Monday, August 8, 2016

International Cat Day

International Cat Day: Ancient Egyptian Cat with Ankh, Pyramids & Hieroglyphs by Debbie Hart | MyCatSylvia.com
Ancient Egyptian Cat with Ankh, Pyramids & Hieroglyphs
by Debbie Hart on Etsy
August 8th is International Cat Day. In honor of the occasion, let's take a brief look at the history of cats and how our relationship with them has evolved through the years.

It's common knowledge that the cat has been domesticated for centuries with some of the earliest evidence, dating back 12,000 years, being unearthed in the Middle East. That's around the time that early man began to settle down and to store surplus grain crops.

Cats that previously had been wild began hanging around grain storage areas in order to take advantage of the mice and other predators that were attracted to the grain. Over time, the more docile felines became members of human households, living indoors, and eventually developed into various breeds of domestic house cats similar to those we know today.

Cats In Ancient Egypt


We know from figures and mummies found in Egyptian archaeological digs that cats were revered by the Ancient Egyptians. Indeed, the goddess Bastet worshiped by that civilization was represented as half woman, half cat. An inscription found in Egypt's Valley of the King reads, "You are the Great Cat, the avenger of the gods, and the judge of words, and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle; you are indeed the Great Cat." Clearly, domestic cats today still hold onto that proclamation as obvious truth and demand to be treated accordingly. (If you don't know what I mean by that, you've never been owned by a cat.)

International Cat's Day: Maneki Neko Lucky Cat Japanese Bobtail Garden Sculpture by Tyber Katz on Etsy | MyCatSylvia.com
Maneki Neko Lucky Cat Japanese Bobtail Garden Sculpture
by Tyber Katz on Etsy

Cats Bring Good Luck. Or Bad Luck.


In the Far East, for centuries and even today, figures of cats such as this Japanese Maneki Neko, or Beckoning Cat, are thought of as bearers of abundance and good fortune.

On the other hand, during the Middle Ages in Europe, cats, particularly black cats, were mostly associated with witches and the devil and the evil those characters represented.

Even today many people go out of their way to avoid a black cat and what they perceive as the omen of bad luck and misfortune that these animals represent. That superstition may explain why black cats are least likely to be chosen for adoption by people seeking a feline friend. Sad, but true.

Celebrating International Cat Day


Fortunately these days, cats of all sizes, shapes, and colors happily reside in millions of homes in western civilization. In fact, cats outnumber dogs as pets when we count the total number of each in the United States. For those of us who consider ourselves cat people, our lives would not be complete without one. Or three or four.

On this special holiday as we give our beloved felines extra helpings of respect and recognition, most of those pets will nonchalantly stretch, or perhaps stare at us through squinted eyes with their message that, "Ho hum, I am the Great Cat, and cat's the way it is, human." We'll rub our open hands down their spines, smile, and murmur, "Good kitty." Yes, life is good with cats and that is something to celebrate.

So tell us, how will you and your cat celebrate International Cat Day? Sylvia really wants to know.

International Cat Day: Cat's The Way It Is poster print by Nature's Pals on Etsy | MyCatSylvia.com
Cat's The Way It Is 
Poster Print by Nature's Pals on Etsy


(Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.)

18 comments:

  1. Hi Sylvia, I'm a cat lover from way back, having had a succession of your feline friends living with me over the years. Today my apartment complex won't allow pets, so I regularly visit my brother's THREE cats, Bennie, Bacchus and Fred! They are ready to celebrate International Cat Day today with you!

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    1. Elf, Sylvia is thrilled that you addressed your comment directly to her. She says to tell you that she hopes Bennie, Bacchus, and Fred have a wonderful celebration today and that perhaps you'll take them a special treat next time you see them. She'd tell you herself but, you know, it is a holiday so she's taking the day off from typing, choosing to dictate instead.

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    2. I understand. Sylvia deserves a day off since it's a special CAT holiday! Oh, BTW, I forgot to mention Jack, my brother's other cat.

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  2. I'd love to have a cat, but can't in my household. I had one in my childhood, but my Daddy didn't want it, so they took it away. Sylvia, it's a great day for cats and yes, cat's the way it is, but ANY day would be a great day too, for those who love cats.

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    1. We totally agree with you about ANY day, Nancy. I'm sorry you can't have your own cat. Sylvia says you're welcome to visit her anytime.

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  3. Sylvia, you rule :) - explains why you have your own international day of honor

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    1. Just a nice reminder for others that cats truly are worthy of special attention. Sylvia says it's the least she can do to share the day with others.

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  4. Mittens told me that every day is International Cat day. At least it is at our home.

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    1. I think Mittens and Sylvia are on the same wave length, Dawn Rae!

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  5. I am chuckling at all the comments because everyone knows that Cats Rule....and that everyday is a Cat Day, but seriously, this was a great read.

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    1. Cat lovers come up with the best comments ever, Grammie O, don't you think? Sylvia is glad you were seriously amused!

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  6. Well, of course 08 08 is national cat day! It is a great day to celebrate many wonderful things. I can't believe I let it slip by without sending a card to my grandkitties.

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    1. Cats forgive, Cynthia, but they have long memories. Next time you see them, they'll expect an extra treat. And a toy. Or two. Each. :)

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  7. I no longer have a cat, but I try to make friends with visiting neighbor cats. I love black cats.

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    1. I love black cats, too, Barbara, and really don't understand why there are people who are afraid of them. If you can't have cats, it's good to know you have friendly neighbor cats that visit occasionally. How sweet!

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  8. Looks like I missed International Cat Day, but I hope that Sylvia was treated like royalty as all cats should be :) I do love the Cat poster that you've included here, I'm not sure if Sylvia or Susan picked it, but it's awesome.
    I haven't had a cat for many years, but I often think of my late Tiger and how he totally ruled our house and would always try to get his canine siblings in trouble.

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    1. Louanne, both Sylvia and I love to draw out holidays and make them last as long as possible, so you're certainly not too late to join the celebration and we very much appreciate your comment. We're sure your Tiger would approve, too (so sorry he isn't there with you to celebrate). Sylvia and I both love the Cat poster. It states the simple truth, after all, for any household that includes a cat. And that should be everyone's. Thanks again!

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