The increasingly popular sport of feline agility animates human and feline bodies through the construction of rules, obstacles, technologies, and norms. Feline agility, then, involves the management and control of the lives and bodies of both species to meet the expectations of agility competition. In extending Michel Foucault’s concept of biopower to analyze interspecies sport, the current paper suggests two prominent governing organizations of feline agility, International Cat Agility Tournaments (ICAT) and Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), construct human and feline subjects based on a binary construction of a human, capable of acting responsibly, and a feline that lacks a capacity for responsibility. Consequently, humans are constructed as “agility citizens” and are responsibilized to perform the training, enhancement, and optimization of human and feline lives and bodies in the image of normative lifestyle and health dictates pursued principally through acts of consumption. Within narratives of “agility citizenship,” the human subject is positioned to control the feline subject, obscuring and negating feline agency and resistance. Donna Haraway’s concept of “response-ability” is suggested as one avenue to promote interspecies flourishing in sport.
Bunyak is with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA.
American Animal Hospital Association. (2017). Get your cat off the couch with agility training. https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/cat_care/general_health/get_your_cat_off_of_the_couch.aspx
American Animal Hospital Association. (2017). . https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/cat_care/general_health/get_your_cat_off_of_the_couch.aspx)| false
AndrewsD.L. (2017). Sport, spectacle and the politics of late capitalism: Articulating the neoliberal order. In A.BairnerJ.Kelly & J.W.Lee (Eds.) Routledge handbook of sport and politics (pp. 225–237). London, UK: Routledge.
Andrews, D.L. (2017). Sport, spectacle and the politics of late capitalism: Articulating the neoliberal order. In A.Bairner, J.Kelly, & J.W.Lee (Eds.), (pp. 225–237). London, UK: Routledge.)| false
FoucaultM. (1979). Truth and power: interview with Alessandro Fontano and Pasquale Pasquino’ (P.Patton & M.Morris Trans.) In Michel Foucault: Power truth strategy (pp. 29–48). Sydney, Australia: Feral Publication.
Foucault, M. (1979). Truth and power: interview with Alessandro Fontano and Pasquale Pasquino’ (P.Patton & M.Morris, Trans.) In (pp. 29–48). Sydney, Australia: Feral Publication.)| false
Gillespie, D.L., Leffler, A., & Lerner, E. (2002). If it weren’t for my hobby, I’d have a life: Dog sports, serious leisure, and boundary negotiations. 21(3–4), 285–304.10.1080/0261436022000030632)| false
LevyI.HallC.TrentacostaN. & PercivalM. (2009). A preliminary retrospective survey of injuries occurring in dogs participating in canine agility. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology22(04) 321–324. doi:10.3415/VCOT-08-09-0089
Levy, I., Hall, C., Trentacosta, N., & Percival, M. (2009). A preliminary retrospective survey of injuries occurring in dogs participating in canine agility. 22(04), 321–324. doi:10.3415/VCOT-08-09-008910.3415/VCOT-08-09-0089)| false
LundG. (2013). Taking teamwork seriously: The sport of dog agility as an ethical model for cross species companionship. In J.Gillett & M.Gilbert (Eds.) Sports animals and society (pp. 101–126). New York, NY: Routledge.
Lund, G. (2013). Taking teamwork seriously: The sport of dog agility as an ethical model for cross species companionship. In J.Gillett & M.Gilbert (Eds.), (pp. 101–126). New York, NY: Routledge.)| false
National Chicken Council. (2018January24). Americans to eat 1.35 billion chicken wings for super bowl. Retrieved from https://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/americans-eat-1-35-billion-chicken-wings-super-bowl/
National Chicken Council. (2018, January24). . Retrieved from https://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/americans-eat-1-35-billion-chicken-wings-super-bowl/)| false
Palmer, C. (2001). Taming the wild profusion of existing things? A study of Foucault, power, and human/animal relationships. 23(4), 339–358. doi:10.5840/enviroethics2001234210.5840/enviroethics20012342)| false
PastoreC.PirroneF.BalzarottiF.FaustiniM.PierantoniL. & AlbertiniM. (2011). Evaluation of physiological and behavioral stress-dependent parameters in agility dogs. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research6(3) 188–194. doi:10.1016/j.jveb.2011.01.001
PehkonenS. & IkonenH.M. (2016). Too good to be a sport? Why dog agility struggles in gaining recognition as a sport. International Review for the Sociology of Sport53(6) 745–761. doi:10.1177/1012690216679834