Well, the first thing I have to say is hello. I'm slashmarks; the name was actually picked when I was half asleep and staring at a cut, so it doesn't actually have anything to do with my claws, but it still feels oddly appropriate, so I think I'll keep it.
I'm a cat person. I'm not really sure what kind of cat I am, though it's almost certainly small one, since I'm skittish most of the time and much more nervous in strange territory. I don't have a lot figured out, but for the past few days I've been reading and thinking and writing things down; the description of my behavior sounds like a cat, and descriptions I've read of being cat person seem so familiar I grin the whole time I'm reading them, so I'm going with that unless and until something contradicts it.
I told myself to grow up. And I put away the definition and kept most of the behavior I'd stopped denying until now. I walked on toes and occasionally all-fours, I hissed if I was mad at someone if it wouldn't cause trouble, I spread my fingers into claws and used them if I needed to fight, I thought of my feet as my paws and imagined fur covering my skin, and I told myself I was being a normal, human teenager. This, unsurprisingly, didn't always work; I'd spend a few hours as a cat, or a wolf, knowingly, then go back to my normal life. I've stopped doing that.
I've spent most of my life knowing I wasn't human, and keeping it under the surface so I didn't have to think about it. I've always known I had fur and four legs, but I started out, as far as I can remember, as a horse. I was a horse, I galloped and trotted and did a surprisingly good approximation of a whinny, and I had sharp, hard hooves to kick with. Maybe I was a horse then; I've certainly changed an incredible amount, to the point where people who've known me for that long – like my mother - say I don't seem like the same person, even allowing for aging (I'm a teenager, if you're curious,)
Then again, I was in kindergarten when I picked up a cat's hiss for use when angry or afraid, and I was always pretty annoyed when people thought I was pretending to be a snake, and I've always bit when fighting, too, so maybe not.
At any rate, I pretty much dismissed the horse idea around second or third grade. That, interestingly enough, was also when I stopped being so obsessed with proving things, and with not contradicting Known Science; I had a few friends, and we told ghost stories and convinced ourselves we were psychics.
Another two years past. I was a fourth grader, I had friends I thought of as a pack, even if I wasn’t always the closest to them, and I identified with wolves. The faces of wolves adorned my bedroom walls, I barked and howled, and when I ran on four legs I conjured up a wolf's tail, paws, and muzzle. I think that the wolf may have been a real part of me; it's just something I've outgrown. People do change, and my memories aren’t really detailed enough to be completely sure.
As another year or two past, I became solitary. I felt alone inside the group, and stayed quiet during discussions. I didn't really feel like I had friends; more than that, I didn't feel like I needed friends. I started to think of myself, once and for all, as a loner, something that started in third grade and numerous adults never managed to overcome to get me to socialize regularly.
One day, staring at the wolf picture on my wall, I had a thought. I didn't like people; I didn't really have a pack anymore. I wasn’t social. I wasn't a dog person.
Was I a cat person?
That idea stayed with me for years, while I hiss-snarled and ran on four legs and read while sprawled out on tree limbs. In July of 2008, I stumbled across some deluded cyber dragon's website while looking for information on ABCs(alien big cats, for those of you without an interest in cryptozoology) and noticed the word "therianthrope."
I did a few searches. I was enthralled; this was who I was. I knew it, and I had an identity.
Then I lost it all for another year. But what can I say? I'm here now.
(apologies if this is somewhat incoherent. I probably should have waited until I wasn't exhausted to write this.)