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Feline Folklore

August 15, 2021

Felines are very mysterious little creatures, who have certainly earned more than their fair share of myths and legends. In fact, for an adorable looking pet, Fluffy has collected a rather impressive repertoire of urban and rural legends. Here, a local veterinarian highlights a few of them.

Cat Goddesses

Our feline pals have long been associated with many different goddesses. The most popular might be Egypt’s Bastet, who was often portrayed in feline form. The ancient Greeks had their own kitty goddesses — Ailuros, Artemis, and Athena. Freya, the Norse goddess, rode a chariot pulled by two large cats. Durga and Parvati, both Hindu goddesses, were also closely related to big kitties.


Fluffy has also long been correlated with luck, both good and bad. As you might know, black cats have long been thought of as unlucky in Western mythology. This is extremely unfortunate, as this superstition continues to this day, and plays a role in the low adoption rates of black kitties. In other eras and cultures, black cats have been considered to be good luck. In some cases, a feline’s luck relates to their coloring. For example, Buddhist tales state that cats with dark fur bring gold, while lighter-colored felines bring silver. Russian Blue cats are considered good luck in Russia. In China, luck and age correlate, with older kitties being the most fortunate.

Pussy Willow

The pussy willow story is one of the most endearing myths about our feline companions. This lore starts with a playful litter of kittens chasing butterflies on a sunny spring day. Sadly, the kittens fell into a river. Their desperate mother cried out in distress. Hearing her frightened meows, a riverbank willow tree lowered its branches into the water. Grabbing the branches, the kittens climbed to safety, soaking wet and crying. According to legend, willow trees extend their branches with furry ‘kitten’ buds every spring ever since then.


Finally, we have that old belief that cats have nine lives. This one we know for a fact isn’t true. While some kitties do have a natural ability to escape dangerous situations, this is usually by luck. Keep Fluffy safe and sound inside. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to give your cat an overload of soft beds, treats, fun toys, and catnip.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact your local pet clinic today!