Curse of the Cat People: Are UK schoolchildren really self-identifying as animals?

Some readers may recall Jacques Tourneur’s classic 1942 black-and-white horror b-movie Cat People, telling the unlikely story of one Irena Dubrovna, who suffers the unfortunate curse of having been born into a family of shape-shifting cat-people, with fatal consequences for her future love-life.

The movie – just like seemingly absolutely everything else in human existence, ever – has recently been reclaimed as some form of secret gay, lesbian or transgender metaphor. Take this reading of the allegedly “queer-coded film”, in which a non-binary movie-critic, “feeling too male to be female, and too female to be male”, claims Irena’s highly in-between panther-shifting abilities are a mere metaphor for the character’s struggle with her own supposedly part-lesbian sexuality, which finds itself constantly at war with mainstream 1940s society’s “strange, warped fixation on heteronormativity.”

That particular deluded solipsistic interpretation may have come as news to the film’s actual makers, but the idea that therians or furries – human beings who feel they are really animals of another species, trapped tragically within the wrong body – are just another rung on the seemingly never-ending LGBTQ+ ladder has recently come to the fore in the UK. Claims have been made about increasing numbers of students in the nation’s schools self-identifying as being animals: and then being indulged by their teachers in such fantasies.

Like herding cats

In mid-June, secretly recorded footage was leaked showing the aftermath of a recent lesson at Rye College in East Sussex where two thirteen-year-old girls had been reprimanded by their teacher as “despicable” and “very sad” following a so-called ‘Life Education’ class for their apparent sin of refusing to acknowledge that there may be three sexes and some indeterminate number of genders, rather than simply two of each, male and female.

The teacher promised to report the duo to a higher-up staff member, as “You need to have a proper educational conversation about equality, diversity and inclusion, because I’m not having that [opinion] expressed in my lesson,” which sounds rather exclusionary in nature to me. This is because the teacher’s own opinion about these matters was apparently “not an opinion,” but a fact, when actually the situation was precisely the reverse.

“If you don’t like it, you need to go to a different school,” the teacher added, but these days the only such establishment the kids could attend where they wouldn’t have this stuff shoved down their unwilling throats on a daily basis would be a madrassa, and neither appeared fortunate enough to have been accidentally born in the body of a Muslim.

“Where did you get this idea from, that there’s only two genders?” the teacher asked. A better question might have been “Where did you get the idea there aren’t?” Tellingly, the College’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion statement specifically commits itself towards “re-educating” any students who do not comply with new woke norms, apparently completely unaware of the innate Maoist and Stalinist implications of that phrase (or possibly just openly proud of them).

The thing which really caught public interest, however, was the apparent revelation there was one girl in the class who self-identified not as lesbian, bi or trans, but as a cat. The school has since denied they possess any wannabe kittens at all, but this was contradicted by the direct testimony of one of the disciplined girl’s mothers, who told the Daily Mail tabloid she was “proud” of her daughter’s resistance, and spoke of how there was indeed a girl in the class who claimed to be feline.

According to the mother, the cat-child argued anyone could identify as anything, to which her daughter replied “so if I identify as a kangaroo then I can say I’m a kangaroo?!” Here, several other kids (human ones, not baby goats) commendably started laughing, prompting the cat-child to burst into tears.

The Daily Mail subsequently spoke to one of the thirteen-year-old rebels via telephone, who said “I don’t know why this girl identifies as a cat. She just does. There’s nothing about her that would make you believe she thinks she is one.” She doesn’t even bother to turn up to school wearing a collar around her neck with a little bell on it, then: but some ‘trans women’ these days don’t even bother to shave off their beards or take off their building-site overalls any more either, do they?


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The school’s insistence they have no kittens in attendance is also undermined by footage of the telling-off in which the teacher rants “How dare you? You just really upset someone, saying things like [you] should be in an asylum” when the girl in question should really have been in Battersea Cats’ Home. “I didn’t say that,” one of the girls responded. “I just said if they want to identify as a cow or something, then they are genuinely unwell, and they’re crazy.” Out of the mouths of babes, as they say …

Shaggy cat stories?

Given all this, how precisely can Rye College deny they have a pupil who self-identifies as a cat? A charitable interpretation would be to guess perhaps the child had simply raised the hypothetical prospect of her identifying as one, and the other two girls had then misinterpreted what she meant.  

Either way, the gay-captured elements of the British media like Pink News soon went into overdrive trying to discredit the story, presenting it as an invention of the right-wing press and the wicked governing Conservative Party, some of whose MPs called for an investigation of Rye College. Supposedly, the Conservatives were using the tale as a distraction from Britain’s current economic woes, or as a means of helping push allegedly ‘draconian’ new transgender-related guidance onto schools, ensuring only biological girls can compete against other biological girls during sports lessons and suchlike.  

Particularly vociferous was activist broadcaster Natasha Devon, a self-identified “left-leaning gob on a stick” who was briefly appointed by the Department of Education as its first ever “mental health champion” for schools in 2015; Devon herself has suffered from crippling anxiety and eating disorders, so inviting someone like her into schools to lecture children about their mental health seems about as wise as inviting a man who self-identifies as a fish to teach the kids about avoiding alcoholism. According to Devon, who is a known transgender partisan:

“I feel like it’s been blown totally out proportion. To be clear, I’m in three schools a week all over the UK [this may be part of the problem]. I’ve never met a pupil, I’ve never met a teacher or a parent, who has ever talked about anybody identifying as a cat. And if they did, I would assume it was a teenager messing about … So it’s definitely not a trend in the way that it has been presented. And this is very much about trying to delegitimise those young people who are trans.”

As per usual with today’s leftists, Devon then went on to try and reverse reality by painting the teacher as the victim here, and the pupils as the criminals:

“There’s a lot of fear now around what you can and can’t say in a classroom and not being able to answer young people’s inquiries honestly. What teachers should do is provide a factual counterpoint to a lot of what students are seeing on social media around sex and relationships education. And teachers are not able to do that effectively, because they’re so worried about the consequences of something being taken out of context and then a parent writing on Facebook and it being picked up by the tabloids.”

There is indeed “a lot of fear now about what you can and can’t say in a classroom” about transgender issues in Britain, as I have shown previously on MercatorNet, but not in the way Devon paints it. According to the contrasting testimony of the Christian Concern campaign group:

“Teachers who raise Christian and conservative views at school, or who raise real safeguarding concerns about gender-transitioning children, are being sacked and banned from the profession indefinitely. Will the Teaching Regulation Agency take similar action if a complaint about this teacher and the expression of their beliefs is referred to them? [obvious answer: no] Thousands of children in primary and secondary schools are being forced to absorb extreme LGBT ideology without their parents' knowledge. Students are having to resort to recording what is being imposed on them in the classroom to protect themselves and expose to their parents and wider world what is happening.”

But no, continued Devon on her LBC Radio show, this is not the case at all; the right-wing media hoo-ha over the story was simply “recycled homophobia”, an attempt to exploit the supposedly fictional image of cat-children to undermine the rights of persecuted real-life trans youth in schools, “the 2023 version of ‘if a man is allowed to marry another man, he will eventually want to marry his dog’” (another thing which has actually since happened, by the way, but never mind – see also the website, run by a “pet and partners priest” named Dominique Lesbirel).

Previous stories from America about schools supposedly acquiring cat-litter trays for cat-children to go to the toilet in had since proven to be false, Devon said, which is quite true – but just because, for example, some women cry rape falsely, does this automatically make all such accusations untrue?

cat furries

No, because in 2022 US conservative website The Federalist revealed the existence of e-mails and photos proving one Colorado school district really did have a substantial problem with kids pretending to be cats and dogs in their schools, and had then lied to parents and the media about it to cover affairs up. When one Republican political candidate, Heidi Ganahl, tried to warn the public, she was smeared by opponents as spreading yet another variant of the fake cat-litter-in-the-classroom urban myth – even though a) Ganahl never at any point mentioned litter-trays and b) the story about kids identifying as animals was completely true.

As so often, then, the valiant slayer of misinformation Natasha Devon was actually spreading misinformation herself. The whole story was a mere invention, “all a way to delegitimise trans people and malign the entire LGBTQ community” concluded Devon on her LBC show. Really?

Bi-curiosity killed the cat

I have been expecting something like this to happen since 2018, when I heard of Bryn Mawr College in America, where guidance was given compelling students to address one another with a wide range of stupid, made-up neo-pronouns, despite the ironic fact the college was in a fact a female-only one. Nonetheless, online links were provided to a long list of animal pronouns these girls could use if they woke up one morning and decided they were really female hamsters rather than female humans:










They even had a specific pronoun-list for those who believed they were cats of all species:










panth/panthes/pantheself [for the sole use of Irena Dubrovna]


Even worse, those who thought they were really insects could make use of the following labels:







The only person who should be allowed to refer to his “spider-self” is surely Peter Parker. By the way, if you’re old-fashioned enough to still think of yourself as human, the guide helpfully suggests you go by the neo-pronouns hu/hu/hume/humeself.

And, if you do doubt this kind of lycanthropic madness really is being actively promoted by at least some ideologues in Western schools, take a look at this 2018 resource for US school counsellors, ‘Making a Safe Place for Students Who Identify as Furries, Therians and Otherkins’ (an ‘otherkin’ being someone who thinks they are an imaginary creature like a dragon, unicorn, werewolf, vampire, centaur, Frankenstein’s Monster or android: the term was coined in the 1990s in online communities run by an alleged ‘elf’ called R’ykanadar Korra’ti).

The resource’s author, a counsellor herself, specifically speaks of encountering a boy dressed as an animal crying in her office because the other children made fun of him. They should have been actively encouraged to do so, but instead the counsellor recommends such bullies be urged to “be an ally” to cat-kids, and advises other counsellors to “listen without judgement” to any animal-children they meet. But they should be judged, shouldn’t they? Perhaps such individuals do deserve some sympathy, in the strictly limited sense of being given remedial medical treatment, but they should not be affirmed in their delusions. Today, it increasingly seems that the true role of “mental health champions” in our schools is actually to inspire the children to become more and more mentally ill.

When the cat’s away, the mice will play

Contrary to Natasha Devon’s airy dismissal, in terms of the recent UK cat-child outbreak, the Daily Telegraph broadsheet performed a follow-up investigation, discovering other UK schools where pupils self-identified not only as cats, but also as dinosaurs and horses. They even found one child who self-identifies as a moon (not ‘the’ moon, ‘a’ moon, although it is unclear which precise one) who wishes to be referred to as ‘moonself’ and swans around in class wearing a cape and placing curses on people, with no apparent resistance from his moronic or spineless teachers.

The newspaper also interviewed one Welsh student who spoke of a fellow pupil who “feels very discriminated against if you do not refer to them as ‘catself’” and who only answers questions in class by meowing, whilst “the teachers are not allowed to get annoyed about this because it’s seen as discriminating.”

The other children were certainly growing increasingly annoyed with this circus, though, as such individuals, being allowed to wear accessories like capes, tails and cloaks, were being given preferential treatment over the other kids, who were reprimanded for comparatively trivial uniform violations like having non-standard haircuts or wearing make-up. As the interviewed pupil accurately said, this was all very “distracting” for the other children’s education. (Of course, the solution here is actually really simple – if the child truly is a cat, then cats don’t go to school, so the headmaster would be perfectly within his rights to expel her immediately, or perhaps even to tie her up in a lead-weighted bag and toss her into the nearest canal).

The Telegraph also interviewed Katharine Birbalsingh, a well-known disciplinarian British headmistress, who had given a speech warning of the therian phenomenon in schools in May, and been accused, as per the standard pattern here, of lying. Yet she herself knew personally of one school where a whole group of girls crawled around pretending to be cats, and even of one child who self-identified as “a gay hologram”. Why didn’t more people know about this, then? Because “Teachers are not allowed to tell you what is going on in their schools. They are scared of getting into trouble.” So, once again, the exact reverse of the situation described by the likes of Natasha Devon.

No matter what “mental health champions” like Devon say, this clearly is going on, isn’t it? The question is: why? Are the children involved mentally ill, suffering from yet another form of psychological social contagion, or are they just exploiting the situation to make fun of their gullible, lefty teachers? Probably a bit of both. For Katharine Birbalsingh, the answer is as follows:

This is not a school problem, it is a societal problem. As a society we have lost our way. Teachers and parents have allowed children to lead the way and adult authority has completely dissolved … We are scared of our children, we are scared of our responsibility of leading, and we are shying away from our duty of looking after our children. It starts from when they are babies or toddlers and we give them a choice of food, rather than showing them to eat what’s in front of them.”

Precisely. First of all you let them get away without eating their greens, the next thing you know they’re demanding nothing but Whiskas straight from a bowl.

Crying wolf

An equally interesting question is why are left-wingers and queer activists like Natasha Devon trying so hard to deny this is happening? I suspect it is because the phenomenon of kids pretending to be cats is so absurd and so obviously a manifestation of socially transmissible mental illness that wider awareness of the phenomenon would help reveal the current wave of mass transgenderism amongst teens to be a similar kind of social contagion, just in a (slightly) less obviously ludicrous form.

Interestingly, many transgenderists are directly opposed to use of the term “trans-species” to describe animal-people instead of terms like therians or furries, for this very reason. They also no doubt don’t want the fact that a disproportionate number of therians are autistic to be widely publicised – it echoes much too directly the equally concealed fact that a disproportionate number of trans kids are likewise sufferers from autism and allied conditions.

Up until extremely recently, anyone self-identifying as an animal would have been immediately recognised as a lunatic – literally howling mad, like a werewolf. The classic case appeared in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease in 1990, describing the case of a young American man who had been tied to a tree by his abusive parents as a child, during which ordeal he had become such close friends with the family cat, Tiffany, that she had taught him how to “speak cat” before becoming both his surrogate parent and his lover. When released from his bonds, the boy had then gone on hunting expeditions with the neighbourhood cats, catching and eating small prey, before sleeping with several of them too, in monogamous sexual relationships.

Tiffany encouraged him to “come out of the closet” as a cat-person with his human friends, but the boy was becoming increasingly convinced he was not a normal domestic feline but actually a tiger due to “his large build”, falling in love with one beast of this same species named Dolly at the local zoo, and trying to hang himself once she was sold off to an Asian menagerie. As an adult, the patient wore tiger-striped clothes and affected bizarre hair and a beard which lent him a distinctly feline demeanour. Yet, previous decades being less ideologically degenerate than our own, the man was not indulged in his delusions, but given medication, psychotherapy and electroconvulsive treatment. Today, he would probably have been asked to meet Joe Biden at the White House during Pride Month (although that would have been much more appropriate for a lion-man).

Kids who think they are cats aren’t cats. They have just been tricked into thinking so by ideologues and groomers. The more adults who can be made to see this, and to realise how easy it is for certain vulnerable infant minds (i.e. mainly autistic, emotionally abused or disturbed ones) to be fooled into thinking they are something other than what they actually physically are in actual fact, the more adults will come to realise that this is precisely what is going on when a previously normal-seeming little girl suddenly decides that, contrary to all appearances, she is actually a hulking six-foot-tall man with a beard called Brian.

Lying that a little girl is a little boy because she imagines she has a penis is no more absurd than lying that a little girl is a little kitten because she imagines she has a tail. Exposing the one lie therefore helps expose the other by analogy. And this, of course, is why the ‘myth’ of animal-kids in schools has to be falsely ‘exposed’ and ‘debunked’ by the left. Don’t let them. If you know any instances of this happening, let friendly media and politicians know, or encourage your kids to record footage as proof. This is a gift-horse not to be looked in the mouth.

Some of those mischievous kids who prance around pretending to be moon-children as (I hope) a joke before being bowed down to in supine compliance by the idiotic adult teachers around them are actually doing wider society an immense favour. I sincerely hope to read in future weeks and months about an uncontrollable wave of little reprobates squawking through Britain’s school gates every day before fraudulently identifying as microwave ovens, coffee-grinders, howler monkeys, pterodactyls, flying saucers, great crested newts, Roman Emperors, asteroids, lightbulbs, machine-guns, Post-It notes, crayons, Cybermen, fictional pagan gods, Pokémon and ant’s nests, in order to bring the entire corrupt system of state-enforced trans-worship crashing down to its knees around them.

Maybe some more daring schoolboy satirists could even self-identify as teachers, sit the supposed ‘adults’ in charge of educating them these days down at their desks, draw a couple of simple but accurate anatomical diagrams on the whiteboards and teach them when men and women are?


Steven Tucker is a UK-based writer with over ten books to his name. His next, Hitler’s & Stalin’s Misuse of Science, comparing the woke pseudoscience of today to the totalitarian pseudoscience of the past, will be published in summer 2023.

Image Credits: Pexels; Wikipedia



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