As mysterious little furballs, cats have certainly earned more than their fair share of myths and legends. These cute, innocent-looking pets have made a rather impressive collection of urban and rural lore. Here, a local veterinarian highlights a few of them.
Cats have also long been associated with both good and bad luck. In Western mythology, black felines have long been considered unlucky. These superstitions still exist to this day, playing a role in the low adoption rates of black kitties. Other eras and cultures have considered black cats good luck. In some cases, a feline’s luck depends on their coloring. For example, Buddhist tales state that kitties with dark fur bring gold, while lighter-colored felines bring silver. In Russia, Russian Blue cats are considered lucky. Luck and age are connected in China, with older cats being the most fortunate.
Our feline buddies have long been associated with several different goddesses. Egypt’s Bastet, the most well-known, was often represented in feline form. The ancient Greeks had their own kitty goddesses, such as Ailuros, Artemis, and Athena. Freya, the Norse goddess, drove a chariot pulled by two large cats. Also associated with big kitties are the Hindu goddesses Durga and Parvati.
One of the most endearing tales about cats is the story of the pussy willow. This myth begins on a sunny spring day with a litter of playful kittens chasing butterflies. Sadly, the kittens fall into a river. Their desperate mother cries out in distress. A willow tree on the riverbank hears her terrified meows and lowers its branches into the water. The kittens grab the branches and climb to safety, soaking wet and crying. According to legend, every spring the willow trees have extended branches with furry ‘kitten’ buds.
Cats have nine lives. Well, not really. This one is definitely not true. While some of our feline friends do have an unbelievable ability to escape dangerous situations, this is usually by luck. Keep your cat safe and sound inside. Offer your kitty a plethora of treats, fun toys, soft beds, and catnip.
If you have any questions about caring for your cat, contact your local veterinarian!