This woman who identifies as a cat, says that expressing her cat identity has brought her closer to her partner (Picture: Mike Shum / Barcroft Media)

A woman who identifies as a cat by dressing up as one, climbing and drinking from a bowl says it’s her ‘true self’.

Kat Lyons from Colorado has been a kitten since she was in high school and says it has helped her bond with her boyfriend.

The 31-year-old met her partner aerospace engineer Robrecht Berg, 52, at a comic con eight months ago.

Despite their 21-year age gap and judgment from other people over Kat’s roleplay, the couple says they are happily in love.

The model works at Cat Girl Manor – a residence in Colorado Springs which hosts animal roleplay at BDSM events.

She says seeing other women dress like cats and embrace their feline side helped her to own her identity.

Boyfriend Rob, who doesn’t dress up as anything else himself, organises roleplay events and is enthusiastic about Kat’s roleplay.

Kat’s identified as a cat since secondary school (Picture: Mike Shum / Barcroft Media)

Kat said: ‘I have always been different. I just always had a fascination with cats and I felt myself, I’m a cat. I go through life being a cat – it’s just who I am.

‘I’ve always worn cat ears. It started when I was in high school, I don’t remember exactly what age I was but it [came from] an anime.

‘I was like, “Oh, that’s cool. I want to be that in real life”. So I just started applying that to my real life. I don’t think I started the ears, tail, the collar, and all that stuff until later on.’

When she first started dressing as a cat, she was bullied in school.

It was later on, when she came across the Cat Girl Manor, she started doing it regularly.

Rob, who works as an artist, didn’t think it was that peculiar when he first met her. He said: ‘She might have been wearing ears at the time but I didn’t notice that.

‘It wasn’t until talking to her on Messenger later that I found out that she was more into the kitten side of things and did that regularly since she was a teenager.’

‘Everyone has something different that they do. I see it as another outlet for a person to enjoy, relax, be themselves and be creative.’

In their relationship, Kat is submissive while Rob plays master.

The set-up works for Kat and Rob who have a 21-year age gap (Picture: Mike Shum / Barcroft Media)

Though the set-up works for them, Kat’s family was concerned, particularly with her kitten identity.

‘My family and certain people are not accepting and they don’t want to know anything about it,’ Kat said.

‘It’s hard but I’m going to be who I am no matter if people are going to be accepting of this lifestyle or not. I’m just going to be who I am.’

The couple met at a comic con eight months ago (Picture: Mike Shum / Barcroft Media)

Regardless, Kat adds that being a cat is her happy space.

‘Growing up I had to pretend to be normal and not be the cat person but now I get to be myself,’ she explains. ‘I get to express myself, I get to climb, if I want to climb, I can if I want to drink out of a bowl, I can if I want to wear a collar, if I want to wear my ears, I can do it.

‘I don’t have anybody stopping me saying: “Okay, well, you need to be normal”. Now I can just be myself.’

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