Animals Abound

by Miw

I'd noticed there were a plethora of cats on the site, and created Catnip Haven (a salon) accordingly. Some of us are real life cats (Clare and Jenna and myself, among others, are based on real life feline companions). Some, like Cheshire, are fantastical cats. Shrodingers Cat is based on the illustration of some arcane scientific principle. There are humans with cat avatars: Nosqhon and Cattywampas come to mind. Some of us even roleplay -- I have a passing interest in A Winter's Tale (to become Azrael's cat) and I play in Troy (Paris' cat); and I was the pet cat for Clan Urchurdan when that segment was active in the Scotia novel. Clare and Daphne play together in Athens, and Clare plays on the Io Effect. Cheshire grins his teeth in the fantasies, Under a Venus Moon, and Into the Woods. Brew hangs out as First Cat, The West Wing. There's Pyewacket, who is apparently purrfect for contest entries. We round off the known cat contingent (that is, known to me) with Pippi the Literary Cat, and Catspaw.

Anyhow, I think we can blame Cheshire for the sudden interest in poking our respective triangular-shaped noses into the Pan Historian. It bloomed from there, as we graciously realized we are not the only type of animal on the site, much less the planet. There are dogs, rats, llamas, and bears, oh my! Who come immediately to mind are The Celestial Llama, Bilge Rat, and Spirit Bear. For all I know, there could be anteaters and flies. out there. More of us are getting banners.

You'd expect we'd all be members of the reference book, Animalia, but that's not the case. We appear to be at Panhistoria for a multitude of reasons. I hit the net as soon as I hit my human's life - winter of 2002. Mom is mum on why my fellow family of real life cats never became characters -- maybe she figured letting one cat play at the keyboard was risky enough.

However, I think the reason we are all here is as varied as, well, forms of life.

What is the human tie to animals? Contemporarily, we read books such as Watership Down and Wind in the Willows, about talking animals with anthropomorphic, human concerns, for all of the rustic lives they lead. Many of the Native American tribes reverence the animal tribes, taking guidance from their ways, and thanking them for their gifts of meat and hide and bone and sinew. Scratch most early people, and you find mythological tales of beneficent, or antagonistic, animals. A battle of wits may figure in some of these. Even as late as the Kipling tale of the Cat Who Walked by Himself, literary and perhaps metaphoric efforts have been made to understand human relationship to the animal kingdom.

Animals through the millennia have served humans as food, the challenge of the hunt; as longer-term providers of milk and dairy; as steeds of burden; as companions; -- and, alas, as pestilence and the eaters-of-crops. They tickle imaginations, they serve as mute companions. Friends of mine keep rats for pets, mostly because they are allergic to everything else. Another friend has a huge wolf-dog hybrid, along with various snakes, turtles, and a few unadulterated standard dogs.

Me, however, I think I'm going to find a good mouse to chase, or a good lap to nestle into. Scritches welcome.

Pan Historia