- Lucky charm: The Egyptians believed that the powers of a living cat could protect them from all evil.
- Good for harvest: Europeans, in many country areas, thought that cats were essential to a good harvest. So they were treated with great respect and care.
-Weather forecast: A sitting cat, with her back to the fire, was believed to be a sign that frost was on its way.
- Lucky on ship: Sailors considered it very lucky to have a cat on board, especially, a black cat. Though for some strange reason it was considered unlucky to actually say the word ‘cat’!
- Good for baby: Placing a cat in a cradle in Russia was thought to veer evil spirits away from a new baby.
- Look into my eyes: In old China, people felt they could tell the time when they looked into a cat’s eyes. The ancient Romans were of the opinion that changing eye colour in a cat had a connection with the changing phases of the moon. In ancient Egypt, they believed the eyes of a cat mirrored the rays of the sun and protected mankind from darkness and despair.
- Good luck: No one understands why, in Britain, black cats are still considered to be lucky; and if one walked in front of a bride and groom it was seen as a happy omen for the marriage. Another belief was that a cat sneezing near the bride on the wedding day meant her marriage would be a long and happy one... And a white cat was thought to bring good fortune and luck to their pet parents.
- Good fortune: Long ago, in China, the image of a cat was believed to mean fortune and long life. Mao, the Chinese name for cat, means ‘80 years’.
- Good for wealth: Another feeling about black cats was that they brought good fortune. And if the person who found a black cat with a single white hair, could pull the hair out without being scratched, s/he would come into a lot of money and also find true love.
- Beckoning cat for luck: We all know that the Japanese are of the opinion that a beckoning cat will also bring them good fortune. In Japanese homes, the figure of a cat with his left paw raised has pride of place. Japanese sailors take a tri-coloured cat (tortoiseshell) – known as the ‘Me-kay’ on their ships for good luck and safe travel.
- Symbol of purity: Italian legend about the birth of Christ often mentioned a pregnant cat, who became a mother at the same time as Mary, near the manger. Apparently, it was a symbol of purity of Christ’s birth.
(Joan Henderson is based in Australia and she has judged furry felines in many other countries)
Meet Biglu, the hair-shedding machine in my life
We brought him home on my 13th birthday, a thin, tiny baby Beagle (a month old). Thousands of health problems, skin issues followed and were eventually cured and what we have now is a handsome little boy. My mother, at first, refused to let him on the sofa or on the bed. But Beagles, as I have heard, are known to have their way. Now, he sleeps with us at night and watches cricket sitting on the sofa. We tried our best to train him to be a watchdog, but eventually found that it was useless as every person he saw became his new best friend. Playing fetch with him is probably the best part of my day. It’s strange how he manages to make my day just by wagging his tail. Only one and half years in this household and Biglu has changed all of us in more ways than we can imagine. But I had read somewhere... “sometimes, it only takes a smelly dog with bad breath, worse manners and pure intentions to help us see”.
— Mom Chatterjee
Are you a proud pet parent? Have a cute cat story to share? Maybe your guinea pig is giving you trouble? Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to [email protected]
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Celebrate Your Pet at Every Age. Everyone loves a new puppy or kitten, says Dr. Becker. “They’re wildly kinetic, and humorous. An older pet is thinner, bonier. Their coats aren’t as soft, they might have bad breath.” But, like people, a pet’s needs change with age. They may be less active, preferring a leisurely stroll to a rollicking tug-of-war. “Our old retriever, who’s blind, still wants to retrieve.” Adapting to their changing needs will ensure your old friend remains a healthy and happy member of your family.
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