Yoga people like to name their various body positions after animals. They call them poses. (Does this make them posers?) There’s cobra pose, and scorpion pose, and fish pose, and turtle pose, and on and on the list goes. Not surprisingly, there’s dog pose and cat pose, and they come in varieties, just like the animals.
I’m not sure what this type of transference would be called. If anthropomorphism is “the attribution of uniquely human characteristics to non-human creatures,” then what would you call its opposite?
Our cat Emma is a cat. But she feels no special connection to “cat pose.” When asked about it, she said, “Cat pose is merely one of many elegant poses that come naturally to me.” Thanks to the modern telephone, Kay and I captured two of Emma’s more unique poses in photographs. In the first picture, Emma is on Kay’s back. This is called the “As soon as you get up I’m going to attack that string and drag it through the house while making loud whining sounds” pose.
Next is a picture of Emma snuggled down on me, demonstrating the “I bet I can hold my pose longer than you can hold yours” pose.