Felines are fantastically mysterious little creatures, who have certainly earned more than their fair share of myths and legends. In fact, for an adorable, innocent-looking pet, kitties have amassed a collection of rather impressive urban and rural legends. Here, a local veterinarian discusses a few of them.
Fluffy has long been associated with many different goddesses. The most popular might be Egypt’s Bastet, who was often portrayed in cat form. The ancient Greeks had Ailuros as their feline goddess, but also related cats with Artemis and Athena. Freya, the Norse goddess, drove a chariot pulled by two large cats. Hindu goddesses Durga and Parvati were also closely related to big kitties.
Cats have also long been associated with both good and bad luck. As you probably know, black cats are considered bad luck in Western mythology. This is extremely unfortunate, as this superstition continues to this day, and plays a role in the low adoption rates of black kitties. In other eras and cultures, black cats are considered good luck. In some cases, a feline’s luck depends on her coloring. For example, Buddhist tales state that cats with dark fur bring gold, while lighter-colored kitties bring silver. Russian Blue cats are lucky in Russia. In China, luck and age are intertwined, with older cats being the most fortunate.
The pussy willow story is one of the most endearing myths about our feline pals. This tale starts with a playful litter of kittens chasing butterflies on a sunny spring day. Sadly, the kittens fell into a river. Their desperate mother cried out in distress. Hearing her frightened meows, a riverbank willow tree lowered its branches into the water. The kittens grabbed the branches, climbing to safety, soaking wet and crying. According to legend, every spring since then, willow trees have extended branches with furry ‘kitten’ buds.
Finally, we have that old adage that cats have nine lives. This one definitely isn’t true. While some of our patients have an uncanny ability to dodge dangerous situations, this is usually by sheer luck. Keep Fluffy safe and sound inside. Of course, it never hurts to provide soft beds, fun toys, treats, and catnip for your feline friend.
Do you want information about your cat’s health or care? Contact your local pet clinic today!