“The average person who dislikes cats may have no conscious superstitions about them, but his dislike is informed with heavy emotional content. He is not content with a Doctor-Fellian attitude —‘the reason why, I cannot tell.’ He offers always numerous reasons for his dislike.
These reasons for disliking cats, of course, are rationalizations, as for that matter are the reasons that I or any other cat-lover gives for liking the animals. From the earliest times the cat has been so invested with emotional import that it cannot be viewed coolly. The cat-hater has developed and maintains his aversion for reasons of which he is unconscious. Actually, one of the leading psychiatrists of the United States assures me, all dislike for cats is essentially fear of cats; that it does not usually develop into the pathological symptoms immediately recognizable as ailurophobia, is due to its not being severe or to its being repressed.”
—Nelson Antrim Crawford, in “Cats Holy and Profane”
It’s a really good idea to use your intern as a therapist.