As the very mysterious furballs that they are, kitties have certainly gathered more than their fair share of legends and myths. In fact, Fluffy has amassed a rather impressive collection of urban—and rural—legends for a cute, innocent-looking pet. A local vet lists a few of them below.
Several different goddesses have been associated with our feline friends. Egypt’s most well-known Bastet goddess was often depicted in feline form. The ancient Greeks had their own kitty goddess, Ailuros, and also associated cats with Athena and Artemis. Two large felines pulled the Norse goddess in a chariot. Big kitties were also associated with the Hindu goddesses Parvati and Durga.
Fluffy has had long-held associations with luck, both good and bad. As you probably know, in Western mythology, black cats have long been considered unlucky. This is actually very unfortunate, since these superstitions continue to this day, and contribute to the low adoption rates of black cats. In other cultures and eras, black kitties have been considered good luck. In some instances, a cat’s coloring determines her luck. For instance, Buddhist lore states that while lighter-colored furballs bring silver and cats with dark fur bring gold. Russian Blue cats are considered lucky in Russia. In China, age and luck are connected, so older furballs are the most fortunate.
One of the most enduring myths about our feline friends is the story of the pussy willow. This tale starts on a sunny spring day with a litter of playful kittens chasing butterflies. Unfortunately, the kittens fell into a river. Their mother cried out in distress, desperate. Upon hearing her terrified meows, a willow tree on the riverbank lowered its branches into the water. The kittens grabbed the branches and climbed to safety, crying and sopping and wet. According to legend, willow trees have furry ‘kitten’ buds on extended branches every spring since.
Last but not least, we have the old “cats have nine lives” adage. This one we can state for a fact isn’t true. While some of our patients appear to have an uncanny ability to escape dangerous situations, this is typically sheer luck. Keep your feline buddy indoors, safe and sound. Of course, it won’t hurt to offer your feline overlord treats, soft beds, toys, fun toys, and catnip.
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your animal clinic, today!