It’s a question I’ve been asked on and off throughout my life. It’s a social question. You know – like, “How’s the weather in your part of the  world?” or “Have you seen the latest Marvel movie?”. How you relate to animals is something most people are curious about, whether that’s because they are cat or dog lovers or whether it is in fact a sly plot to get to meet your own furry friends (Yes, that means it’s a tactic I’ve used in the past… successfully). Our languages and cultures are suffused with animals from the stories we tell to our little ones – metaphors and life lessons in sheeps’, wolves and any other furry, feathered or finned clothing – down to the role that they play in our everyday lives. Knowing which animals people like, helps us get to know other people’s personalities.

cat and puppy friendship- meeting meet

You have the sayings – metaphors, idioms or similes – such as […] “fighting like cats and dogs”, “raining cats and dogs”, “working like a dog”, “strong as an ox” and “flogging a dead horse” for example. Some references are positive and some, not so positive but throughout our language you can find references to animals in one way or another. Animals feature heavily in myths and legends and you only have to take one look at any Disney film and you’re sure to find animals galore!

But what about our own personal preferences? I’ve been asked many a time whether I consider myself a “cat person” or a “dog person” and every single time, without fail, I’ve found myself stumped by that question. In all honesty, I’d be more likely to consider myself a “dolphin person” but then I’m not about to go out and get one as a pet. I suppose the question that is being asked is, to which animal am I more likely to connect with or align myself to. Which do I favour?

I favour them all – dogs, cats, chickens, birds, fish, horses (ok maybe not so much horses… They’re very big… !) even skunks, iguanas and snakes. I can see the merits each animal brings “to the table” so to speak. If we look at the Orca (Orcinus orca), or the Killer Whale, – and yes, one of my favourite creatures of all – from a Shamanistic perspective, they are considered the Creator of the Cosmos, that use the vibrational energy of song to heal. They see the unseen and teach the ability to seal soul fissures and energy leaks (Courtesy of animalspirits.com). In my own experience, whilst I have never seen a wild Orca, I have dreamt of them and like horses, they command respect as the graceful leviathans that they are.

According to coastal Indians, Orca was created by the hunter who carved a “blackfish” out of yellow cedar and commanded it to kill his wicked in-laws. Orca tore the men to bits and returned to the Tlingit man, Natsalane, who then ordered the sleek animals never again to prey on humans. And, to this day, Orca, the top predator of the sea, doesn’t eat people. Indeed, the Tlingit people of southeast Alaska consider Orca a custodian of the sea.” (From animalspirits.com)

Orcinus Orca, Sea Wolves or Guardians of the Deep

Orcinus Orca, Sea Wolves or Guardians of the Deep

So next time you are thinking about whether you’re a cat person or a dog person, ask yourself what your values are, how they match with your favourite animal or perhaps your Spirit Guide even. It could be that you’re an “other” animal person.