Purrloin: Sweet or Sneaky? (Japanese: チョロネコに御用心！ニャースとミジュマル！！Beware of Choroneko! Nyarth and Mijumaru!!) is the 44th episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 701st episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 25, 2011 and in the United States on December 3, 2011.
Our heroes are on their way toward Nimbasa City for Ash’s fourth Gym Badge challenge when they come across a Purrloin. Meowth, still traveling with the gang, is entirely smitten with the cutie-pie Pokémon, as are Oshawott and Iris—but Cilan’s previous experiences with a Purrloin were so horrible, he doesn’t even want to talk about them!
With Meowth translating, Purrloin tells our heroes that a good friend is trapped in a cave up ahead, and pleads with them to come and help. Cilan refuses to believe Purrloin and stays behind, but everyone else decides to join the rescue, only to find that the story is a hoax—Purrloin has lured them into the cave to steal Ash’s backpack and food!
Outside, Cilan is waiting for the others to come back when a Trainer named Misha comes looking for her Purrloin. They rush to the cave to confront Purrloin, and with Meowth’s translation help, Purrloin and Misha resolve a serious misunderstanding that had kept them apart.
It’s not all happy reunions, though—just as everyone is about to hug and make up, the ground collapses under their feet, and our heroes are swept away in a landslide! Left on solid ground, Purrloin runs off to fetch help, and manages to convince a flock of Tranquill (earlier victims of Purrloin’s thieving ways) to come to the rescue, and everyone is safe and sound once more.
Meanwhile, Jessie and James continue Team Rocket’s mysterious mission without Meowth...
A Purrloin is watching two Tranquill in their nest with a sprig of Berries. The Tranquill communicate by flapping their wings before leaving their nest, and the Berries, behind. Purrloin sneaks into the nest, and eats one, only to be discovered by one of the Tranquill. Purrloin unsheathes his claws in response, and while thinking that it is safe, a huge group of Tranquill swarm the nest. Purrloin quickly dives from the nest and begins to run for safety, being pursued by the Tranquill. However, Purrloin gains speed and races off into the depths of the forest, leaving the confused Tranquill behind. Ash and his companions are shown walking towards the Gym which is required for Ash to obtain his fourth Badge of the Unova region, however Meowth is also with them. Meowth explains that he is in fact good in character, and that everything is better with his new friends. Pikachu, however, still doubts Meowth in his actions. Meowth is deeply moved by Ash's sentiments towards him in contrast to Pikachu's, and begins to wail and cry in joy. Meowth is in the middle of a huge emotional scene, when Purrloin runs into him, knocking him over. Meowth turns to see his attacker, only to fall in love with Purrloin. Purrloin is then checked in the Pokédex, and suddenly Cilan holds his arms up in front of him in defense, very briefly stating that a Purrloin did something terrible to him once, and that he doesn't want to talk about it.
Meowth asks Purrloin what is wrong, and (after looking away from Meowth in a devious manner) Purrloin begins to plead to Meowth. Meowth, shocked, then turns to the others and explains that Purrloin is asking for help. Cilan tells them not to fall for Purrloin's cuteness, only to have Meowth decide to help Purrloin. Then, all of a sudden, the group are attacked with Gust by the Tranquill, who have discovered Purrloin's location. Ash, stating that they must be agitated, then sends out Oshawott to help, using Water Gun in combination with Pikachu's Thunderbolt. The Tranquill then flee in fear. Purrloin then tries to creep away, only to have Meowth stop her. She then flatters Meowth, and also infatuates Oshawott. Meowth then begins to fight over Purrloin with Oshawott, however Ash stops the fighting. After the group then goes to the side of a stream to repose themselves, Purrloin explains to Meowth that she didn't realize that the Berries belonged to the Tranquill, and Cilan yet again dismisses this behavior. Oshawott then uses Water Gun on Ash and Cilan, knocking some Berries out of Ash's backpack. Iris also begins to become taken with Purrloin at this stage, and tries to catch her; however, Meowth blocks her and almost becomes caught by her Poké Ball. Purrloin then sneaks away, preparing to steal the Berries from Ash's backpack.
Jessie and James are then shown taking photographs in Anville Town, and discussing their feelings of loss about Meowth. They then state that their plans will be undertaken that night. Purrloin is shown running back to Ash and the others, and explains that her friends are stuck in a deep cave up the road. Ash and the others decide to go to assist, however Cilan decides to stay behind, as he can't bring himself to trust Purrloin. She leads them up a steep and rocky mountain, and Ash begins to get tired. Purrloin states that they are almost there, however. She tells Ash to leave his backpack because it is heavy and it might get in the way. However, Ash refuses. Cilan is then depicted in worry about the others, only to have Misha with her arm in a sling arrive and ask Cilan if she has seen a Purrloin, which is shown in a photograph.
Ash and his companions are then portrayed as running down an abandoned mine tunnel, and Purrloin gestures to a hole in the side of the tunnel which is very minuscule, explaining that the group must crawl through. Ash and the others barely squeeze through, so Meowth is told to make Ash give Purrloin his backpack because it gets even narrower. The narrow hole then opens to a grand hole full of rubble from mining tools, and Purrloin explains that her friends are down there and Meowth must leave the backpack up above. The group jump down the scaffolding, which is very old and begins to creak and shudder. Purrloin then calls goodbye from above, with Ash's backpack, stating that she has no business with them anymore now that she has their food. The scaffolding then tumbles, and while Purrloin checks to see if they are alright, Cilan and the Misha catch up with them. Purrloin asks why she was abandoned, and the young lady explains that while Purrloin was at home and she out, the young lady had been in an accident and had been unable to come home. The hospital had let her leave, only to find Purrloin gone.
Purrloin accepts the story, but Ash and his group begin to sink into the ground, which is acting like quicksand. Cilan and the lady try to help, but end up in the quicksand too. Purrloin runs for help. Ash uses Snivy with Vine Whip to pull them to safety, however Excadrill and Pansage are needed also. The rope then snaps, but just before all seems lost, the Tranquill return and pull the group to safety, thanks to Purrloin. The group then thank Purrloin; however, amidst all the romantic confusion, it is revealed that Purrloin is actually male. The group then go off in search of new adventures, however Team Rocket are then shown calling in a helicopter, the mobile lab of Dr. Zager, into Anville Town so that their evil plans can be advanced.