People and cats have been living alongside each other for as long as 8,000 years and over that time, many myths have sprung up about our feline friends. A common saying we often hear is that cats have nine lives. But where does this legend of near-immortality come from? And why would a cat have nine lives, in particular?
Cats have a large body surface area compared with their weight, which also helps reduce the force of their landing.
Why do they say cats have 9 lives?
Cats have what is called a “righting reflex” — the ability to twist around quickly in mid-air if they fall or are dropped from a high place, so that they land on their feet. … Because of this uncanny ability to walk away from disaster, the English came up with the proverb “A cat has nine lives.
How can a cat have 9 lives?
There is also an ancient proverb that claims, “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays and for the last three he stays.” Some people believe the nine lives myth is related to cats’ ability to always land on their feet. Cats are also known for their dexterity and agility.
Do dogs have nine lives?
Unlike cats, dogs may not have nine lives. But they do have many monikers. Including canine, which is a bit ironic. And a number of scientific studies suggest dogs may actually be wonderful for your health.
Where does the myth cats have 9 lives?
We love to relate feline lore all the way back to the ancient Egyptians, who revered and even worshipped cats. A common creation myth says that the sun god Ra, who took the shape of the “Great Tomcat” or Mau during his visits to the underworld, engendered eight other gods—thus representing nine lives in one.
ANSWER: Historians say the Egyptians revered the number nine because they associated it with their sun god, Atum-Ra. According to one version, Ra gave birth to eight other gods. Since Ra often took the form of a cat, people began associating the nine lives (Ra plus eight) with feline longevity.
They climb high trees, run in front of cars and jump from high places. Surely someone with only one, short life wouldnt leap about frantically, like a pogo stick with a death wish?
The video will auto-play soon8CancelThey have extremely good balance and reflexes, and have very flexible backbones, as they have more vertebrae than humans. It’s a statement about the hardy nature of cats and the fact that they give the most love when they are old- too old to chase mice and run away!
So there are a few different sources which the nine lives myth could have come from- at any rate, humans throughout the ages have been astonished at the hardiness of the feline.
Of all the cat myths and misconceptions out there, one of the most persistent is that cats have lives to spare. But do cats really have nine lives? And what is the meaning behind that famous saying? Let’s break down the origins and realities of this myth.
What we do know, notes Science magazine, is that the fascination with cats dates way back to about 12,000 years ago in the homes and places of worship of the ancient Egyptians. This mystical nature then seems to have followed the domestic cat during its migration from the Middle East through Greece, China and into Europe, eventually spreading into all corners of the world.
If a cat “comes back to life” multiple times, the number nine makes sense when looked at from a mystical point of view.
How cats escape from deadly catastrophes
They are good at jumping though. Cats have even been known to fall off skyscrapers and other high rise buildings in earthquakes and still survive.Watch this video of a cat emerging from a collapsing building.Cats DO almost always land on their feet. This is because they have what is called a ‘righting reflex’- they are able to twist around very quickly in the air if dropped from high places.They have extremely good balance and reflexes, and have very flexible backbones, as they have more vertebrae than humans.
Okay they’re good at surviving, but why the nine lives? Well once you start giving them magic powers, 9 is a good place to start.An old English proverb states “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays”. This could be where the myth that cats have nine lives came from- though the proverb is not thought to be meant in seriousness. It’s a statement about the hardy nature of cats and the fact that they give the most love when they are old- too old to chase mice and run away!Nine is also a magic number- and this could be partly why cats are attributed with having nine lives, because they have been both worshipped and feared throughout the ages for being magical. The ancient Greeks said that the number nine referred to the trinity of all trinities- and is a mystic number which invokes tradition and religion.So there are a few different sources which the nine lives myth could have come from- at any rate, humans throughout the ages have been astonished at the hardiness of the feline.
History of the Nine Lives Legend
Do cats really have 9 lives? The short answer is no, but there’s something so beguiling about a cat’s demeanor that makes it seem almost possible that they could have extra lives.
Ancient Origins of a Cat’s Nine Lives
The proverb that started it all states: “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.”As with most oral storytelling, there is no evidence of when or where this famous English quotation was first documented. However, William Shakespeare knew about the saying because he referenced it in his playWhat we do know, notes Science magazine, is that the fascination with cats dates way back to about 12,000 years ago in the homes and places of worship of the ancient Egyptians. The Egyptians saw their feline friends as divine creatures with supernatural powers. Most notably, the goddess Bastet’s ability to change from human to cat and back again may have promoted the idea that cats have multiple lives because she kept appearing and reappearing.This mystical nature then seems to have followed the domestic cat during its migration from the Middle East through Greece, China and into Europe, eventually spreading into all corners of the world. By the time cats made their way to England, however, they were revered more for their ability to ward off rodents than to reincarnate. Despite their work as mousers, cats retained their air of mystique.
Why Nine Lives?
Why do they say cats haveBut in Spain, says Pet Plan UK, you’ll hear that cats have seven lives (another number full of symbolic meaning), and Arabic and Turkish legends claim six lives. Despite the differences in the number of lives a cat supposedly has, there exists the one common underlying belief: Cats live more than one life.
Cats in Action
Despite being a myth, why do they say cats have nine lives? And why do people believe it? As any cat parent can tell you, all you have to do is observe a cat’s ability to leap, twist and land on their feet to see why this myth is a lasting legend.Cats have almost a supernatural ability to move from a low, crouching position to a high, long leap in a matter of seconds. This isn’t due to magical powers: It’s their biological make-up. Their impressive jumping skills are due to the muscle mass and the length of their hind legs. Your cat’s back legs are so strong that they easily can leap six times their height!No matter how spectacular their leaping skills are, keep in mind that cats are not indestructible and don’t always land on their feet. Do they leap on your closet doors, cabinets or fridge? Deter them from this behavior by cat-proofing your house, such as not placing tempting items like toys, treats and catnip in high places. Your pet can and will try to get them, so best to keep them out of sight or at a low profile. Invest in a cat tree or condo as an outlet for their leaping and climbing skills.Your cat’s daredevil antics can be fun to watch, but engaging them in safe play goes a long way to making your feline friend’s life a happy and healthy