“No one writes about the subjects of sexuality, desire, the shadow, and diabolism with such relish, and when I read her words I feel both smarter and less afraid of my own ‘tabooed’ feelings and thoughts. Like a cat, Kristen sees in the dark, as she guides us gracefully forward with her vision of unapologetic, feminine power.” —From the Foreword by Pam Grossman, author of Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power
The cat: A sensual shapeshifter. A hearth keeper, aloof, tail aloft, stalking vermin. A satanic accomplice. A beloved familiar. A social media darling. A euphemism for reproductive parts. An epithet for the weak. A knitted—and contested—hat on millions of marchers, fists in the air, pink pointed ears poking skyward. Cats and cat references are ubiquitous in art, pop culture, politics, and the occult, and throughout history, they have most often been coded female.
From the “crazy cat lady” unbowed by patriarchal prescriptions to the coveted sex kitten to the dreadful crone and her yowling compatriot, feminine feline archetypes reveal the ways in which women have been revered and reviled around the world—in Greek and Egyptian mythology, the European witch trials, Japanese folklore, and contemporary film.
By combining historical research, pop culture, art analyses, and original interviews, Cat Call explores the cat and its indivisible connection to femininity and teases out how this connection can help us better understand the relationship between myth, history, magic, womanhood in the digital age, and our beloved, clawed companions.