Cat – tiger in your house
The domestic cat has lived among people for thousands of years. People have kept cats as pets, used them as hunters, and even worshipped them as gods.
Cats use their claws for climbing trees, catching food, and protecting themselves against other animals. All cats but the cheetah can move their claws in and out.
They can see at night when it’s very dark. They naturally get their food by hunting. When they play with string and small toys, they’re displaying their ancient family hunting instinct.
The people of Egypt were the first to keep cats as pets. When cats died, they were often buried in special graveyards or even made into mummies! The Egyptian goddess Bast, or Bastet, was represented in pictures and statues as a lioness or as a woman with a cat’s head. The Egyptian cult of the cat was so strong that the punishment for killing a cat was death. In Norse myth its contradictory nature is acknowledged in the demon cats that pulled the chariot of Freyja, the goddess of love and fertility as well as of battle and death.
In ancient Thailand, cats lived in kings’ castles.
In ancient Greece, wild cats were associated with the devotees of Dionysus – the maenads or mad women – who wore the animal’s skins during their frenzies. Cats are seen as evil shape-shifters in China, and a curse was placed on the cat for not having wept at the death of the Buddha.
Early Christians made the cat a symbol of fertility, but with the spread of the faith through the Roman Empire, pagan deities, such as the goddess of liberty whose cat represented lack of restraint, were branded as demons.
During the Middle Ages (about AD 500-1500), many Europeans feared cats because cats were linked with witches. Then a deadly plague struck. It was carried by rat fleas. With no cats to control the rats, the plague killed off a quarter оf Europe’s people.
Some people still think that black cats are unlucky.
– An ailurophile is someone who likes cats. An ailurophobe is a person who has an abnormal fear of cats or who detests cats. The term comes from Herodotus, the Greek historian, who called the cats he found in Egypt ailuroi, or “tail wavers.”
– In Chinese astrology, the 12 astrological years are represented by animals. The Year of the Cat is believed to bring better and gentler times for everyone.
– The average life span of an indoor cat is 14 years. An outdoor cat’s life expectancy ranges from five to 10 years – depending on the dog population in the neighborhood.
– Whiskers are a cat’s radar system. In the dark they guide the cat not only by actually touching things, but also by sensing changes in air currents bouncing off objects the cat passes.
– The first cat video was filmed in the 19th century.
– In Alaska, in the town of Talkeetna, cat Stubbs worked as mayor for 15 years.
– The oldest cat in the world was Puss, from England, who died in 1939, one day after its 36th birthday.
– How many mice can catch a cat? 28,899! Scottish tortoiseshell cat Towser killed 28,899 mice. It is about four mice per day, for 21 years.
– Cats are more active at night.
– Ancient Egyptians shaved their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when they lost beloved cat.
– When the kittens are born, their eyes and ears are closed. When the eyes are opened, they are always blue at first.
– Cats never mew with each other. This sound is especially for men.
– The most fabulous record was set in Argentina by a cat, named Mincho, which climbed a tree and did not go down until she died six years later. During this time, she was able to bring three litters with cat-climbers.
Cats and famous people
– Cardinal Richelieu had 12 cats that lived in his rooms. He loved cats more than people.
– Famous writer Ernest Hemingway had more than 150 cats!
– Chess champion Alekhine’s cat was his mascot. The champion always took his cat named Chess with him.
– English King Charles I believed that his cat brought him happiness and luck. He was so worried about the health of his pet that even put a guard to it. However, once the cat died and a few days later the king was beheaded.
– The famous writer Rudyard Kipling called cats the most independent animals.
– Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose. (Garrison Keillor)
– I’ve always thought a hotel ought to offer optional small animals… I mean a cat to sleep on your bed at night, or a dog of some kind to act pleased when you come in. You ever notice how a hotel room feels so lifeless? (Anne Tyler)
– I never married because there was no need. I have three pets at home which answer the same purpose as a husband. I have a dog which growls every morning, a parrot which swears all afternoon and a cat that comes home late at night. (Marie Corelli)
– If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer. (Alfred North Whitehead)
– 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)
– The smallest feline is a masterpiece. (Leonardo Da Vinci)
– The phrase ‘domestic cat’ is an oxymoron. (George Will)
The most famous cat
Mrs. Chippy was famous for his travels. He had a female name because at first they thought he was a she-cat. The story of the famous traveler began in 1914. His owner, carpenter Henry McNeal decided to earn money in the Trans-Antarctic Expedition. He got a job on a ship and took his cat with him. The cat was a great rat-catcher. Once he even jumped overboard. The ship didn’t sail to the coast of Antarctica because she got stuck in the ice. The ship was pierced and began to sink. The cat was shot by head of the expedition. The carpenter saved the whole team as he managed to make rafts. Since then Henry became an enemy of the captain, who had killed his pet.
Cat Simon went down in history for his marine adventures. There was a civil war in China in April 1949. The cat sailed on the English Amethyst which was attacked. The captain, Bernard Skinner was killed. The sailors found the cat in the shipyards in Hong Kong. The animal was seriously wounded. Brave cat was sent to the hospital. Doctors removed four bullets from his body. Simon was awarded the Dickin Medal, Blue Cross, and the title for “Excellent marine life”.
Humphrey – chief mouser to the Cabinet Office. Cats accompany the Prime Minister of England for a long time. They occupy an important place in the cabinet. In 1924, the government introduced an official position of the main country cat. It has its own responsibilities. The cat is obliged to catch mice in the Prime Minister’s residence, situated in London’s Downing Street. The most famous of them was Humphrey. He lived in the residence from 1989 to 1997. Humphrey guarded Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair. Sometimes the cat was at the center of political scandals. In 1994, the cat became a prime suspect in the murder of four birds. The following year, Humphrey disappeared from his workplace and was soon found in the Royal Army Medical College. In 1997, the cat had conflicts with the Conservative Party. As a result, Humphrey was retired for health reasons.
Scarlett – the Savior was an ordinary street cat, who lived in one of the abandoned buildings of Brooklyn. On March 30, 1996 there was a large fire in the house. When firefighters arrived there, the flames had already engulfed the whole building. One of the rescuers found completely burnt cat with two kittens. On the other side of the street there were three kittens. It turned out that Scarlett pulled her kids out of the burning house. Firefighters took a brave animal and her kittens to the veterinary clinic. Scarlett was able to survive. A special award for heroic animals was established in her honor.
Tama – the head of the station. In January 2007 the cat was given a special uniform and even had a small salary. This unusual railway employee greatly increased passenger traffic through Kishi station. After all, everyone wanted to look at an unusual boss. This contributed to the growth of the regional economy by as much as 12 million dollars.
Nora – Cat musician. She began her way to fame straight from the cat shelter in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Journalists say that her creativity can be compared with the music of the American minimalist composer Philip Glass. One night the cat decided to walk on the keys on a piano. Since then, the animal performs daily solos. Scientists managed to find out that the cat likes to play music alone, loves Bach and prefers octave D-E-F.
Dewey – the librarian. The life story of this lovely animal became the basis for the whole book. Dewey’s biography was very interesting and its author earned 1.25 million dollars. The cat lived in the town library of Spencer, the US. Cat’s story began in January 1988. The ginger kitten was found in the library trolley together with some returned books. The cat was named Dewey Readmore Books. Soon, the cat became not only a symbol of the library, but also a major celebrity all over the city. His images were printed on postcards; there were articles in newspapers and even documentaries. After his death the librarian Vicki Myron released a book – The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.
All Ball is the darling of the Gorilla. Gorilla Koko became known around the world. It’s a rare occasion when the animal is able to study the language of the people. Scientists at Stanford University worked with a gorilla for a long time. As a result, the animal was able to learn more than a thousand gestures. The animal also learned to understand about 2 thousand English words. IQ test have shown that intelligence is correct for normal adult. When Koko was twelve years old, she asked the scientists to give her a kitten. People presented her with a toy pet. But the gorilla said she would like to have a real kitten. Francine Patterson wrote a book Koko’s Kitten about the relationship between the gorilla and the kitten.
Unsinkable Sam began his service in the Navy in 1941 on the German battleship “Bismarck”. An unknown sailor took the animal on board. In May, the battleship was sunk by the British. There were 2200 crew members on board, but only 115 people were saved. The cat was among the lucky ones. The British took the cat on the board of Cossack. In the fall of 1941, the ship was torpedoed by the Germans, and soon sank. The cat survived. The Navy learned about the unique animal and gave him the nickname Unsinkable Sam. The cat found a new home on Ark Royal. In November 1941, the ship sank, the crew escaped, including Sam. On the way home, the cat was on two ships, which also drowned. The heroic cat died in 1955.
Selima was the cat of the English writer Horace Walpole. In 1747, he and his friend, the poet Thomas Gray, traveled in Europe. During the trip, a pet cat unfortunately drowned in an aquarium with goldfish. This sad event inspired Gray to create a poem Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes.
Pillsbury – the traveler. In 1998, the cat made the journey in 40 miles as much as 40 times to return to his old home. His owner Sarah French moved into a new house and took her favorite cat with her. However, the animal didn’t like the new habitat. After moving he came back every week. But the road was not easy. Her former neighbor caught the cat and returned him.
Little Nicky was born on October 17, 2004. He became the first cloned cat, created for commercial purposes. The animal was created using the DNA of 17-year-old Maine Coon named Nicky. He died in 2003 and his owner decided to clone her beloved cat. She paid 50 thousand dollars for this operation. This story caused a perturbation in the animals’ protection societies. After all, money could be spent for the benefit of millions of other living beings.
Cat – tiger in your house
Bionic Oscar. In 2009 harvester cut off the Oscar’s hind paws. The animal was taken to the vets. So, the cat got new paws. His story was featured in a documentary on BBC channel.
Mike was called the most famous English cat 20th century. This famous cat lived in 1909-1929 in the British Museum. He guarded the gates. As many as 20 years, Mike served in the museum. After the death of the cat Time magazine dedicated him a couple of articles, even his monograph was published.
Deadly Oscar was born in 2005. The public learned about the amazing cat in 2007 from an article. According to the doctor Oscar can predict the impending death of patients. Perhaps the animal can smell the dying cells.