The Cat-Nots

The Cat-Nots

I never cease being impressed by the number of pseudo-cats out there. Felines are popular, trendy, almost as much as wolves. There are, however, few people I recognize as true felines. I don’t give a shit for that “you can’t know what animal someone is” rule; when someone isn’t a cat and claims to be, it sounds off. I know a bunch of different cat people – different felines, different concepts of felinity – who strike me as very feline in very different ways. I have a fairly good idea of what Cat can be like – and what it’s not, not when it differs from my own concept of felinity or way of being kitty, but because it lacks what we felines have in common. It’s not like I’m the only cat who get that feeling, either; I’m not special.

I never stop being amazed by the number of white tigers and “panthers” out there. Not half of them sound feline and real to my mind. Obviously “tiger” seems appealing; big and scary and pretty stripes. And people see panthers as sexy, mysterious and powerful. They don’t even know if they’re a melanistic jaguar or leopard or whatever, no. They are panthers. Dark and dangerous, shadow and silk and feline; that’s how they speak of being panthers. If they don’t seem to know what felinity is about, they’re probably mistaken. “I feel I’m a cat”. Why, in the first place? What is cat? Is it claws, muscles, tail and fur, sexy and subtle and predatory? Why a cat? Is it what you are deep down, or what seems appealing to you? Felinity… There are other feline-like animals. Genets, civets. Or fossas. Fox, even, from what I’ve heard. Even non-therians can be feline-like.

If you feel you really are a therian, go “soulsearching” better. Read up on felines, damnit. I’m tired of “cat-people” who can’t tell the difference between a jaguar and a leopard, who think snow leopards are leopard subspecies, who think panthers are its own species, and who never heard of ocelots, jaguarundis, servals, caracals or kodkods. You can’t tell which cat you are if you don’t know of them, like what makes a sand cat different from a pampas cat. Seriously, I wonder how the hell some wannabe-kitty came to their conclusions while ignoring pretty much everything on felines. It’s a shame. A wild cat isn’t a stray cat, a snowpard isn’t a white pard, a caracal isn’t a tawny lynx. Panthera pardus isn’t “regular leopard”; leopards are leopards, clouded leopards are clouded leopards. Unrelated. Also, felines aren’t what most of people think of them as. Get rid of the pretty images in your head.

Cats aren’t “sexy”. Human people can be. Cats aren’t mysterious. People can be – or pretend to be. Cats aren’t scary; cats are wild animals and predators, no more, no less. Cats are cats. Small or big. Small ones can be fierce (think of the black-footed cat). Big ones can be shy (ounces, clouded leopards). Cats can be pretty “bad” hunters in terms of success rate (I’m thinking of cheetahs right here). Most cats usually don’t live in “packs” (there’s the exception of lions, and some cheetah coalitions). A streak of tigers? What the hell. Cat people aren’t necessarily loners or grumpy, misanthropic, cold-hearted and sharp-tongued individuals. All cat people aren’t arrogant, narcissic or elitist. Or overly subtle. Individuals may be. Felinity isn’t more feminine than masculine. Being a feline isn’t about having fangs and claws and muscles and a pretty coloured fur. It has fangs and claws and muscles, but a feline isn’t just that. How to explain that to the hordes of winged white tigers and vampiric panthers?

Cat is simple because it’s down to earth and doesn’t bother with the useless. Cat is straightforward – unless it doesn’t want to be. Cats don’t swallow up bullshit; they can think for themselves. Cat is territorial, especially towards other cats. Cat can be nervous or coward (according to what that means to humans anyway). Cats know they’re cats and don’t need to broadcast about it. Cats aren’t cute fuzzy fur balls bouncing happily after mice in flowery fields. Cats aren’t dark feline-eared feline-tailed emo-ninjas with ice-coloured glowy eyes. Cat is the opposite of attention-seeking, cat is self-aware and self-satisfied as a cat. Cat is not superficial. “Vague” isn’t satisfying for a cat. Cat is firm and decided. Cat does not talk more than needed; cat does not fill up the blanks with pointless words. Cat is more than words. Above all, cat is and knows it.

The core of being a wild animal isn’t about lyrism on forests and the hunt and the night. Predators aren’t heroes in a movie with some happy-ending. Being a wild animal is about survival and meat and shit. Being a feline isn’t about hate just like being a raven isn’t about sorrow. A predator isn’t an all-mighty creature. Predators can be shy and nervous and fearing bigger predators, or fearing for their offspring. Being a predator doesn’t give you strength, but being a predator demands being strong (in different ways) to survive. Drop the pretty gloryfying images of cats you have in your head. Glorious animals? What is glory for animals? What is courage for animals? What is subtility for animals? What is originality for animals? What makes an animal archetype? Are you able to tell the difference between felinity and what non-feline people think of felinity?

And stop wondering what and how a cat would do. If you’re a cat you know, and if you’re a cat you behave so already.

Note: Made a “therian” site with barely any content to get respect in the therian community? Have the need to be accepted among “serious therians” to make your therianthropy feel more valid? Get panicked whenever someone questions you or direct some criticism at your words? In a general way, if you feel concerned about any of this, you should ponder for awhile about it. Find your own answers – and stop annoying the shit out of people like me. I’ve never enjoyed having people coming to me tail between legs, or whining elsewhere about how mean the big bad corvicat is because they can’t deal with (polite!) bluntness. Behaving puppy-like, tail-wagging as if I could and should guide them, teach them. Don’t try to please me, don’t try to flatter me, don’t think of me as someone I’m not. I’m just a blunt, no-bullshit, otherwise friendly individual who likes interesting discussions with interesting individuals – not with puppies. Not with kitty stereotypes. Not with wannabe-[insert your favorite feline species here].

No, “it’s ranty so it must be wrong anyway” does not work. It’s not because you don’t like my words that the ideas behind them aren’t worth consideration. I did not write this page to hurt anyone, I’m not getting any pleasure from that; I do, however, get happier when I come accross people who’ve put thoughts into what they are. If you’ve felt concerned by my rants, take them as opportunities for you to introspect and learn more about yourself.