I dislike cats, but their symbolic associations are spot-on. But I would go further and say that a stranger would never guess those things about me. They’re not surface-level traits. To be perfectly honest, most of the cat symbolism that hit home isn’t an obvious part of my day-to-day life, but the way that I react when things go as badly as they can go. I withdraw. I seek out the people I love most. I find comfort in my own thoughts. I make myself a cup of tea, curl up on the couch, and lose myself in a book. I think. I pray. I take time to process things and decide what I’m going to do. I seek out privacy and alone time, which I need no matter what, but especially during a crisis.
In other words, I react like a cat.
I can think of a dozen animals I like better, but none of them does such a good job of reflecting that part of me I go back to when things don’t go how they should. And I guess that’s what a patronus is: the part of you that shows up to protect the person you normally are.