We recently adopted a new cat. He is, of course, adorable, and also very energetic and playful. To prevent him from using the precious objects around our house as toys, we felt we should provide him with some things to play with. Simple enough, you would think. But no, I entered a whole world of animal-gender-confusion I didn’t even know existed.
The first website I clicked on offered three packages consisting of several toys: one girl package, one boy package and one unisex package. I stared at the three pictures for a moment, unaware until that moment that our cat might have any sense of gender identification or gender confusion. Yes, he was in the possession of male genitals up until a couple of months ago, but does that mean that he will play exclusively with blue toys?
Or does this gen Z cat perhaps prefer not to be labeled by gender at all and should we offer him the unisex package? Perhaps we even have a transgender cat who would rather live the rest of his life as a female? Is he offended every time we refer to him using male pronouns? Does he think we are ignorant or uneducated?
I went up to my cat and asked him in a panicked voice: “Who are you?! Are you a he? A she? What do you want from me?” His/her/their response consisted of a short meow, followed by a vicious pursuit between him/her/them and a brown paper bag. I think it was cat language for “Stop anthropomorphizing me”.