School of Cultural Studies and Humanities

A Guide to Cats and Moths

My name is Cat, I study English Literature and Creative Writing and as I sit here wiping butter of my rabbit’s face (it’s a whole toast story) I wonder what to tell you about myself.

It can be a hard feat to describe and define oneself, so I better start at the beginning and let you see what you think.

I was born in Carlisle (no I wasn’t made in the royal navy) and grew up in Brampton, Cumbria. As such I frequently refer to myself as a Stark much to the (encouraging) annoyance of everyone south of Penrith. My full name is Caitlin Deirbhile Dryden though even at 21 years of age I’m not sure what to make of that. As my family have always pronounced that “cat-lin”, society “kate-lin” and now I hear it is meant to be “kat-leen”. So perhaps let’s stick to cat and skip past my middle name.

I am interested in many things as I consider myself a forever student, but if I had to narrow it down I would say rabbits (first and foremost), travel, philosophy (particularly ethical and epistemology), social psychology and of course creative writing. I enjoyed growing up in the countryside and find it is often my biggest inspiration, like Coleridge I love experiencing the change of the seasons all around me and feel I gather a certain energy from being submerged in that change. Yet I am also a shamefully proud television addict, current obsessions include Gilmore Girls, Atypical, A Game of Thrones, Victoria and The Haunting and anything Hayao Miyazaki Steven Spielberg. I indeed had to force myself to turn off Netflix, not make a hot chocolate and get all cosy in order to write this so do count yourselves lucky.

My strongest subject in school was always English and while taking a year out after completing my A-levels I decided to move to Leeds to pursue an education in this field. I was inspired by a small trip I took around Europe in the summer of 2017, I was sat on the dock in Dubrovnik that was depicted as parts of Kings Landing in the ‘Game of Thrones’ series and was overwhelmed by the sudden realisation that everything we experience in the world so heavily relies upon language and communication of language. Our history, dreams and beliefs all depend on the creative genius of literature. To take the everyday and make it count, to take a flawed character and make you love them, to inject some magic and wonder into a sometimes overwhelmingly dark world. To be studying it all and to become part of it is something special. So, I hope you enjoy what I will hopefully be writing for you and enjoy seeing me learn along the way.

To conclude my rabbit + my bed + Google = happy Cat. This past month the google focus has been moths, fully recommend inspecting the Venezuelan poodle moth, the Madagascan moon and sunset moth and the hummingbird hawk moth.

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