Dr. Dream Guy,
I had a dream that I gave birth to a kitten. As if that’s not ridiculous enough, I’m male. What does it mean? Signed, Confused Dude
Dear Confused Dude,
I understand your confusion. On the surface, this dream appears to make no sense. Give birth to a kitten? How does a male give birth to something, especially an animal? As you’ll see in a moment, though, your dream makes sense when analyzed using the irregular logic of dreams.
First, let’s look at what giving birth can mean in a dream. While some dreams are literal, and a dream of giving birth can be a harbinger of things to come, it is anatomically impossible for you to give birth or even get pregnant. So we can rule out that interpretation. However, there are other definitions of giving birth.
For example, people are said to give birth to ideas and creative endeavors. In this sense, giving birth is a wonderful metaphor. When I wrote my first book about dreams I remember feeling like I had something inside of me that wanted to get out. In a sense I was “pregnant” with an idea. Nine months after starting the manuscript, I “gave birth” to my book. A lot of grunting and screaming was involved.
Using that logic to understand your dream, I’d surmise that a new quality is emerging in your personality. You are “giving birth” to something new in yourself.
Now for the kitten part. An animal in a dream often symbolize a part of the dreamer that relates to the animal. The meaning depends on your associations, in this case with kittens. Off the top of your head, what are your impressions of kittens? For some people they are cute and innocent. For other people they are helpless and dependent.
Put these two ideas together and I’d bet that your dream is about something “kitten-like” in you that is just beginning to become conscious. It has probably been beneath the surface of your awareness for a while, and now it is coming into the light of day. The dream graphically shows you what it’s like to “give birth” to something new in your personality.
Also, because cats are associated with petting, and “petting” is something that lovers do, a possible interpretation of your dream is you have recently become intimate with a partner and a lot of petting is involved. Get ’em, tiger.