Musings on an Unknown Theriotype: Part 3; 12/8/2007

(Parts 1 & 2)

Still no conclusion on my third theriotype, but I can say that I’m making progress and getting closer to a more solid answer (unless something leads me astray from the animals I’m currently considering it to be, but so far I haven’t noticed that).  It’s been about a year since I ‘officially’ stated that I am not a canine therian and did not know my third theriotype, and in a month or two it will mark a year since I first really began considering mongoose as my theriotype, but currently I can’t state I am a mongoose therian with enough personal verification.  This journey hasn’t been one of those stories of people scouring the internet or books and coming across animals or seeing an animal on TV or in the zoo and just “instantly knowing” that was the correct theriotype.  Instead, this has been a rather confusing, vague, extensive (2 and a half years since I first really questioned that my theriotype wasn’t wolf), and passive type of search–so much of it has been taking some time for a few days or a week or so to get a new “lead” on what the ‘type could be and then spending a few weeks to a few months just letting that idea ‘sit’ in my mind and continuing to observe and more passively put pieces together to see what does and does not fit and if the most recent ‘lead’ at that time should be thrown out completely or what areas of it I should look into further because there might be credence in it or parts of it.  I’ve tried numerous tactics of figuring out my theriotypes or specifics of them, and this manner I’ve tried for the past year has been the hardest one to describe the process and explain well why and how this or that does or does not “fit” and make sense.

Previously, I’ve started with a concept of an animal and looked into species information on it, photos, and whatever I could find to see if it fit (usually looking for that mental “click”, as some call it, that seems to mean “that’s right”), but this time that part of the process came later in the journey rather than initially (once I got passed the part of thinking I was canine)–I had to clear my thoughts of what I thought I felt and thought I knew until I was left with the feeling and understanding that yes, I do have a third theriotype and it is mammalian, and further from there I slowly (over the course of months, now almost a year) added attributes to my understanding of the concept of that animal.  I’ve tried to avoid trapping myself into boxes and just simply “settling” on something just because it seemed close, instead I’ve continued to develop that concept (done through feelings–physical/sensation-based, phantom, and mental–understanding, and vague mental images) and tried to sort out what aspects and feelings belong with what parts of myself (human, horse, cat, unknown third ‘type, avian-like, other), and from there I have searched for an animal that fits with this concept I’ve developed.  Don’t ask me to thoroughly explain how I developed that concept because even I can’t seem to put that into words, but it’s not something as simple as “I saw it in a vision/dream/meditation” and it’s also not something I developed in a few nights–it has literally taken me about a year to get this far with the concept, and though most of that was done passively, that’s an important part because I have to give each idea, alteration of the concept, and development of it awhile to sit and see if it consistently resonates as ‘correct’.  But I’m not perfect, and thus neither is this concept, so there are probably still flaws to it I haven’t worked out, which could be a good reason for why I still haven’t figured out what animal is the proper one.

So, the question I’m sure people reading this are probably wondering is what have I figured out since my last entry on this subject, and what animals are the most probable possibilities?  In order from most fitting to least fitting: mongoose, ground squirrel, tree squirrel, [mustelid] marten, and other type of rodent.  Maybe one of those fits, any of them (no matter their current order), or maybe I’m just still too far off and it’s none of them.  Part of me wants to type up here some of the attributes that are part of this unknown theriotype concept I have, and though I’ll mention some of them in this entry, I’m not yet to the point of being able to explain them in a good way.  Information of species accounts isn’t something I’m yet focusing on much, though I’ve skimmed some of it for those animals, but I’m mainly staying away from it for the most part because I’m trying to go about this in a more ‘pure’ way without reading about an animal and letting it skew my perception of myself and my therianthropy so I might develop a particular bias toward something I read about a particular animal and lead me to thinking that animal fits the best.  However, I’m not completely avoiding species information–I need to read some of it to know some basics about these animals, but I’m keeping it mainly to basics and relying a lot more on what photos, video, and audio I can find of the animals, although that has presented a problem because for many of these animals that kind of media (as well as species information) is scarce to none (such as for other types of martens besides the pine marten–photos and information are rather scarce, and numerous types of mongooses I can’t find photos or info on at all online), but I’ve made good use of what I have been able to find.

Now I’ll try to break down these different animals in regards to why I have them ranked as I do, though that’s not something I can even remotely explain in full.

Top of the list, Mongoose: this has been the one I’ve considered and been drawn to consistently the longest of the ones listed here.  And although meerkats are a type of mongoose, I feel pretty sure meerkat is not my theriotype, but there are notable similarities for the fact it is a mongoose (and thus being able to watch meerkats on TV, like Animal Planet, helps in that regard), yet I can’t find myself being similar enough to them therianthropically to use them as a way to verify mongoose as my theriotype.  As far as I’ve found, if it is mongoose then it’s something more akin to a yellow mongoose or a similar-in-body but possibly more solitary type of mongoose (though here’s where I run into the problem of not finding photos, media, and much of any, if any, info on most of those, even though I’m not trying to narrow down passed mongoose, it could possibly help a lot to find more media and info on those others that may fit well).

When I see photos or video of mongooses doing their distinct standing position, it reminds me so much of my theriotype concept in how the body is structured and positioned when standing, and that they stand digitigrade–something reflective of how my body “feels” (in part phantom sensations and in part mental understanding) when I stand digitigrade (which I’m often prone to do; I know that toe-walking is common among therians, and probably just a digitigrade standing position as well, but there are specific and more distinct aspects, sensations, and mental thoughts/feelings to it when I do it).  Their forelegs are also more similar to the concept I have of my theriotype’s body, they aren’t paws, per se (like canine or feline paws), and they aren’t plantigrade (though I’m not completely sure if my theriotype’s are plantigrade or not, but the digitigrade forelegs fit better it seems so far).  Mongooses are mustelid-like, but don’t have the extra long bodies and short legs of mustelids (which I have consistently felt those attributes didn’t apply properly), and they are also cat-like and canine-like in various ways–they’re like a strange mixture of cat, canine, mustelid, and ground squirrel, which fits well with all the attributes I have repeatedly observed and noticed as parts of my theriotype’s concept.  My pull is the strongest to mongooses, however I’m not yet comfortable calling it confirmed because I still have some unresolved attributes of that concept that I feel I need to rule out from being of other types of animals (mainly the other ones in the list).

Ground Squirrel: this is a kind of interesting one that I wasn’t expecting to make it this far, but it initially came to my attention as a possibility sometime this past summer, most notably brought about through prairie dogs.  I watched most of a documentary on prairie dogs as well as got to see them at a zoo during summer this year and I noticed how much they reminded me of and seemed similar to meerkats (which I’ve also watched on TV).  They have similar behaviors, mannerisms and poses, and some similarities in social structure, and some aspects of their bodies fit with my body concept for my third theriotype, and after doing some more research I noticed that there are numerous types of ground squirrel that hold these similarities as prairie dogs do (and some may hold more similarities to my concept).  I’m also considering them because aspects of tree squirrels seem to fit well with numerous aspects of my theriotype concept, but I have ground squirrels a step above tree squirrels because of the seeming lack of my theriotype being primarily arboreal, among a few other things.

And yet, I don’t feel ground squirrel resonates with the number and quality/extent of my theriotype’s attributes as mongooses do, but I’m trying to lay to rest whatever confusion I’ve been having that’s making it difficult for me to decide most particularly between ground squirrel and mongoose.  I’d also like to note that when I think of the mentality for a ground squirrel (or most small rodents), the mentality doesn’t align nearly as well for me as mongoose does (especially with mongooses being prey-minded (some of them at least) as well as avid predators and carnivorous), but I could also very likely be misconceiving that mentality because not all small rodents, including ground squirrels, carry the mentality I perceive them to have (prairie dogs are probably a good example, though they won’t fit the predatory aspect–yet I’m unsure of the extent, if any, of the predatory part of my theriotype).  On another hand, I wonder if the reason for perceiving small rodents that way and mongooses the way I do is some indication of what my mentality in regards to my third ‘type is–in that if it isn’t rodent, then to avoid or reduce such confusion I subconsciously I don’t conceive their mentality as the same or similar enough to my theriotype’s.

Tree Squirrel: it holds some of the similarities in behavior, mannerisms, and body structure that fit numerous aspects of my concept, many are similarities that are held by ground squirrels, some more accurately portrayed through tree squirrels and some more accurately through the ground types, while as with ground squirrels they come up short in some significant areas that mongoose so far (above any other animal, that is) fits.

Marten: actually, up until recently I was still about to completely exclude mustelids from my top possibilities, but after looking up a bunch of photos and finding some videos of them, I reconsidered them.  They are the most ‘mongoose’-like of the mustelids I’ve come across, and an interesting blend between mongoose, cat, and canine (not much in the rodent aspects though).  The ferret-like and weasel-like mustelids just wouldn’t fit, particularly because of body structure (and the impact that has on their mannerisms, movement, and behavior), and badgers, fishers, skunks, and wolverines also came up too short to be considered this high on the possibilities.  I have issue with getting aspects of marten to fit though because of the pine marten’s arboreal nature–and I’m having trouble finding photos, info, and video on the other types of martens, as well as it being plantigrade, in which rodents are plantigrade as well, but the squirrel-like feet still fit better than the bear-like feet of martens, and their forelimb mannerisms are lacking in being as reflective of my theriotype concept (one that’s so far best represented through mongooses and squirrel-like rodents).

Other Rodent?: I’m not even sure this category should be on here, but I suppose it’s meant as the next highest possibility with it maybe being some other type of rodent (not tree or ground squirrel) that I just haven’t looked into enough, even picture-wise yet.  I’m doubting this one currently, but it’s higher than the things that aren’t on this list. 

So that lays out the basics of where I’m at now, and it gives you all a better idea of what point I’m at regarding this considering I’ve been immensely vague on this subject this year.  But for a bit of a change in direction, I’ll mention a little about my progress pertaining to my possible avian theriotype.  Do I even know it’s a theriotype yet? No, I don’t, I’m still slowly, and of course rather passively in manner, trying to figure that out, though my mind keeps telling me it is a theriotype, just the most fragmented of [what would be] my four ‘types.  Recently while I was looking through my animal encyclopedia/reference book for possibilities for my mammalian, third ‘type, I looked through the avian section to see if I could determine any leads on what type of bird that avian aspect is.  The possibilities I came up with are cranes (no idea what type), secretary birds, storks, seriemas, and maybe bustards (haven’t looked into them yet, but they were listed near seriemas and had some notable similarities that possibly fit with how I perceive my avian aspect).  If not any of those, then I haven’t come across the basic or specific type of bird it is or it’s something ancient and extinct (which I’ll wait quite awhile before journeying down that road–I want to exclude modern (particularly still living/extant) avians first before getting into considering it strongly as earlier avian, proto-avian, or avian-like dinosaur).