Palavi, also known as the "sheep brusher", was brought to the Sheepish Petting Zoo to do an assessment with a cloned sheep named Furrelise.
Furrelise began isolating herself from the herd, moping, and overeating at the beginning of the summer season.
Although patient confidentiality would normally prevent Palavi from discussing what her client reveals in therapy, Furrelise gave her permission to discuss it in hopes of helping other clones.
Palavi says, "Furrelise is having an identity crisis. Having been created with human genes, she doesn't feel 'sheep' enough for the sheep or 'human' enough for the humans. "
"Her emotional eating has created conflict among her otherwise content herd. She is eating more than her share of hay and kudzu and her constant whiny bleating is bringing them all down."
According to Palavi, Clone Identity Crisis (CIC) is not exclusive to cloned sheep; it has also been observed in cloned frogs, cats, rabbits, horses, donkeys, pigs, goats and cattle.
"Some people think clones have no souls." Palavi explains, "Not only do they have souls, they also have human consciousness."
How does she know this? Palavi says Furrelise has body image issues like any other female teenager. She is highly critical of her naturally crimped and kinky hair. She feels extremely self-conscious when sheared, and wishes she had short fur instead of her long 'dirty blonde' curls.
What does Furrelise want petting zoo visitors to know? Palavi translates this message,
"Please don't let your kids stick their hands in my face. In fact, don't let your kids come anywhere near me. I hate kids. I would love to find a stylist who could permanently straighten my hair. Highlights would be nice too. Cloned sheep are looked at the same as black sheep, or maybe I'm just projecting?"
Palavi feels certain her cognitive behavioral therapy treatment plan will help Furrelise find self-acceptance in a couple of years.
The weekly sessions are being paid for by an insensitive petting zoo visitor who settled out of court. Charges were filed for the emotional damage caused by comments made to Furrelise like "look at the mutton chops on that one!"
If you have any cloned animals you suspect are having emotional issues i.e. depression or body dysmorphic syndrome, please contact the TT editors and we will put you in touch with Dr. Sheep Brusher!