Like most little girls, I had a deep love of animals. A few in particular rose above the rest, however. My mother gently told me that unicorns were extinct, which prompted me to decide that my favorite animals should probably rank among the living. And possibly the existing, which meant gryphons and dragons were ruled out, too. Naturally, since I was a little girl and most of us are the same, my favorites were horses… and cats.
|Narayan, a Bengal tiger at the Memphis Zoo|
Not just house cats, though, no. I was in love with the big cats. I fantasized about petting a tiger and spent quite a few months of my childhood pining after the giant stuffed white tiger at the store. I never did get that tiger, but that’s okay. I still have most of my stuffed animals, and I’m not sure where a giant stuffed tiger would fit.
My mother kept me active in children’s events at the local library, which exposed me not only to books, but to a number of interesting things. One such thing was a traveling petting zoo. Much to my delight, the two stars of the petting zoo were cats. Big cats. Okay, they were baby big cats. But still, how many people get to grow up and tell people that they once stroked the fur of a sleeping lion, or that they were clawed by a cheetah? Schemer didn’t mean to scratch me, of course, he can’t help that his claws lack the retractable nature that other cats have.
Conveniently in line with my love of big cats is that the lion is sort of my husband’s totem animal. His only tattoo is that of a stylized lion’s head (which is actually an emblem from a video game, the game this post’s title comes from, but we can talk about that another time) and “Lion” has long been a name he uses online.
Lions represent a lot of things. Strength, courage, pride. Running even deeper, for him, is that the lion is often associated with the sun, and my husband’s name is associated with Aztec sun gods. Lions are also viewed as guardians and protectors. The animal suits him, my husband is definitely a lion, though perhaps a tame one now.
But what about me? Well, lionesses are viewed just a little differently. Where the lion is associated with the sun, the lioness is associated with the moon. The lion represents power and dignity in daily life, the lioness represents power in subconscious thought and dreaming. Together, the lion and lioness represent balance.
It’s a little funny, since I’ve always been a night person, and someone known to be often lost in thought and dreaming vividly at night. Throughout the day I look to him for leadership, and as we’re married, I find his strength slowly rubbing off on me.
So, maybe I’m a lion, too – A lioness, that is.
What animal best represents you?