White Crane kung-fu patterns itself after the white cranes of southern Asia. Cranes are tall, long-necked, long-legged birds that are quite frail in appearance. Although their beaks are long, pointed, and strong and may be used as a weapon and they have long talons, the birds are not physically built for a stand-and-fight strategy, so they use evasiveness, using their wings to parry attacks. White Crane stylists use two basic hand techniques, the crane's beak, formed by contacting the thumb with all four fingers to make pinpoint strikes, and the crane's wing, a finger rake. To imitate crane wing movements, they use the whole arm in graceful upward or downward sweeps.
Each of the “animal’ kung-fu styles is based on the movements of a chosen animal. During instruction, constant references are made to the animal itself and how each of the art’s techniques is related to the movements and tactics of the animal.
While is true that many martial art styles, including Taekwondo, use terms such as “cat stance”, after decades of training in Taekwondo and many karate styles, I have never have I heard or read of the stance being described as an imitation of a cat’s movement. The Panthers football team uses the panther’s name and logo but they do not train in, or even mention, panther movements. Of the hundreds of styles of martial arts, only a relatively few compare their movements to animals or other animate things, name all their techniques after the animal, and use the animal in all definitions of the arts and descriptions of the arts’ techniques.
In Taekwondo, we move, strike, and kick as using motions that are conducive to human movement. We do not claim to be associated with any animal nor do we try to imitate the movements of any animal as a way to differentiate ourselves from other similar styles. If your style of martial art does this and you find that it works for you, then that is okay. Just do not walk like a duck, quack like a duck, and swim like a duck, and then deny any association with the duck.