What is a kintype, really?

A kintype is a label put on a set of otherwise strange and unexplained experiences, feelings, and behaviors, to make them make sense and give them context.

For (very simple) example: Mary grows up feeling the strange sensation of another pair of ears on top of her head. Its so intense sometimes, that she covers ‘that’ set of ears, rather than her real ones sometimes when exposed to loud noises. She loves naps, and she can be easily distracted by sudden movements. She sometimes likes to go upstairs on all fours, and she has dreams where she’s much smaller, and went on four feet and had a tail.

By themselves, all of these experiences make no sense to Mary. They are confusing, and sometimes distressing because she doesn’t know what causes them. Her friends don’t feel strange sensations on top of their head, and they don’t get the urge to chase mice.

However, when Mary discovers the label ‘catkin’ and applies it to herself, all of these experiences are easy to understand. They are ‘because’ she is catkin. Now that Mary has a label for what she is feeling, she can understand those feelings and urges and put them in a mental ‘box’ so that they are no longer confusing and distressing. She can interact with other people who have experiences similar to hers. She can assign meaning, and origin, psychological or spiritual, to her kintype. 

Mary doesn’t ‘become’ catkin, because she decided to use that label. Rather she is using the label to describe feelings and experiences that she has already had in her life, and could not otherwise explain.

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