Otherkin Blogging Day 6–Kintype(s): Facts and fiction

This is really vague, so I’m going to assume it’s about stereotypes and truths about each of my kintypes so here goes:

Wolves.

Probably my biggest pet peeve is seeing wolfaboos and the Wolfie Blackheart crowd forming “packs” with Greek alphabet ranks (alphas, betas, omegas, etc) because that was LONG disproven as a structure of wolf packs in the wild. See here. Wolves live in family units, and the “alphas” are simply the mother and father. There is a complex hierarchy, but the Greek alphabet thing needs to die.

The myth of the “lone wolf” irks me a bit, too. A wolf on it’s own for too long will eventually starve as it’s hard enough for a whole pack working together to make a kill, let alone a single wolf. Dispersal wolves are more than likely what people are referring to when they talk about “lone wolves” and they’re simply adult wolves who have reached sexual maturity and gone off in search of a mate to begin their own family. Most often they scavenge until they find their mate, and then they work together to hunt until their pups grow up and give further support.

Now, Cheshire is actually a very interesting one to talk about for me.

The Cheshire Cat is thought by most people to be an invention of Charles Dodgeson’s (AKA Lewis Carroll) in his book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. However, it seems that the term “grinning like a Cheshire cat” existed at least 70 years prior to the popularization of it in the famous book and was first mentioned in Peter Pindar’s Pair of Lyric Epistles published in 1792. The term “to grin like a Cheshire Cat” has several possible origins, my favorite being the possible influence of carvings of grinning cats outside churches Dodgeson may have frequented–most notably St. Wilfrid’s, which was in a village adjacent to his birthplace in Daresbury, Cheshire.

One of the cat carvings from St. Wilfrid’s Church

Some of the other possible explanations include it being a reference to a specific kind of cheese made in Cheshire that was carved to look like a grinning cat, that it’s a reference to the heraldic Lions of England on the arms of the first Earl of Chester, or that it may have come from wonky-looking inn signs depicting lions (rather poorly) which were sometimes referred to as cats.

No one has pinned it down exactly, but it all makes for a history as fascinating and mysterious as the beast itself, for sure!

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