Bright teenage girl ‘identifies as a cat’ and now shows feline behavior

Growing up trying to figure out who you are and who you want to be is tough. Thankfully, we live in a world that is more open than it was before. Different gender identities are more accepted and people are more free to be who they are. Some of the identities people are choosing, however, are certainly challenging what some are willing to accept. A teenager in Australia who her teachers say is “phenomenally bright” has chosen to identify as a cat and show feline behaviors. Some, naturally, are a bit worried for her.

Teenage Girl Identifies As A Cat And Shows Cat-Like Behaviors

At a private school in Melbourne, there is reportedly a teenage girl who identifies as a cat. The is expressing cat-like behavior and is apparently now non-verbal. The school is allegedly allowing her to continue acting this way, so long as she doesn’t distract the other students. This school has also reported that their students seem to be displaying a wide range of issues lately. This includes problems with mental health, anxiety, and identity. They say that they work with each student to try and give them the support and help that they need. (1)

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“Our approach is always unique to the student and we will take into account professional advice and the wellbeing of the student.” the school said in a statement.

A source who knows the family of the cat-identifying teenager says, however, that this case seems to be pretty unique and it doesn’t appear as though the school quite knows how to act. This source has said that it doesn’t seem as though anyone has a protocol for students who identify as animals. So far, the approach has been that as long as she isn’t disrupting the school, everyone will be supportive.

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Not As Unique Of A Case As We Might Think

Though this case may seem pretty out-there, it is surprisingly not unique. A group of four female students in Brisbane have also apparently begun walking on all fours and acting like either cats or foxes. They have apparently even cut holes in their uniforms to make way for tails. Some have claimed that these girls have even yelled at others for “sitting on their tail”. Their school, however, has denied these claims.

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Fursona

The schools all say that they are not sure whether or not the girls believe that they are a part of something called the “furry subculture”. This group of people identify with animal traits. Also known as the “furry fandom”, these people create a “fursona”, in which they display characteristics of the animal with which they identify. The most popular animals are dogs, cats, foxes, tigers, wolves, and lions. Some choose to express their fursona in private only, whereas others openly display it in public.

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Otherkin

Another term for identifying as something that is non-human is “otherkin”. This can mean that they identify as an animal, but it can also mean that they identify as other kinds of creatures or beings as well. The idea is basically that these people simply don’t feel connected to the identity of “human being” and rather feel more connected to something else.

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“Across the western world, individuals and collectives are defying our identity as organic beings, in contrast with mechanical ones, and exploring cyborgism. Social movements of trans and disabled people started questioning what it means exactly to be an able body. The neuro-diverse and BIID (Body Integrity Identity Disorder – people who would prefer to be ‘disabled’) have followed in the same footsteps. I thought it would be worth exploring the worlds of those who clash with one central dichotomy: humanity and non-human animality.” wrote researcher and professor of History and Philosophy of Science Pedro Feijó. (2)

Otherkin identify with mythical creatures, personas from folklore, science fiction, and more. For example they may identify as elves, witches, or other magical beings. There are certain types of therapy available for these people, however, many people in the community argue that they don’t need therapy. They are who they are and no amount of therapy will make them identify with something that they don’t believe that they are. All of this continues to bring into question for many what they are willing to accept from others and what they are not in terms of personal identity.

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Sources

  1. ‘Phenomenally bright’ teenage girl ‘identifies as a cat’ and shows feline behaviour.” Mirror. Benjamin Lynch. August 22, 2022.
  2. Why be human when you can be otherkin?Cam. July 16, 2016.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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