Nine lives of a cat

Nine lives of a cat

Ever wondered about the significance of the nine lives of a cat? Does this actually exist for a cat? Or is it a myth? Do cats cheat death? How is a cat reborn after each life? Don’t you have such questions in your mind? I certainly do. I always wonder how these cute creatures live their lives. Are they scared of dying? Or are they not? I find cats adorable and wish I had a cat to look after.

Let’s explore the same ourselves!

What is true about cats?

Nine lives of a cat

It’s a myth: I beg to differ. It’s just a myth! Sorry to bust it! They just have one life! It is being said that cats are known as immortal beings as they are sturdy to withstand any fall or any serious accidents. Over the years, people have identified this natural defense mechanism and attributed it to the immortality factor of a cat. There is an English proverb that states: “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays”.

How are cats stronger than other living creatures? How is their anataomy?

  • They have a large surface area compared to their weight – reducing the force of landing
  • Cats have evolved to live in trees and therefore have adapted to constant falls
  • Their ‘righting reflex’ enables them to twist their bodies and land safely on their feet (I saw a cat stretch to great lengths; it was shocking!)
  • Cats have flexibility in their bones and ligaments, which help them to sustain minimal injury from many different accidents – I saw two cats fighting with each other and one onlooker was shooing them off with a stick – the cats didn’t budge and they kept on fighting! (Source: PetPlan UK).

Supernatural History of Cats

In Ancient Egypt, cats were mummified and buried with jewelry, and harming  a cat was an offense that could be punished with death

Nine is a magical number: 9 is considered as a supernatural and a magical number. Cat’s have been worshipped throughout history and centuries, and even feared by many as magical creatures; notably, the most prominent example is the ancient Egyptians. For greeks, the number 9 is the “trinity of trinities” & a supernatural number (Source: PetPlan UK). In the medieval period, cats were ‘familiars’ of witches. Such cats used to help the witches with their magic (Source: DiamondPet). You can even watch such cats in a Supernatural sitcom, ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ on Netflix!

Egyptian Love: Cats really have the ability to escape death in mere seconds due to their reflexes. Also, for ancient Egyptians, the number nine was important. The ancient Egyptian goddess Bastet was seen as half cat and half woman. The Egyptian god Atum (also called Atum-Ra) was imagined to take the feline form when visiting the underworld. The dead were mourned by their families, mummified, and buried in their own tombs. The Egyptians also considered the cats as part of people who needed to have a successful afterlife. As a part of an excavation, in 1888, a tomb containing an estimated 80,000 mummified cats was discovered at Beni Hassan in Egypt (Source: DiamondPet).

Can cats predict death?

death and a cat - Death bill Photo (36776542) - Fanpop

We sure know that cats can escape death; but are they harbingers of death? Are they the grim reapers for the collection of dead souls? It can be argued that cats can pacify an ill terminal patient before they ascend for heaven (or hell ~ can be any two depending on their karma and deeds done in their past lives). I freaked out by researching the same topic about how cats can detect death. It’s interesting but scary. Though, it made me love cats even more. There was one such special cat. His name was “Oscar the Cat”.

Oscar The Cat was a temporary resident in the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island since 2005. To my surprise, he even has a Facebook fan page with almost 4000 followers.

The staff in the nursing home found out that he would roam the facility and nap alongside the terminally ill. Subsequently, after few hours, the patients would pass away peacefully. The people in the facility believed that Oscar would nap near these people to comfort them in their last moments. He really had a soft corner for those whose time was near. Even if Oscar was gestured to leave the room, he would be restless, and eventually, the staff would let him in the rooms of the sick (Source: Grim Reaper). So, do you admire cats or dislike them?

Naina Singh Chauhan

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