CAT FACTS AND WHAT FAMOUS PEOPLE SAY ABOUT CATS

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."

DREAMS AND MYTHOLOGY OF CATS AND OTHER FELINES

CAT QUOTATIONS

KITTY TIDBITS

KITTY BASIC RULES

CAT MYTHS

Ancient mariners believed that a cat's behavior could foretell a change in the weather. Some sailors considered black cats unlucky since they were thought to bring bad weather. Tortoiseshell cats were often held by seafarers to be lucky and Japanese sailors in particular would carry a tri-colored cat aboard. They believed that such a cat could give early enough warning of an approaching storm for the vessel to return to port to avoid it, and would also send the cat up the mast to "put the storm devils to flight".

The ancient Egyptians revered cats as sacred beings. How could they have known that they were setting such a dangerous precedent? (Strange But True: Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the deaths of their cats.) The small African wildcat found an easy and abundant food supply in the mice and rodents attacking the Egyptian grain supplies. Since the cat did not eat the grain itself, and buried its droppings well away from both the food source and the people, Egyptians began leaving small treats out for the cats to encourage them to return. By the time of the Pharaohs, cats were an integral part of society, prized not only for keeping the grain supply intact, but for their companionship. In Ancient Egypt, 3500 B.C., people prayed to cats and considered them almost divine with a devotion that today's cat-owners can hardly compete with. Cats were also extremely well-suited for keeping down the vermin in the grain stores, for instance. Killing a cat entailed the death penalty. Dead cats were embalmed and buried in special coffins in their own cat-graveyards. A person who had lost his cat shaved off all his hair to show the extent of his grief. Later, Phoenician tradesmen took short-haired cats to Italy from where they gradually spread throughout Europe. (Long-haired cats came considerably later from Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan.)

SEKHMET

THE CAT GODDESS BAST

The Pharaohs raised the status of the domesticated cat to godhood. In case of fire, it was customary to save the domestic cat before any attempt was made to put out the flames. Mummies were made of cats, and embalmed mice were placed with them in their tombs. In one ancient city, over 300,000 cat mummies were found. The Egyptian cat-goddess Bast (portrayed with the body of a woman and head of a cat) was the defender of cats and those who cared for these special creatures.

The Goddess Bast

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

One story from long ago is that the abbot of a particular temple was fond of cats and, even though the temple was poor, he always kept several cats there. One day after wishing out loud that his cat would bring him luck, a group of Samurais were passing the temple when they saw a cat with its paw raised up to its face as if in greeting. They took this as a sign of invitation and stopped at the temple to rest. In doing so they escaped an unexpected storm, and in gratitude became benefactors of the temple, which was soon restored to wealth and honor. From then on, a cat with a paw uplifted became the symbol of good luck and fortune.

.
Statue of Bast

A widespread belief among seafarers was that if the ship's cat began to frolic, it signified the approach of a gale. Such behavior would be described as the cat having "a gale of wind in her tail". The small ripples that are sometimes seen on the surface of an otherwise calm sea are known as cat's paws and are said to be caused by the ghosts of ships's cats dancing ahead of the wind.

.

A great noble and his entourage passed by the temple of Gotoku-ji when they were welcomed by a cat with a raised paw. The noble entered the temple and shortly after the spot where he had been standing was hit by lightning. After that cats were thought to be an incarnation of the Goddess of Mercy, and ever since the temple of Gotoku-ji has been associated with the Beckoning Cat.

The Goddess Tefnut

In the 1930's. The white male cat, named Napoleon, lived with his owner in Baltimore. His observant owner, Mrs. de Shields, noted that every time before it rained Napoleon would lie on the floor with his front paws extended and tuck his head between them. During Napoleon's lifetime there was a drought. The drought had continued for over a month when his owner noticed the clever cat adopt his "rain on the way" pose. According the official forecast the weather was to continue dry. Unconvinced, Mrs. De Shields telephoned a newspaper and told them that it was going to rain -- her cat had prophesied it. It did indeed rain, and thereafter Napoleon's forecasts were published in the paper. When he died, the tombstone over his grave was inscribed "Napoleon the Weather Prophet 1917 - 1936". It was said that in all the six years that he made his predictions he never got it wrong -- which is more than be said for human meteorologists!

Cats are relatively easy to look after and are not usually expensive, except in the case of pedigree cats. Cats need just as much love and consideration as other pets, but not as much exercise as a dog, for instance. Neither does a cat need company all day long. It doesn't require lots of expensive equipment. However, a visit to the vet once a year for vaccination and a health check-up is important.The average age of a tame cat is about 15 years.When well treated, a cat can live twenty or more years.

The Gotoku-ji Temple still stands in what are now the suburbs of Tokyo. The outside of the temple is liberally decorated with pictures of the Maneki-Neko, and adjoining the temple is a cemetery where hundreds of cats are buried. People bring offerings to the shrine at the temple, and in the cemetery there is a stone statue of a cat - the spirit cat that watches over the souls of the cats buried there. Owners also come to the shrine to pray for their departed cats. The Beckoning Cat is thought to bring good luck, protect domestic homes and bring prosperity to businesses.

People who are allergic to cats are actually allergic to cat saliva or to cat dander. If the resident cat is bathed regularly the allergic people tolerate it better. Studies now show that the allergen in cats is related to their scent glands. Cats have scent glands on their faces and at the base of their tails. Entire male cats generate the most scent. If this secretion from the scent glands is the allergen, allergic people should tolerate spayed female cats the best.

On dry land, various cat actions have been taken to presage a change of weather. In ancient Egypt, it was thought that a cat washing over its ears was a sign of good, clear weather to come. In China the action of washing behind the ears indicated rain, not fine weather, as did a cat winking

Another story says that a starving cat turned up one day at the temple of Gotoku-ji and requested food. Despite their poverty, the monks fed the cat. The cat stayed and from then on the temple became prosperous. The monks believed that the cat had been a messenger from Heaven and honored it as such.

CAT TRIVIA
Cats are pure carnivores. They need a high level of protein in their diets - and can't digest well a diet of grains, fruits or vegetables. If you were to design a creature to live from hunting mammals you couldn't do better than the design of the cat. Cats have powerful jaws, sharp teeth, and claws that draw back into their paws when not in use. Cats hear extremely well. Their eyes are adapted for vision in dim light for hunting just before dawn and just after dusk, the prime hunting periods.

All cats are members of the family Felidea. Interestingly enough, the cat family split from the other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families. All cats share certain characteristics that are unique to the cat family.

In some cultures the cat was considered the devil's helper and during a part of the Middle Ages the cat was persecuted by the Christian church and associated with witchcraft and black magic. Luckily it regained its status as a pet in the 18th century.

PRESIDENTIAL PETS AND ANIMALS

The cat's age in relation to a human's Cat's age: Human's age:

6 months- 10 years

8 months- 13 years

1 year- 15 years

2 years- 24 years

4 years.- 32 years

6 years- 40 years

8 years- 48 years

10 years- 56 years

12 years- 64 years

14 years- 72 years

16 years- 80 years

18 years- 88 years

20 years- 96 years

21 years- 100 years

There is a story that once Buddha held all the animals and men in rapt attention during his teachings. All, that is, except the cat. The cat killed a mouse during this session, and ever since some monks considered the cat an unholy being. Still, there is a tradition in some places in Asia that when a monk dies, his soul is given to a cat for safekeeping until the Lord Vishnu calls the cat.

~~~~~

Cats always know whether people like or dislike them. They do not always care enough to do anything about it. -- Winifred Carrière

In general, cats live longer than most dogs. An average life span might be 12 to 14 years. Some cats are reaching 20 or more.

A cat's longevity depends on feeding, genetics, environment, veterinary care and some other factors. It is also important whether or not the cat lives indoors or is allowed outdoors (outdoor cats live an averge of eight years).

The general consensus is that at about age seven the cat can be considered as "middle-aged", and at age 10 and beyond - old.

Of all families of predators the cat family is the one that varies most in size. Biggest of all is the tiger which may weigh several hundred kilos. The smallest of the small cats is the black-footed cat in South Africa which weighs only just over one kilo. There are many similarities between the two multi-specied genera. Both have retractable claws, all are stealth hunters, i.e. they approach their prey stealthily, and all except the cheetah are skilful climbers. All except the lion live alone.

- The large cats can roar, but not the small cats.

Far to the north, the Norse goddess Freya, is portrayed as riding a chariot drawn by cats, and is always surrounded by cats. The Norse, being seafarers, revered shipboard cats for their rodent control abilities.

If you have a cat and want to have another, it will be easiest to introduce a female kitten. An older cat that is alone, should not be bothered with another cat. Let it rest in peace. Bringing a new cat into a household is always very stressful for all the cats concerned. Suitable allergy breeds - Two breeds of cat are suitable - the Cornish Rex because of its different kind of fur, and the Sphynx cat since it has almost no fur at all. - Large cats eat lying down whereas small cats sit. When a large cat lies down it extends its tail whereas a small cat curls up with its tail along the paws and body.

- The large cats' pupils are usually round even when the pupils contract, whereas the pupils of small cats narrow to vertical slits.

During the Dark Ages, cats were killed as demonic beings. It was a phrase in a book written during this period that gave rise to the idea that cats have nine lives. The English writer William Baldwin wrote in his book Beware the Cat that "it is permitted for a witch to take her cat's body nine times." In the 15th Century, Pope Innocent VIII decreed that all cat-worshippers in Europe be burned as witches. During this time, as thousands of "witches" were cruelly burned at the stake, many an unfortunate cat accompanied them to their terrible deaths. This, despite the unsuspected aid that cats provided by reducing the rat population that spread the Bubonic Plague. Even as late as the Salem witchcraft trials, cats were often burned or hung with those accused of witchcraft (remnants of this period can still be seen in the black cats of Halloween).

We are odd indeed to think that we alone of all God's creatures are worthy of recognition for I am certain beyond question that when the last day arrives, our company will swell with fox, raven, hare, and rat, and when we are finally admitted we will see sharpening her nails upon His most resplendent throne, God's favorite unrepentant calico cat. -- Mary Margaret Carlisle

~~~~~~~~~

Abraham Lincoln's cat, Tabby, was the first of several White House cats.

Abraham Lincoln loved cats. He had four of them while he lived in the White House.

Lincoln also had:
Pig, childhood pet
Fido, family pet
Ponies belonging to Tad and Willy Lincoln
White rabbit
Nanny and Nanko, Tad Lincolnís goats
Jack, tad Lincolnís turkey
Jip, Lincolnís dog
Also: cats and dogs

A story is told of Muezza, the prophet Mohammed's favorite cat. One day, when Mohammed had finished his prayer and meditation, he discovered that Muezza had fallen asleep on the sleeve of his robe. Rather than disturb the cat, he cut off the sleeve so that he could be on his way. Another legend holds that the 'M' marking on the forehead of the tabby was created by the prophet as he rested his hand lightly on the brow of his favorite cat.

Through the ages breeding has made the cat - perhaps the most efficient of the carnivorous hunters - into a being that we now keep as a tame animal. Contrary to canine animals which live in flocks, the cat took the path of individualism and independence. It hunts alone and exploits its perfect ability to move stealthily, lie in wait and make lightning-quick attacks. The difference between a tame cat and its wild relatives is not that great. There as masses of different breeds which can be divided into long-haired cats, short-haired cats and not pure-bred short-haired cats.

A 13th century Egyptian sultan left his entire fortune to the needy cats of Cairo. For many years afterward homeless cats received a free meal daily.

800 CAT LINKS

In the 9th century, King Henry I of Saxony decreed that the fine for killing a cat should be sixty bushels of corn.

CATS AND WORLD MYTHOLOGY

.

In the middle of a world that had always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence. -- Rosanne Amberson As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows, cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human mind. -- Cleveland Amory As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat. -- Ellen Perry Berkeley Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later. -- Mary Bly
In 1950, a four month old kitten owned by Josephine Aufdenblatten from Geneva, Switzerland walked into the record books by following a group of climbers to the top of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, the height of which is 14,691 ft (4478m). Like those great sphinxes lounging through eternity in noble attitudes upon the desert sand, they gaze incuriously at nothing, calm and wise. -- Charles Baudelaire

~~~~~~~

Comedian George Burns chose to call his cat companion of many years "Willie" because, in his words, "When you told the cat what to do, it was always a question of will he or won't he...."

Ardent lovers and austere scholars all love cats. -- Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil

Richard Wagner:"I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to the panes of glass with its claws."

-Chales Baudelaire

A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem. -- Jean Burden
As we all know, cats now rule the world. -- John R. F. Breen, author of Who's Who of Animals I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. -- Winston Churchill

They say the test of literary power is whether a man can write an inscription. I say, "Can he name a kitten?" -- Samuel Butler

Julius Caesar, Henri II, Charles XI, and Napoleon had aelurophobia, the fear of cats.
Bless their little pointed faces and their big, loyal, loving hearts. If a cat did not put a firm paw down now and then, how could his human remain possessed? -- Winifred Carrière There is, indeed, no single quality of the cat that man could not emulate to his advantage. -- Carl Van Vechten, American photographer Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with a cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat. -- Mark Twain It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once made the remark) that, whatever you say to them they always purr. -- Lewis Carroll
Other presidents to own Siamese cats are Jimmy Carter

Grits, dog

Misty Malarky Ying Yang, Amy Carterís Siamese cat

If I called her she would pretend not to hear, but would come a few moments later when it could appear that she had thought of doing so first. -- Arthur Weigall Winston Churchill, adored cats. Churchill used to refer to his cat, "Jock", as his special assistant. "Jock" was reported to be on the bed with his master on the day the great British statesman died. President William Clinton

Socks

Socks and Buddy

I love cats because I enjoy my home, and little by little, they become its visible soul. -- Jean Cocteau, French poet and filmmaker Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. -- Colette Time spent with cats is never wasted. -- Colette

There are no ordinary cats. -- Colette

I love my cats because I love my home, and little by little they become its visible soul. -- Jean Couteau

The smallest feline is a masterpiece. -- Leonardo da Vinci

Although all cat games have their rules and rituals, these vary with the individual player. The cat, of course, never breaks a rule. If it does not follow precedent, that simply means it has created a new rule and it is up to you to learn it quickly if you want the game to continue. -- Sidney Denham Charles Dickens

What greater gift than the love of a cat?

Purring would seem to be, in her case, an automatic safety-valve device for dealing with happiness overflow. -- Monica Edwards

T.S. Eliot

Gerald Ford. Who hath a better friend than a cat? -- William Hardwin The first Siamese cat brought to the U.S. was a gift to President Rutherford B. Hayes. Robert Heinlein

How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven.

Ernest Hemingway once had some 30 cats at his home in Havana.

A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings for reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.

Cats are connoisseurs of comfort. -- James Herriot, English veterinarian-author

~~~~~~~

With the qualities of cleanliness, affection, patience, dignity, and courage that cats have, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats? -- Fernand Mery, French writer

Adolf Hitler is known to have despised cats. If you want to be a psychological novelist and write about human beings, the best thing you can do is keep a pair of cats. -- Aldous Huxley
Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia. -- Joseph Wood Krutch A cat can be trusted to purr when she is pleased, which is more than can be said for human beings. -- William Ralph Inge A cat's got her own opinion of human beings. She don't say much, but you can tell enough to make you anxious not to hear the whole of it. -- Jerome K. Jerome, English author

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function. -- Garrison Keillor

John Kennedy's daughter Caroline also owned cats. Meow is like Aloha. It means anything. -- Hank Ketchum, creator of "Dennis the Menace"

Cats do not have to be shown how to have a good time, for they are unfailing ingenious in that respect. -- James Mason

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want. -- Joseph Wood Krutch

I've never understood why women love cats. Cats are independent, they don't listen, they don't come in when you call, they like to stay out all night, and when they're home they like to be left alone and sleep. In other words, every quality that women hate in a man, they love in a cat. -- Jay Leno

Edgar Allen Poe was devoted to his tortoiseshell cat Catarina. Unable to afford sufficient heat for his dying wife, Poe placed Catarina on the bed to keep her warm. The cat stayed with the sick woman and, inspired by its loyalty, Poe was moved to write one of his best-known tales, "The Black Cat".

~~~~~

Are cats lazy? Well, more power to them if they are. Which one of us has not entertained the dream of doing just as he likes, when and how he likes, and as much as he likes? -- Fernand Mery

Sometimes the veil between human and animal intelligence wears very thin -- then one experiences the supreme thrill of keeping a cat, or perhaps allowing oneself to be owned by a cat. -- Catherine Manley, English writer A kitten is more amusing than half the people one is obliged to live with. -- Lady Sydney Morgan

~~~~~~

When I play with my cat, who knows whether I do not make her more sport than she makes me? -- Montaigne

Sir Isaac Newton, who first described the principle of gravity, also invented the swinging cat door for the convenience of his many cats. Florence Nightingale owned more than 60 cats in her lifetime.

~~~~~~~~

Albert Schweitzer

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.

Perhaps it is because cats do not live by human patterns, do not fit themselves into prescribed behavior, that they are so united to creative people. -- Andre Norton, American author

The way to get on with a cat is to treat it as an equal -- or even better, as the superior it knows itself to be. -- Elizabeth Peters

The ideal of calm exists in a sitting cat. -- Jules Reynard I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat. -- Edgar Allan Poe

While he was California's governor, Ronald Reagan signed a bill that outlawed kicking cats.

I have found my love of cats most helpful in understanding women. -- John Simon
Confront a child, a puppy, and a kitten with a sudden danger; the child will turn instinctively for assistance, the puppy will grovel in abject submission, the kitten will brace its tiny body for a frantic resistance. -- Saki

Cardinal Richelieu was so fond of cats that he shared his home with 14 of them. Specially appointed attendants cared for them, and upon his death, the Cardinal left all his worldly wealth to his feline companions.

~~~~~~~

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow. -- Jeff Valdez

Cats are a mysterious folk. There is more passing in their minds than we are aware of. -- Sir Walter Scott

~~~~~~

An ordinary kitten will ask more questions than any five year old. -- Carl Van Vechten

Maybe the reason that so many people love the cat is that she is the only example that you can breathe in the presence of man without becoming his slave -- and maybe that is why, so many people hate her. -- Heinrich Saas
The cat, which is a solitary beast, is single minded and goes its way alone, but the dog, like his master, is confused in his mind. -- H.G. Wells

~~~~~~~

Like a graceful vase a cat, even when motionless, seems to flow. -- George Will

If animals could speak the dog would be a a blundering outspoken fellow, but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much. -- Mark Twain

~~~~~~~

I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. -- Hippolyte Taine

Another cat? Perhaps. For love there is also a season; its seeds must be resown. But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another. -- Irving Townsend

The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. Nor upon a cold stove lid. -- Mark Twain

~~~~~~

Ignorant people think it's the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it's the sickening grammar they use. -- Mark Twain

TO DREAMS AND MYTHOLOGY OF CATS AND OTHER FELINES

TO DEES DREAMS AND VISIONS ARCHIVES

TO MAIN INDEX