Our Cat is What? #SOL22

Taking a step into Meow Wolf plunges visitors into a unique, immersive artistic experience where adults and children play and explore. Walk into a house, meander into the kitchen, open the refrigerator, and step inside. Meow Wolf is the ultimate found object art project, but it’s also a portal into another world, one of strange imaginings.

In the glowing dinosaur skeleton at Meow Wolf.

My friends and I spent several hours climbing, crawling, and walking from space to space in the original Meow Wolf in Santa Fe June 10.

This museum/playground/vortex bowling alley conversion morphed into metaphor when my husband informed me he suspects our new kitty Phoebe, whom you may have met during the March SOL challenge, is not a *she-be* but a *he-be*. That pronouncement reminded me of the scene in I Remember Mama when Dagmar learns her stray cat Elizabeth is a male after one of her siblings says, “I looked.” The father suggests calling the tomcat Uncle Elizabeth. We have not changed Phoebe’s name now that we’ve confirmed its gender during what we thought would be a spaying that turned into a neutering.

Phoebe, our he-be tomcat after his neutering.

I suppose pot luck cat is what one gets when answering an adoption call via the neighborhood Facebook group. I’m struggling with this gender reveal because I’ve never really liked tomcats. Phoebe is my first male kitty, and he’s not the friendliest feline.

We’ve already changed Phoebe’s name from Missy and I worry a new moniker will confuse the cat. Johnny Cash sang about a boy named Sue, so I’m confident a tomcat can be a Phoebe. For now I’m framing Phoebe’s lived reality as a transition.

My cat is transitioning.

More accurately, my tomcat’s humans are transitioning. This is what feline gender fluidity looks like, even if the cat has no clue about whether it’s a he-be or she-be or it-be.

We’ve stepped through the vortex into the portal. Whatever–will be.

9 thoughts on “Our Cat is What? #SOL22”

  1. Oh my! Isn’t it interesting the personalities and I guess even genre roles we put on our pets? Now that you know Phoebe is a tomcat, do you feel like he had those male traits all along that you didn’t notice or do you still see Phoebe the same? I love all the summer adventures you are having and the places you are exploring.

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  2. You are so right, when you say it is you (us) who needs to adjust- so true in so many situations. It is all part of how we evolve. My mother insists in her experience make cats are usually more social, so maybe know that you know Phoebe is male he will make his sociability more obvious.

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  3. I love that you are leaving Phoebe’s name the same as it was before your, ahem, discovery. I mean, Phoebe won’t care, right? And, like others, I agree with your assessment that you are the ones who need to adjust; Phoebe is still Phoebe, after all. Finally, I feel obligated to say that my first cat (Pete) and his eventual companion (Babbington) were both male. Pete was a lover to us but a terror in the neighbourhood; Babbington, on the other hand, was one of the world’s sweeter cats (also not particularly smart). So I’m not sure that Phoebe’s standoffishness is gender-related. But hey, maybe now that he can be his true (neutered) self, he’ll start cuddling up!

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  4. How timely as we consider gender fluidity. The “not my cat” that lives in my house is male and has become quite the cuddle bug. (The neighbors moved away and left him behind, so he’s lived with me for about nine months.) He is an older cat, maybe 13-14 or so. Perhaps your kitty will grow into lazing around and snuggling. As You Like It also featured gender bending roles, so Phoebe fits right in.

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  5. Glenda, that last sentence – whatever will be – is perfect! I just love that your cat flipped genders, even though you aren’t fond of tomcats. This is quite the story ans I love the photo of you. I’ll sure be following! I can’t wait to see the adventures of Uncle Elizabeth!

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