26 February 2012

Another Pronoun Problem?

It seems I just can't get away from that issue of pronouns.

Actually, it's been a while since anyone's addressed me with male pronouns in face-to-face situations.  Sometimes I'm still referred to as "sir" or "mister" when I talk on the telephone, particularly in stressful situations or when I have to be assertive.  Otherwise, though, I never hear them, and whenever I walk into a store or other public place, people say, "Can I help you ma'am?"  On occasion, they'll call me "miss."  That gets them good-sized tips. ;-)

Anyway, someone else in my life has a "pronoun problem."  Perhaps I'll be accused of "transferring" mine!

It seems that everyone with whom I've talked about Marley has referred to him at least once as "she" or "her."  Even Stephanie, who rescued him, and Millie, who has seen him, have referred to him that way.  

I guess people associate cats with femininity and often assume a cat is female until they find out otherwise.  In Marley's case, he's still a kitten (though rather large for his estimated seven months) and is very, very cuddly.  And, even when he runs or has his little tussles with Max, his body language, if you will, seems almost feminine at times.

His "identity crisis" may also have to do with his looks--he's what many people would call "pretty" or "beautiful".  I see him that way, too, but I think of him as being rather boyish.  

Still, I find people confusing his gender to be ironic, and just plain funny.  Maybe one day he'll come up to me and say, "There's something I have to tell you.  I'm not Marley; I'm Marlene..."  Even if he does, I'll still love him.