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Kittyfic is an exchange fandom term referring to an exchange gift created without adequate knowledge of the canon, often meaning specifically that someone has written a pinch hit after reading about the canon online rather than consuming the fandom's source material directly. The term is named after Yuletide participant and frequent pinch hitter kittydesade, and is used as an insult. While the term is obscure on some mainstream forms of social media, such as Tumblr and Twitter, it is still used in 2021 on other social media websites such as Dreamwidth, and has been used on fail_fandomanon and during Yuletide exchanges.

Some exchange fans object to the term as mean-spirited, as it originated from wank.[1] Complaining about a gift fic is generally considered in poor taste, though an entire dreamwidth community exists for this purpose: coaltide. The fail_fandomanon wiki documented the wank aspects of kittyfic on a page entitled "Perennial Yuletide Wankers", but whether kittydesade or the people complaining about her were the wankers is a matter of opinion.

Alternatively, kittyfic is sometimes used to describe a fanfic in which the characters are made into cat people. This usage is just as obscure, if not more so, as its other usage in Yuletide exchange. A search turns up a small handful of tweets and a few examples on LiveJournal, including one 2015 fanfic exchange.[2][3] This second usage is synonymous with kitty!fic and kitty!au. See also Cats.

A nonnie on fail_fandomanon explained the yuletide meaning in 2013:

The key element of Kittyfic is the desire to write a fic, any fic, and not giving a shit if you actually care about the canon/prompt or not: kittydesade, the person in question, is famous for taking pinch-hits and then using wikipedia to 'teach' herself the canon. But you could also apply it to people who go "Oh yeah, sure, I read that twenty years ago" and hit claim instantly on pinch-hits. The result is usually the gen equivalent of ATG fic and makes a lot of the people who get it feel shittier than no present at all, because they're clearly being used as an ego-boost for someone else to go "Look how much I wrote!"

To make it worse, there's almost always someone going, "Crap, I saw that pinch-hit two hours later/wanted to take a bit to consider if I could actually do a good job, but when I decided to go for it, kitty was already there." kittyfic types should be a last resort, someone you go to when nobody else is stepping forward, not first port of call, but Elyn was famous for being so pleased with kittydesade's "reliability".[4]

Usage Examples

yuletide_coal, 2015:

Just because Kitty isn't around anymore, it doesn't mean, you can't get Kittyfic anymore. You get the same sort of story, if you remain on the PH List unclaimed for long enough.[5]

yuletide_coal, 2017:

I had the same exact thought. This year I gave a common fandom out and, of course, got that. I'm sure it's gonna be nice, but I'd rather have kittyfic of The Thing I'm Obsessed With than goodfic of a fandom I'm meh about.[6]

coaltide, 2019:

It's a burden because someone inevitably either has to consume that canon or write some kittyfic, and the mod has to shop that pinch hit around and beg for a pinch hitter until someone does. Just because someone has always been willing to do it doesn't mean they're not a burden.[7]

fail_fandomanon, 2020:

To me, the difference between them is that one side is writing badfic, quite possibly without knowing, and one is writing kittyfic where they know what they’re doing. I find 1 fine, but 2 is offputting. Which doesn’t mean they’ll get caught, but if somebody is questioning if they should write kittyfic/kittyfic adjacent fic, I don’t care if you’re the best writer in the universe: don’t do it.[8]

fail_fandomanon, 2021:

If you must do kittyfic, at least use TVTropes rather than Wikipedia. It's still going to be bad, but some element of "what makes this character interesting to fandom" is there in the source.[9]

Further Reading


  1. ^ See the talk page.
  2. ^ (kitty!au round 2014): MASTERLIST (,,◕ ⋏ ◕,,), Livejournal. Aug 20, 2015 (Accessed 11/6/2021)
  3. ^ "Hey all I am desperately trying to find some fics where Sam or Dean is turned in to a cat." Kittyfic! please?, Archived version, posted to spnstoryfinders by slytherin-eyes, 29 December 2006. (Accessed 20 November 2021.)
  4. ^ Re: Yuletide!, Archived version, anonymous comment, fail_fandomanon, 2013-12-10
  5. ^ Re: What is coal to you?, Archived version, anonymous comment, yuletide-coal, 2015-11-05.
  6. ^ Re: 2018 Yuletide resolutions, Archived version, anonymous comment, yuletide_coal. Dec 25, 2017 (Accessed 11/6/2021)
  7. ^ Re: Great job, FFA mods., Archived version, anonymous comment, coaltide, 2019-11-14.
  8. ^ Re: Bangs Fests Exchanges - Fic In A Box, Archived version, anonymous comment, fail_fandomanon, 2020-11-13.
  9. ^ Re: Yuletide - fandom of your heart, Archived version, anonymous comment, fail_fandomanon, 2021-10-22.