Name: Jacks Dowd
Hair: Dirty blond
Occupation: College drop-out
Welcome, Jacks! I’ll start by asking the question I suspect most readers would like to know: how did you become a werecat?
Yeah, I actually get sick of being asked that question. It’s like this: there’s a potential that’s passed down and then there’s shifter magi who perform the rearing ritual. My boyfriend Benoit is a magi and he brought out my feline manifestation.
What do you mean by ‘potential?’
Well, shifting has its roots in ancient native traditions. Religions across the world used to worship big cats. They knew about feline souls and how to invoke them and learn from them. That’s part of my ancestry from the Cherokee who called upon the cougar spirit for bravery and protection of their people.
When you ‘shift,’ you change completely into a big cat. What do you like better: being a man or a cat?
That’s like the second most common question I get asked. People want to know what it feels like being a cat, and that’s pretty much impossible to explain. Try explaining what it feels like being a human. Besides, it’s not a choice of either/or. I’m both man and cat. I like my human and my feline bodies equally.
Did you have any idea you were a werecat before you were ‘reared?’
Honestly no. My parents never even told me we had Cherokee blood in our family. I think, like a lot of families, they thought it was something that would make them stand out as less White or less American. They never learned about the Cherokee or kept any of their traditions so of course they didn’t tell me about cougar spirits or anything like that.
So what was that discovery like for you?
It was incredibly tough at first. When I came out as gay at fifteen years old, that was tough. But facing the fact I possess two natures was a million times harder. I couldn’t tell my closest friends or my family – I still can’t – because they would think that I’m crazy or a freak. I basically had to drop out of life. I gave up everything.
But personally, it’s something that I’ve learned to be proud of. I mean, how many people can transform into a two-hundred pound mountain lion? It’s cool, and there’s a bond among cats that I never would have experienced before. I know my ancestors would be proud of me.
Were you raised in any religion?
My family is Pentecostal, especially my mom, so I was definitely raised to be Pentecostal. When I came out it was a huge deal. I’m sure my mom still prays for my soul. Those beliefs never resonated for me. I stopped going to her church when I was fifteen.
You dropped out of college in your senior year. What did you want to do after you got your degree?
I was a sociology major so I really had no idea. I probably would’ve had to get a graduate degree in something, but I definitely wanted to take some time off. I wasn’t that crazy about school. My best friend Jonathan and I talked about moving to New York City, getting temp jobs or something like that.
What is the most important thing for readers to know about you?
Gosh, that’s tough. I guess I hope that people will read my story and not cast judgment. There are things in there that some people will consider irresponsible and naïve. I’ve made some questionable decisions and been dishonest at times. But I hope that people see that I was doing the best that I could in the situation I was given.
OK. How about some fun lightning-round questions?
Paranormal Cravings: Boxers or briefs?
Jacks: Um, I actually go commando, for reasons that you can probably figure out.
Paranormal Cravings: Dream date: Ryan Gosling or Ryan Seacrest?
Jacks: [laughs] Um Ryan Gosling, like a million times over.
Paranormal Cravings: What’s your favorite scary movie?
Jacks: The Shining.
Paranormal Cravings: Really? That came out way before you were born.
Jacks: They play it on AMC.
Paranormal Cravings: OK. Meow mix or Fancy Feast?
Jacks: Fuck off.
Paranormal Cravings: Thanks for stopping by, Jacks!
Werecat: The Rearing by Andrew J. Peters
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