Cats are very mysterious little furballs. They have certainly gathered more than their fair share of myths and legends. In fact, for a cute, innocent-looking pet, Fluffy has managed to amass a rather impressive collection of urban—and rural—legends. A local vet lists a few of them below.
Kitties have been associated with several different goddesses. The most well-known may be Egypt’s Bastet, who was often depicted in feline form. The ancient Greeks had their own cat goddess, Ailuros. They also associated cats with Artemis and Athena. The Norse goddess Freya drove a chariot pulled by two huge cats. The Hindu goddesses Durga and Parvati were also closely associated with cats.
Fluffy has also long been associated with luck, both good and bad. As you probably know, black cats have long been considered unlucky in Western mythology. This is actually very unfortunate. These superstitions continue to this day, and are the main reason black cats have a hard time getting adopted. However, in other cultures, black kitties have been considered good luck. In some instances, a cat’s fortune depends on their coloring. For instance, Buddhist lore states that felines with dark coats bring gold, while lighter-colored kitties bring silver. Russian Blue cats are considered lucky in Russia. In China, luck and age are intertwined, with older furballs being the most fortunate.
The story of the pussy willow is probably one of the most enduring myths about our feline friends. This tale starts with a litter of playful kittens happily chasing after butterflies on a sunny spring day. Unfortunately, the kittens fell into a river. The mother cat, desperate, cried out in distress. Hearing her frightened meows, a willow tree on the riverbank lowered its branches into the water. The kittens grabbed on to the branches and climbed to safety, sopping wet and crying. According to legend, willow trees have extended branches with little furry ‘kitten’ buds every spring since, as a reminder.
Last but not least, there is that old adage about cats having nine lives. This one we can state for a fact isn’t true. While some of our feline patients do have an uncanny ability to escape dangerous situations, this is usually sheer luck. Keep Fluffy safe and sound indoors. Of course, it won’t hurt to offer your feline overlord soft beds, fun toys, treats, catnip, and the occasional empty box to explore.
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your animal clinic in Carlisle, ON, today!