Stretching on my sofa. I couldn’t find my pen, but I feel inspired to write. At first I’m having hard times putting my thoughts into order and making sense of my chaotic musings. Reluctantly I sit at my computer and start writing. I miss the paper and pen, so it’s even harder phrasing my feelings. What got me thinking, I remember, is how, as an animal person, I try to put my experiences into words no matter how hard it seems to be. I remember all the times people would say how impossible it is for them to describe their animalness, and how it can’t be worded – and I would agree. Now however I’m not that sure anymore.
I was stretching on my sofa, as I often do, and enjoying the feel of my bones and flesh underskin, which is an animalistic pleasure to me. I was caressing my mohawk [feathercrest] and the very short hair [fur] on my almost bare skull, and it felt good. Sprawled, phantom tail touching floor, feline ears relaxed. I like most of my body, and it is not because it fits or doesn’t fit people’s standards, but because when I walk around half naked and feel the air on my skin, and smell my own scent instead of clean clothes, it feels right. I remember discussions with trans people, and how we come to realize that we, especially those who physically transitionned, do not have female or male bodies, but trans bodies. I don’t think I have a human or animal body – though objectively I’m human, and humans are animals – but I feel I have an animal-person body. I am an animal-person and I experience this human body from a feline and corvine point of view, and I feel phantom limbs, and this make my body unique and just that. An animal-person body.
When I think of what being an animal feels like, to me, I am flooded with images and sensations and words – yes, words too. I do not think “rawr pounce eat” nor do I only get a simple image of what I want in my head. I am a complex being with a human social construct, and I am a corvine feline creature sipping tea in my chair, burning incense on my shrine, and writing essays – and all the while still having something wild inside. And this should be normal, after all, since I’m an animal person, and my animalself and humanself are integrated into the same mething. But is it really that? Can I word my experiences because, as a humanimal, as a *shudders* contherian, I make no distinction between the human and the animal? I don’t think so, as other people whose experiences differ from mine can write as well – and sometimes better. In the end, it’s as simple as that: without calling them all “Writers” with a capital W, some people improve their ability to write. It is difficult for everybody to put our experiences into words, and indeed sometimes certain specific experiences don’t translate well in writings. However even though for some people, being an animal falls under this category, I do not believe it is fair to assume that since we are animals and animals don’t write, that it must mean we can’t write about animality or other experiences at all. This sounds like a fallacious reasoning.
Probably I am going to annoy more than one, but my point is that it’s easier to blame this issue on being an anima-person than admit one is unable to write about a specific topic. Surely I am going against one of those “were principle” – you know, what is thought as the norm among therianthropes – as it is implied, everywhere, that since we are animals and that animals are supposed to be more primal and not thinking with words, that therefore animal-people can’t write, that it is the norm. But we’re not exactly non-human animals like our cats and dogs are, we’re animal-folks. Whether or not we think in words or images only depend on the individual, and it doesn’t make anyone less of an animal if they think more in words than with smells, pictures, and such as. I have troubles putting words on my olfactive experiences of perfumes right now, and that’s only because I fail at this specific task, just like some people can only experience the animal and not write much about it. After all most of people, animal or not, aren’t writers. There is no need for excuses. It isn’t a matter of “more were than U”, “troo animals”. It’s language and writing skills, and personal comfort with the subject.
We are animal-people. We are animal inside, and arguably phantomly animal outside, and it’s not exactly the same as being wolf-bodied or leopard-bodied. We can’t make rules according to what animals are like, we can only make our own.