Melbourne private school teenager identifies as a cat as part of ‘furry’ trend
A teenage girl now reportedly identifies as a cat with the Melbourne private school she attends to support her ‘animal behaviour’.
Eighth-year student doesn’t talk during school hours, according to report in the Herald Sundespite being described as ‘phenomenally bright’.
A parent allegedly told the newspaper that the school allowed the girl to act like a cat as long as it didn’t distract her or other students.
“Nobody seems to have a protocol for students who identify as animals, but the approach is that if it doesn’t disrupt the school, everyone is helpful,” a source close to the family told the newspaper.
An eighth-year student at a Melbourne private girls’ school reportedly identifies as a cat, who supports the school
The school did not confirm the student’s behavior in a statement to the Herald Sun, but said the support staff were dealing with a range of psychological issues.
In a statement, the school said students presented “with a range of issues, from mental health, anxiety or identity issues.”
“Our approach is always unique to the student and we will consider professional advice and the well-being of the student,” the school said.
The girl who identifies as a cat is alleged not to talk in school, even though she is ‘phenomenally smart’
The Herald Sun also reported that there was a boy who identified himself as a dog for a while and had been treated by a Melbourne psychologist.
In March, it was reported that female students at an elite private school in Brisbane were walking on all fours and cutting holes in their uniforms for tails because they identified themselves as cats or foxes.
“When a girl sat down at a reserve desk, another girl yelled at her and said she was sitting on her tail; there’s a split in this kid’s uniform where the tail apparently is,” a concerned parent told the courier post.
The school rejected the parents’ claim.
There have been other reports of girls in Australia identifying as cats, although one school said staff were not aware of this
‘Furries’ is a subculture of people who identify as animals, often dressed up in costumes as part of what they call their ‘fursonas’.
There have been reports of students identifying as “furries” in American schools.
In January, a Michigan school district was forced to deny providing litter boxes to students who identify as “furries” after a woman made the claim at a school board meeting last month.
District Superintendent Michael E. Sharrow replied that it was “unreasonable” for him to raise the issue in an email to parents that was also posted on Facebook.
“Let me be clear in this communication. There is no truth whatsoever in this false statement/accusation! There’s never been a litter box in MPS schools,” Sharrow said.
Psychologist Judith Locke said she wasn’t surprised by the trend of people identifying as “romanticized” versions of animals
Furries is a subculture of people who identify as animals and often dress up to represent their ‘fursonas’
Brisbane psychologist Judith Locke said she was not surprised by the rise of the “hairy” trend.
She claimed it was only a matter of time before people started identifying as animals after romanticizing them in their lives, in film and television.
“But there’s a real challenge around accepting people’s decisions about how they see themselves today; it’s a fraught area.’
Australian adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said that in his 25-year practice, he had only encountered one client who identified as an animal.
The client was a young boy who identified as a dog.
dr. Carr-Gregg said that once the stressors in his life were removed, the boy resorted to identifying as human.
According to Furry website Furscience, three quarters of those who adopt “fursonas” are under the age of 25.
Furries are mostly teens and young adults, but there are plenty of adults in their late 20s and 30s in the fandom as well.
“In some cases, furries are in their 70s and 80s.”
Furry enthusiasts, seen here at a convention in the Polish city of Krakow, dress like the animals to match aspects of their personality they have or aspire to
Furscience says that fursonas are a form of ‘self-expression’ and ‘creativity’.
“Making a fursona is a creative exercise, which can have a number of psychological benefits,” the site states.
“Creating a character can help you think about who you are as a person and who you would like to become.
“For example, if you’ve always stood out in school because you were tall, having a giraffe fursona can help you feel more comfortable with your height.”
About half of the furries worldwide can be found in the US or Canada, and Australia reportedly has about one percent of those participating in the trend.
This Furry Convention in Berlin Showcases the Range of Animals People Adopt as Their ‘Fursonas’