Alien began stalking the ship's occupants, Jones was apparently of little interest to the creature and he survived the incident unscathed. However, he was indirectly responsible for the death of Brett; when the latter pursued Jones through the ship's cargo hold, seeking to catch him so that he would not be accidentally picked up on the motion trackers being used by the crew to hunt the Alien, the cat inadvertently lured him into a room where the Alien was hiding. Jones watched on as the Alien dragged Brett's body into the air shafts.
Ripley later found Jones and put him in a carry case. At one point, Ripley was forced to abandon Jones to the Alien, but, while the Xenomorph was notably distracted by the cat, it did not attack it. Jones was later recovered and put in hypersleep aboard the Narcissus after escaping with Ripley.
Aboard the Marion
When the Narcissus docked with the Marion, Jones and Ripley were roused from hypersleep by Hoop and the rest of the crew and found themselves in the midst of another Xenomorph incident. When the human survivors were forced to descend to LV-178 below in order to recover a replacement fuel cell for the Narcissus, Jones stayed aboard the shuttle, safely locked inside with an adequate supply of food left for him by Ripley. When Ripley returned and was put back into hypersleep by Hoop, Jones once again curled up inside her cryotube to sleep for the rest of their return journey to Earth.
Back on Earth
Ripley and Jones remained in hypersleep for 57 years. They were eventually saved by a deep-space salvage crew and taken to Gateway Station, where they were reunited after Ripley had undergone a thorough medical examination. Despite the fact pets were not allowed aboard the station, an exception was made for Jones, given the extreme nature of Ripley's experiences. When Ripley was stripped of her flight status, she and Jones subsequently moved into an apartment on Earth. When Ripley agreed to return to LV-426 aboard the USS Sulaco, Jones stayed behind on Earth. Prior to her death on Fiorina "Fury" 161, Ripley sadly realized that Jones would most likely have died during the time she had spent traveling to and from LV-426 in hypersleep.
Behind the Scenes
Originally, during the Gateway Station park scene in the Special Edition of Aliens, Jones was to stalk a fake bird hopping among fallen leaves and then jump at it, hitting the wall. This scene may have been cut due to the crew being unable to make the cat jump at the wall.
- Jones is likely a reference to the old tradition of a "ship's cat", whereby the animals are brought aboard sea-going vessels to hunt rodents and other undesirable vermin aboard the ship.
- In the novelization of Alien, several short passages are actually written from Jones' perspective.
- In the commentary for Aliens, James Cameron explains that the crew showed the cat playing Jones another cat to get him to hiss on camera.
- Jones is absent from the Alien: Isolation bonus levels Crew Expendable and Last Survivor, despite both of them taking place on the Nostromo during the events of Alien. His absence from the latter is especially notable as the level involves Ripley activating the Nostromo's self destruct and fleeing the ship, during which time she would have been carrying Jones in his carry box.
- Jones has been referenced several times in the Halo franchise; Halo developer Bungie has admitted to taking inspiration for their games from the Alien franchise, and Aliens in particular.
- Jones has been referenced in World of Warcraft and can be found in Dalaran in the The Legerdemain Inn resting comfortably on a ledge as you go up the stairs to the second floor. The various Marines from Aliens are also scattered throughout the game.
- In 2012, film critic Anne Billson published a free eBook titled My Day by Jones: The Cat's-Eye View of Alien, recounting the events of Alien from Jones' perspective. The short story was later included in Billson's book Cats on Film.
- In Aliens, due to a different cat actor being used, Jones is noticeably bigger than in Alien.
- Jones's cat carrier has the Three World Empire and Weyland-Yutani logos on it.
- Alien3 (novel) (mentioned only)
- Alien Resurrection (novel) (mentioned only)
- Aliens: Original Sin (mentioned only)
- Alien: Out of the Shadows/audio drama
- Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report
- Alien: River of Pain
- Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers), Ridley Scott (director). Alien (1979), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- Alan Dean Foster. Alien3, p. 169 (2014), Titan Books.
- Tim Lebbon. Alien: Out of the Shadows, p. 68 (2014), Titan Books.
- S. D. Perry. Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report: Jones medical insert (2014), Insight Editions.
- Alien trading cards — 15. Introducing Jones (1979), Topps.
- Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, p. 136 (2012), Titan Books.
- Alan Dean Foster. Alien, p. 144 (2014), Titan Books.
- Alan Dean Foster. Alien, p. 16 (2014), Titan Books.
- Alan Dean Foster. Aliens, p. 25 (2014), Titan Books.
- Alan Dean Foster. Aliens, p. 57 (2014), Titan Books.
- Ian Nathan. Alien Vault, p. 170 (2011), Aurum Press.
- Aliens script by James Cameron
- James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Stan Winston. Aliens audio commentary (2003), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- "Bleeding Cool - Alien, from the Point of View of Jones the Cat". Retrieved on 2019-12-04.