Jenni, a lanky apprentice mechanic with jet-black hair and piercings in her nose, lower lip, and belly button, observes that some in the kitten play community are only comfortable in their kitten roles at events or in their respective bedrooms.But she has identified as a cat since she was in elementary school, when she thought, “If I believed hard enough, I could grow whiskers and ears and a tail.” Jenni says she eventually discovered others who identified as kittens, as well as foxes, bunnies, ponies, and other animals.In the kitten play community, some slaves may have been “collared” by a master, and might literally wear collars to signify such ownership.I point out to Jenni that some charge women who are sexually submissive with pushing feminism back.
“I was wearing ears and nobody else was doing it, so I had nobody to hang out with,” Karnstein says, sitting in The Chateau’s parlor, champagne glass in hand.
Offering glimpses of heightened cleavage, the chatty kittens snap selfies for social media and formally pose for Lawson, the self-described Chateau “Cat Herder,” a title he earned for his ability to wrangle the kittens for photo shoots.
Some of his images offer a hint of homoeroticism as the kittens cuddle and crawl, others just look like straightforward headshots – if not for the ears.
The roughly dozen women in attendance, most in their early twenties, are wearing an assortment of slip dresses, gowns, and corsets, all inspired by Marie Antoinette-era fashion.
They recline on blankets in the grass, while in the parlor some sit delicately on upholstered chairs as a man plays classical piano.
“The thing about being a submissive,” she responds, “is that they really, truly have all the control.” During sexual encounters, she continues, “the master never actually does anything that the submissive does not want.