This document is an essay on Clannish Love written by Kitsufox
I recently had a conversation with Hedgehogqueen (Player from the “Children” years, 2018 and prior) about mates and mating. One thing she said specifically was what made me think an essay on this topic was a good idea. Maybe even a needed one.
So, if their are no formal mates or romantic betrayals, pairs don’t normally “love” each other, then?Hedgehogqueen
This single sentence reflects a very western point of view, in which love and sex are intrinsically connected. This view does not allow for the way the clan society works. Or the fact that these are cats we’re talking about. We’re discussing a species for which sex is not a pleasure act (barbed penises and pain inducing ovulation are not things that indicate it would be).
Amongst the clans sex would be an act of procreation. Not an act shared by a pair “In Love” as an expression of that love (this is not to say a pair who are very fond of each other might decide that kits are a good way to create something that will last beyond their lifetime together, but that’s a choice related to procreating, not expressing love through sex). This means that sex is a practical activity, not a pleasure one. A bonded pair (I choose not to use the word “Mates” because that implies a permanence that isn’t done amongst the CoSC Clans) would not see procreation as a part of that bond. Mating and providing kits is a duty, not a side effect of a pleasurable act.
With mating located outside the bond between a pair, this means that “romantic betrayal” doesn’t come in the form of preforming a sex act with another cat because the act wouldn’t be related to love. It would be related to producing more kits for the clan, and thus providing more future warriors. I find few toms would ever say no to a queen asking them to sire a litter for her. How many opportunities do most toms realistically get when most queens have perhaps 2 litters in their entire lifetime if they’re very productive? It’s an honor, and it’s no unheard of for a tom to go to the grave without any queen having ever laid the honor of contributing to the next generation on his shoulders.
What she-cat who loved that tom would deny him that right? And on what grounds would she even get upset about such a thing? He loves her, he’s made no promises (and is expected to make no promises) to be faithful to her any way. And she wouldn’t expect such a thing of him. She’s raised in a society that gives her the right to refuse to name the sire of her litter. A society in which she has every right to bar a tom from helping her raise that litter (he has no rights to the kittens she endangered her life to bring into the world).
In short, being in love is not needed to procreate. A she-cat could even approach a tom who she detests if she thought he had traits worthy of being passed on to her kittens (though the approval of something akin to that would be challenging, OOC’ly). A truly adoring and in love tom might even refuse to mate with a she-cat out of love. It is, in the opinion of some, difficult to hurt one you truly love.