feline resources for the questioning cat

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[This page is an eternal WIP.]

The following is a collection of writings and resources for feline-folk, by feline-folk. “Feline-folk” here meaning any assorted therians, otherkin, animal-people, or weres who generally fall under the self-identified umbrella of Feline. From this, some obvious commonalities of personality and sensations emerge, that hopefully can be used by questioning folk. The format will be mainly composed of links to writings and resources, with quotes from said links. It’s encouraged and intended to click on the links and read the original essays in their entireties. What sections of writings are displayed here is entirely based on my own judgement.

Three disclaimers:

---1. This page is not meant for those who do not already have a basic understanding of therianthropy or non-humanity.

---2. This page is in no way intended to be a “guide” or how-to list on how to be Feline. It is also in no way intended as the One True Path to Felinity, whatever that means. Genuine self-reflection is always encouraged.

---3. This page is a living document: it will be updated as needed and wanted.

While I have divided this page into cat-agories, there is of course a good deal of overlap within the writings. For example, essay on what it means to be Cheetah will overlap with personality, experiences with other cats, and sensations. I've done the best I can. There are also a lot of essays out there that are buried to the old Internet's defunct pages. Any help with retrieving those is appreciated. Submissions or suggestions for this page are also appreciated. And, of course, if you would like your content removed I will do so no questions asked. You can message me at SolRR on Nonhuman National Park.


Part One: What is Cat? (Writings focused on personality.)

Part Two: The Cat-alogue Experience (Writings/anecdotes focused on sensations: shifts, noemata, etc.)

Part Three: Specific Cats (Writings and resources divided by specific species. Also has general resources on the felidae family tree, and links to videos displaying behaviors, vocalizations, etc.)




Being Lion, 8/13/08, revised 9/25/09.

“Cat is cat and has no need to be anything but.”



Quil, 6/13/05.

“A cat is sure. Furthermore, a cat is sure that she's a cat, from whiskers to tail. A cat is a precise being, not tolerant of generalizations, or vagueness. A cat is observant even when she isn't looking, from whiskers to tail, as I said before; a cat desires to be nothing but himself. Graceful clever candid animal that he is—I say this impartially, mind you—a cat doesn't depend on sarcasm or ever-present purrs. A cat says what she feels, when that needs to be said, but a cat is neither malicious nor innocent. She's simply there, watching, licking her paws.

A cat obeys when he likes to, and when he feels it is the best action to take.

A cat does not take actions in excess, nor does she do too little. A cat measures out what is needed.”



Being Lion, 5/10/11.

“Even the people who are mine, however, occasionally get walloped with Cat's lack of social understanding. I don't grok social obligations or should-do's. Sometimes, I know enough to play along and act like a normal, sociable human. When I'm emotionally invested, I become willing and eager to help, to interact, to participate - I am cheerful and open and offer myself up freely. But when I don't want to interact, when I'm not emotionally invested in that moment, in that particular scenario, I'm blank. It's like Cat gives this look of why do you expect me to care? and simply tolerates the situation at hand. Even the people I love will occasionally receive this apathy in response to something that matters to them.”

“I know I should feel bad for not giving a shit about so much, for not being open to interacting with most people beyond necessities. But the thing about feline apathy is that I don't care about not caring about things. I don't actually feel bad for this; it's more of a matter-of-fact it is what it is sensation. I know that it may be offensive or hurtful to some people, but I am only responsible for my actions (which are not inherently harmful), not anyone else's reactions. I don't want to be more social or more of a person-pleaser, though I still go well out of my way to make sure I don't hurt anyone. I'm not going to lie or suffer just to make someone else happy, but I'm also not going to make someone else miserable with my callousness if I can avoid it.”



Akhila, 10/05.

“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.”



Sol-RR, 5/21.

“There’s no reason to try and prove my worth or validity by any measure-- an outside opinion will never have the same weight as my own lived experiences. Maybe I can make categories here, pun intentional. Felineself is proud. Felineself is unapologetic. Felineself is very aware of strengths and limitations, if anything, the limitations are at the forefront. Felineself isn’t doing any of this to show off or strut. Just. Is. And with that awareness comes quiet peace. The only limits I want are the ones I place on myself.”



Sonne Spiritwind, 10/06.

"Cat does not fit into that perfect little labeled box of “predator only”, because she is prey also, and knows it well (or at least believes she is potential prey; whether such occurs often for the species or not). I experience the prey-mind of Cat more often than the predatory mind."



Citrakayah, archived 7/06/16.

(Poem on Cats-as-Loners.)



Being Lion, 5/11/11.

(Essay on “Cat as Gender.”)



Akhila, 6/06.

Defunct Link: To be updated if this essay still exists somewhere.




Quil, 11/29/05.

“Cat is smelly. Cat is territorial and cat bleeds and cat bites and cat hides in fear and cat kills its infants. A cat is not a nice way to be and it sure isn't about purrs, love, or light. It's not about pure darkness, not about eyes like yellow lamplights in the dark. So what is cat about? I wrote, yes, cat is smells and sensory. That's part of it. I am forever redefining this, thinking over the ways I behave and examining how these ways of behavior are close to a leopard's behavior. Flehmen, scentmarking, sex and hunting. They show up in my own life, deformed and diluted and mutated, fitted into a human form for the purpose of I-don't-know-what.”



Quil, 6/13/05.

“I flick my ears back when I am angry, and I am not angry because the others are angry.

I knead my paws when I am happy, and I am not happy because the others are happy.

My emotions are for myself, stemmed from me and the cat inside.”



Kisota, 3/8/17.

“Things that are more cat to me... generally speaking:

- shorter snout. I remember thinking big long dog muzzles seemed exaggerated and weird

- FLEXIBLE BODY. This is one of the things that still gets me sometimes. The sheer flexibility of cat bodies sometimes seems so right. Flexible legs and shoulders. Flexible spine.

- Softer feet, sharp grippy claws that I want to drag on things. I definitely had phantom claw sensations and a lot of urges to drag my nails on things. Still do sometimes.

- the desire to grib and climb! Another intense one. Climbing is still one of the things that feels right about cats. The combo of the supple, flexible body and the climbing is something that is distinctly cat to me and also something that has a rightness about it deep down. Doesn't apply to all cats, of course. Often coupled with a general desire to be up high, for me.

- ambush hunting. Dogs tend to be more cursorial - that is, adapted for running down prey. Generally cats are ambush predators that are unlike to run very long distances. Instead they tend to creep up and do a short sprint and grab. The hunting techniques like leaping and grabbing prey with claws, or tripping them with front paws sometimes feels right, too. I think a lot of "cat" things like that align better with human behavior because we tend to want to use our hands and arms for things. So it's easier for grabby, pouncy cat-style hunting to feel "right" than canine running-up-and-grabbing-stuff-with-your-face-pretty-much-exclusively hunting.

- internally, a sense of solitude. Again, that's a generality, and if you're considering lion as a theriotype, it doesn't apply nearly as much. But that sense of solitude and self-sufficiency, territoriality to EVERYONE, felt very cat.

- BIG hisses. Roars. Striking with front feet when threatened. Slashing and full-body tussling. Again, something that really aligns better with "human" than does the canine equivalent.”



Whisker, 11/7/21.

"Casually looks up things like 'how long does it take for cats to get used to new cats' but it's actually about myself and our cat

Part of me still sees her like an invasive houseguest who came in and took over my territory. It's very different from my siblings, the cats I grew up with. She's new and I'm still not used to her. She's been here for about 9 months."

"I'm good with meeting others' cats, I can usually interact very well with them for short periods of time (and that's related more to the stress of being at others' houses, not being with the cat), it's just that she's in my house... acting like she owns the place... which is catbrain talking because it's not my house and for all she knows she does own the place."



Citrakayah, 2009.

(Poem on hunting, being captured, violence. Unclear if memory or original fiction.)




First, some general resources:


Website that breaks down the entire felidae family tree and links to many other fact sheets and resources.



Some archived general notes + tips on determining subspecies.



Being Lion's characteristics and history of the Barbary Lion.



Ahkila, 5/29/11.

(Essay on clouded leopard, jaguar, and tiger folklore and research.)




Sonne Spiritwind, 4/4/08.

“My felinity blends in quite well with my humanity and as cat I take much comfort and safety in being domesticated. It’s a more independent mindset than horse’s, and even still if I want that socialization with other domestic cats, I have them with me as pets, and I already know (for various reasons, including non-therianthropic ones) that it’s quite important for me to have companionship with at least one other housecat in order to maintain and balance myself properly."




Citrakayah, 7/11, posted 11/9/11.

“Being a cheetah therian, I imagine, is quite different from the experiences of most feline therians. Speed, for one thing. If there's one thing that distinguishes a cheetah from other cats, it is speed (and non-retractable claws, and diet, and social structure, but you get the point). Speed is what we live on- it's how we catch our food, and I imagine it's been used to escape from predators, though I am by no means sure of that. We are the fastest land animals (scaling not taken into account), and it shows in our body proportions.”



Citrakayah, "written late 2011."

"What does it mean to be cheetah? To me, it means independence but closeness to my friends, it means snarling in rage, it means love of the chase, it means wanderlust, it means surveying terrain from up high, it means trying to be in touch with my instincts and senses, it means quiet strength and determination."



Citrakayah, summer 2010.

(Poem on being Cheetah: "My kin stalk the savannah / Embodiments of the wind,")




Quil, revised 6/22/07.

(Essay on the personality of being Leopard.)



Quil, 10/29/05.

(Expressive essay on animal-personness and Leopard associations.)



Quil, 10/15/05.

"I read leopard myths and I dream of leopard stories."




Ahkila, 8/13.

“Summary of what Clouded Leopard feels like.”




Aalaueryiian, 1/05.

“I despise submerging myself in water, adore cold rooms, and hate eating in crowded places. I am meticulously clean, would rather nuzzle than kiss, and can almost see a snow leopard’s face imposed over my own in the mirror. I feel just as comfortable moving on my toes and hands as on my two feet, but prefer to wear sandals with heels than flat-footed shoes; it helps my balance, and feels more natural. Flying down a snowy slope on skis is amazing, but I can’t shake the feeling it should be a rocky slope on four paws.”



Katsune, 7/27/04.

“I am snow leopard, and all of me is so. Nothing can pull me back, I cannot be caged. Wind and always changing, always moving, dancing and running. I am gracewindblurmysteryknowledgespeed. Snow leopard always.”



Katsune, 8/2/05.

(Essay on folklore concerning snow leopards.)



Defunct Link: To be updated if this essay still exists somewhere.




Kusani, 1//26/07.

(Essay on the mind of a Lioness.)



Kefira, archived 12/17/05.

(Essay on being a lioness and gender/sexuality/family.)




Wampus-Cat, 3/31/08.

“Mountain lion is adaptable. It can live almost everywhere, in any climate on virtually any terrain. I feel at home in many different places; the city is as equally my wilderness as the forest in my back yard. Physically, the hind legs are long, the feet big. Mountain lion feels the earth when it moves, and yet it bounds in such a manner that it glides across the terrain. It moves like a small cat. I am fascinated with how housecats move; they remind me of myself.”




Defunct Link: To be updated if this essay still exists somewhere.



Defunct Link: To be updated if this essay still exists somewhere.



Defunct Link: To be updated if this essay still exists somewhere.




Epsilon_Pegasi, 10/22/12.

“Trying to identify the essence of the marbled cat is like trying to identify the shape of smoke. Like smoke, the marbled cat is defined by its ever-changing, paradoxical shifting form. The marbled cat is smoke in shape, having traits of both the large and small felines. For a long time it was a loss to find where in the gene classification it belonged. A cat made of the pieces of other cats.”




Defunct Link: To be updated if this still exists somewhere.




Defunct Link: To be updated if this essay still exists somewhere.



Defunct Link: To be updated if this essay still exists somewhere.




Barakus Leviathan, archived 6/28/06.

(Essay on experience of being a "draconcat," "It is a combination of dracon, meaning dragon, and of course cat.")