At Roundwood Vets we love cats, and we think everyone can learn from the many ways felines have enriched humankind for millennia and you, too, can bring greater joy and satisfaction into your life. Here are five ways we think cats can show us a way to living more happily.
1. Worship Like An Egyptian
Revered by the ancient Egyptians for the physical prowess and extrasensory perception, the cat has much to teach us, modern humans. Have you ever noticed how your cat sits with his back to you in an unquestionable pose of respect? This is precisely how the sphinx squats in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Want to find the brightest, warmest spots in your home, just follow your moggie’s movements – cats are unparalleled diviners of comfort. Learn to appreciate the importance of the sun’s daily journey by observing the simple pleasure of your feline sun-basking.
Borrow the powerful ears of your pet. If you spot any unusual behaviour – such as skulking or nervousness – from your furry security alarm, bear in mind that it may be an indication of a breach of by a would-be burglar!
2. Conjure Black Cat Magic
There is one cat above all others that holds a special place in our hearts. This is the British black shorthair, of course – otherwise known as the ‘witch’s cat’. Folklore abounds with fables celebrating the magical powers of the black cat, from flying through the sky on broomsticks to helping the local wise woman cast her spells. These ‘familiars’ were both admired and feared. Black cats being omens of good luck can be traced back to the 22nd Dynasty (c. 945–715 BC) Egyptian cat goddess Bast or Bastet, which represented protection, fertility and motherhood. Naturally, Egyptians believed they could gain favour from Bastet by owning a black cat. And pirates held that a black cat walking towards you brought bad luck, but walking away brought good luck. Nowadays coming across a black cat is considered good luck. Sadly, shelters find black cats the most difficult to rehome, perhaps because of their dark associations. But let’s be clear, by taking in a black cat – or, indeed, a cat of any hue – you can bring a great deal of good fortune into your life. All you have to do next is sit back and let your moggie work its magic.
3. House A Mouser
Share your life with a cat and keep your home rodent-free the natural way. All cats are instinctual mousers, and even the laziest of pampered pussies will keep the pesky house mouse at bay. Towser the Mouser is the best mouse-catcher on record, having caught an estimated 28,899 mice. Born in 1963, Towser was a long-haired tortoiseshell who lived most of her life at the Glenturret Distillery in Scotland. Her passing was honoured by the townsfolk with a bronze statue and her pawprints still adorn bottles of Fairlie’s Light Highland Liqueur. If you are lucky enough to be mice-free, then it’s a good idea to treat your furry friend to a toy mouse filled with catnip to keep those ever-evolving skills primed. And be sure to play some cat-and-mouse games with your feline to keep both your brains agile.
4. Muse On Inspirational Moggies
Cats have inspired humans over the ages and, indeed, still serve as a muse to many a master of the arts – even becoming the subject of the masterpiece themselves. Consider Tracey Emin’s lost cat poster, which is itself now a coveted work of art and Andy Warhol’s Pop Art pusses in an array of arresting colourways, including a green cat with purple eyes. Lewis Carroll famously provided a mystical muse for Alice In Wonderland in the form of the grinning Cheshire Cat. ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there,’ was typical of his illogical logic.
5. Care Like A Cat
Homeowners have appreciated the healing abilities of the house cat ever since they were domesticated from the wild, and now the world of social care has cottoned on to their caring capabilities. More and more nursing homes, old people’s homes and hospices are offering cat cuddling to their residents, which is often a reciprocal arrangement with a local feline sanctuary – much to the benefit of both parties.
And to see how a cat’s love can be life-changing, look no further than the hugely successful book and film A Street Cat Named Bob.
This documents the true story of a recovering heroin addict who helps an injured ginger stray and is rewarded in return with a truly transformational friendship. This goes to show that you cannot lose when you have a cat on your side.
Note how your cat will sense when you are feeling down and, unbidden, offer some much-needed comfort. Simply emulate this nurturing nature by giving love freely to yourself and others, and you’re sure to enjoy a far happier life with a greater sense of wellbeing and joy.