Queer ecologies of home: heteronormativity, speciesism, and the strange intimacies of crazy cat ladies

Queer ecologies of home: heteronormativity, speciesism, and the strange intimacies of crazy cat ladies
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[Ed. – No lie.  Taylor & Francis is legit, as is the Gender, Place and Culture Journal of Feminist Geography.  This really happened.]

This article extends Morrison, Johnston, and Longhurst’s argument that love is spatial, relational, and political by tracing the ways that home situates both intra- and interspecies intimacy. It examines the ‘crazy cat lady’ as a discourse that entangles heteronormative and speciesist rules for loving, living, and making ‘a home.’ In a post-industrial moment when pet love has become a centerpiece of ‘normal’ life, the crazy cat lady occupies a queer periphery. She not only loves cats too much, she loves them more than humans, instead of a husband, and literally in place of heteronormative domesticity. To understand these complicit logics, this article reconceptualizes home as a queer ecology in which the sociospatial politics of nature, gender, humanity, sexuality, animality, domesticity, and intimacy collide. Using this framework, this article examines how women-with-cats–the ‘real’ crazy cat ladies–(re)inhabit normative ideals in their everyday practices and how this multispecies homemaking unfolds through more-than-human agencies. In queering ecologies of home, this article offers animal, posthumanist, feminist and queer geographers of home, as well as everyday homemakers, a wi(l)der bestiary of conceptual tools to understand intimacies that entangle across the boundaries of home/nature, wild/domestic, queer/straight and human/animal.

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