The Cat Who Would Be A Dog: Are We All Trans?

As you remember from my article on the Year of the Cow, er, Ox…. , Deke knows about more than just cows — he know about all sorts of animals — horses, dogs, cats, apes, and people. He is known as Dr. Dog. But he really should be called Dr. Everything

I rely on Deke to tell help me when I am confused, which is most of the time. He, like, reads books. Y’know real books, on paper. The things people used to read before smartphones. He also knows a lot of BIG words, like…well…” ox”. Yeah, it’s short but this year, it’s BIG!

I naturally went to Deke when I realized that my cat, Ichi, had an identity problem!

Ichi seemed to me to have decided he was dog.

He does doggy things. He likes to play fetch. He licks my nose and hands a lot. He follows me around. He doesn’t really meow — he tries to bark. He has a short tail which he wags when he is happy.

“My cat has an identity problem”, I said. “He’s Trans. He thinks he’s a dog. And I don’t know what to do because I am a Cat Person — not a Dog Person. Should I take him to a Pet Therapist”.

Dr.Everything sighed and poured himself a glass of medicinal relief — Chablis it said on the bottle. .

I continued, “I am sure that is emotional. Trauma. Ichi had a troubled childhood. He found just a week old with this two sisters, Ni and San. While Ni and San were somehow bonded and played together, they ignored Ichi, who was all alone. Maybe the stress caused him to want to be a dog, rather than a cat”.

Deke sighed again. “I should have gone with the Chardonnay”, he said.

And then, cryptically — a word I learned from Deke, whose meaning I forget exactly, but something to do with places they put dead people:

“Identity is like wine. You cannot judge it by the label — only by tasting”.

Wow! Deeeeppp. I didn’t understand what that meant! So I knew he was saying something profound….

“First”, he said, “Trans people suffer from what is called “gender dysphoria. There is something called “species dysphoria” people who identify with animals, but this is not the same kind of thing at all, although some of these people — “otherkin” — as they call themselves — identity as “trans” also — in terms of species. An interesting thing is that “otherkin” include a lot of people who are pansexual, asexual, and actually “trans” in terms of gender. All of these groups are bullied and trolled because they are “different”.

Deke looked at me to see if I understood. I nodded to show that I did. But, of course, I didn’t. He wrote a book once about human nature. I don’t remember what it said it had great pictures.

Dr Everything shook his head a little.

At one time, differences in sexual preference or sexual identity were considered “mental illnesses”. They were thought to e the result of early childhood problems, abuse, trauma and the like which could be corrected. The Christian “Right” still believe that. So, marriage must be between “a Man and a Woman”. They want to see the world in simple categories.”

“In psychology, some call this kind of thing ‘normopathy”, a pathological desire to organize reality according to social norms and belief systems”

“When you divide the world into “Cat People” and “Dog People”, you are being normopathogical, invoking norms which have no basis in reality. Oddly enough, by so doing you actually support the theories of the Otherkin people.”

“At the same time, you think that Ichi’s behavior, which is natural for him and which he is quite happy doing, is a problem for YOU!”.

“Well, I like CATS, who act like cats”.

“Cats, dogs, people…. We are all animals and all individuals and we all behave differently. Dogs and wolves are the same species but behave quite differently. A toy poodle won’t behave the same as a German Shepherd.”

“As I said, the label is less important than what is inside the bottle and the taste”.

I was by now TOTALLY lost! So I nodded agreement.

We now know that differences in sexual preference, bi-, lesbian, gay and so on are determined before birth by what are called “epigenetic” changes in DNA. This also applies to sexual identity. You sense of sexual identity is determined in the brain and people who are, say, physically male, but feel “female” usually does so from infancy because changes in DNA expression make them feel that way. In other words, a lot of what we thought was conditioning is actually biology”.

“What about…umm…. species dysfunk, or whatever?”

“Species dysphoria”?

Our earliest ancestors evolved a unique and powerful empathic ability to identify with other people, other selves. All young animals can do this. They don’t see boundaries. Even species boundaries. So, yes, the lion lies down with the lamb. As a species we are neotenous — which means we retain certain juvenile features into adulthood. This ability empowers our ability to make relationships and work together. It also makes possible our relationship with other animals, especially dogs and cats, who are also neotenous. When you talk about a dog as “man’s best friend” you are including him in your world, your family — AND your Self”. It’s a kind of trans species-ism.”

“Huh? We ‘re ALL “otherkin

“In some sense, yes. That capability is encoded in your DNA. Which is why our ancestors were all animists and totemists”.

Thanks to Art Tower

“Yeah, I get it. I like animation a lot and I am cool on totem poles”.

Deke drank a little more medicine. It’s not the label, y’know.

He sighed,

“What I mean to say is that Spiritual is biological and vice versa”

“I understand now”, I said. “Should I take Ichi to a dog park?”.




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Julian Macfarlane

Journalist media analyst, author. Publishes on evolution, psychology, anthropology, zoology, music, art, neurology., geopolitics,.