Why “feline fetishes?” A number of reasons. First, by challenging authors to write something that “connected the feline universe to the erotic one” we were assured that we wouldn’t be seeing anything typical or run-of-the-mill. Secondly, both the publisher and editor have a “thing” for cats. And third, there was something about the thought of feline erotica that just sounded right.
But of course there was. Our cultural references all connect the cat to the sexual, viz: common slang for the female genitalia, a sexuallv aggressive female is a “tigress,” but if she’s real cute she’s a “sex kitten,” a house of prostitution is a “cat house,” and so on. In pop culture the feline has always carried with it a certain air of eroticism. Think of Catwoman, the only woman Batman ever loved in the old comic book and TV show. (And now Tim Burton’s gone one more step to make her an SM/fetish goddess, up there with Emma Peel and Bettie Page). Or in the Billy Crystal film When Harry Met Sally, when the line “You made a woman meow!?” was delivered. Or the ultimate cat-lover’s film, Cat People. The 1980s remake of the classic film was billed as “an erotic thriller about the animal in us all.”
With stories of cat aliens, cat gods, cats who turn into humans, and more, these authors have made the connection between the feline universe and the erotic one explicit, exploring that juncture through fantasy and science fiction in a way it cannot be examined in the so-called real world.
Contains stories by Lauren P. Burka, K. A. Kristiansen, Mary Malmros, and Reina Delacroix.
Look under the cut for a hot excerpt…
from “Courtship Rites” by Reina Delacroix
“Duke Varek, sir?”
I acknowledged Kattor’s presence with a slight nod, but did not
rise. Depression, bred of frustration,lay heavily upon me.
“You should not sit here in the dark, my lord. Shall I set the globes aflame?” I nodded again. The warm humidity of late spring in equatorial Mirvun weighed my limbs down as if invisible chains clung to each extremity. Like most Kalis, I prefer the cold crisp weather of our homelands in the mountains; if I were in Kalissanne now–
But there was no use in thinking of Kalissanne; Kalissanne was no longer mine. My younger brother Darez, now king, had seen to that when he accused me of treason. No Kalith land could harbor me after that, and my servant Kattor and I had been lucky to reach the border ahead of the three days’ outlawry. Even the Mrumman provinces closest to Kalissanne were uneasy with my presence, and so I had made my outcast way to Mirvun, where Lord Jatur welcomed me for my late father’s sake, if not my own. Now I was truly in alien lands, in alien hands, and if my situation wasn’t precarious enough, I could easily make it more so.
“What is the time, Kattor?”
“Ten at night, my lord.”
“No, tell me in Mrumman terms. If I am to remain here, I must learn to live as my hosts do.”
“They say ‘two-night,’ sir, as their hour of arising is eight at night.”
I grumbled as I too arose. “How appropriate for a race which legend has descending from cats. It saves them from working under the hellish noonday sun they have here, though, so I suppose it’s sensible.”
“Do not laugh at legend, Duke,” came a low, purring voice from the doorway.”If you are to stay with us, you will come to know the truth of our legend.”
I looked up, startled by the sound of a Mrumman voice speaking my own language, its husky contralto vibrating even the harshest of consonants. Suddenly I knew how the prey of a cat must feel: trapped, helpless, and fascinated. The eyes–almond-shaped, jewel green around the slit iris–would have caught me alone, but the voice held me as secure as any cage. It held such promise it made my chest squeeze tightly around my heart.
I wasn’t sure if the speaker was a man or a woman, but it didn’t matter to me. With all the calculated sexuality of my brother’s court, Kalis had become masters of perversion; gender would be no barrier to me, though what it might be to Mrumma I had as yet no idea.
I recognized the speaker; in the confusion of my unheralded arrival the previous evening, Jatur had introduced him/her as Ruzhe, youngest of his siblings. Youngest what? I could not remember him saying. Ruzhe, standing in the shadows, had not spoken, merely nodded; if I had heard that husky voice then, I would have remembered it and pursued it as I intended to now.
I switched to the Mrumman language, Dumnan, to acknowledge the honor of a greeting in my native Kaita. “I did not mean to make light of your beliefs. Please forgive my ignorance. Perhaps you would teach me Mrumman ways–” I stopped, not wanting to offend by giving this Mrumma the wrong title. Already I knew that Mrumma were prickly about protocol.
“Perhaps…” began the slow, pensive answer. “It must be difficult for you, leaving your family and friends, making a new home in a land you don’t understand.” Ruzhe looked carefully at my baggage, at Kattor who was making my bed with a great show of pretended disinterest in our presence, and finally-it seemed unwillingly–at my pajamas of silver satin, but never directly at my face. There were many elaborate rituals of eye contact, or lack of contact, in Mrumma society; this looked to be a gesture of tentative, but non-invasive, interest.
The simple gentleness of his/her comment would have been an object of derision in my old life, but here the unexpected sympathy touched me. “I have not had much time to consider it,” I lied blithely. “Running for one’s life doesn’t leave much time for contemplation.”
“But now you have come to rest here,” Ruzhe replied, the soft voice a deep throb, almost a growl. Still this one would not look directly at me, so why did that very indirectness strike me as a welcome, almost an invitation? “Maybe in time you will come to love us for our own sake.”
Was this was Mrumman flirting? If so, I had to respond in kind.
“Maybe you will help me with that.”
I saw Ruzhe flush, even through the fawn-brown skin, and I worried I had gone too far. But the response came in an even tone, “There’s no time for us to talk now, Duke Varek. Jatur sent me to ask you to see him in his chambers by three-night. But I’ll be in the gardens until four-night, and then once I groom myself I usually go to the palace library until midmeal.”
I kept my gaze firmly on the table. Two could play whatever this game was. “I’ll seek you out there, then.” As my visitor turned to go, I glanced up and saw, very distinctly, that each finger ended in an inset claw. And that a fine line of chestnut fur ran down the nape of the neck into the back of the red and gold tunic.
I had thought I was cynical, and immune to love.
There were more surprises in store.
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Feline Fetishes takes the link between the feline and the erotic to its logical conclusion. With stories of cat aliens, cat gods, cats who turn into humans, and more, these authors have made the connection between the feline universe and the erotic one explicit, exploring that juncture through fantasy and science fiction in a way it cannot be examined in the so-called real world.