By Amy McCollom
Seriously, October is literally Black Cat Awareness Month and also plays host to National Feral Cat Day on the 16th, Global Cat Day also on the 16th, National Cat Day on the 29th, and National Black Cat Day in the UK on the 30th. Besides, what month do you see more cat decorations than October?
I know what you’re thinking. Black cats equal bad karma. Well not really. That story was started back in the year 1,000 or thereabouts due to a cult of people using cats in unsavory devilish acts while practicing satanism, or so the story goes. Also, it was told during the middle ages, as were many tales of dark happenings, that witches could shape-shift into black cats, much like vampires turning into bats and such. The history is sketchy, and the stories probably embellished, so it’s rather silly to keep believing that old tale.
Cats were actually the first animals employed by the U.S. Army. They kept the food stores free of rodents and earned their keep quite handsomely, even before dogs were hired for their service. They also were excellent sailors and shipmates, having superb hunting skills and being adept at balance and steady on their feet. That is how cats have become world wide expats from their origins in the middle east. You might say they have worked their way up the ladder into our hearts and homes.
I happen to be a big fan of cats, as is my entire family. My husband is best friends to one of our cats. Men who don’t like cats have a part of their heart and mind that they just haven’t opened, in my opinion. Cats are not dainty little fluff balls that cartoons make them out to be. They are hunters, blood-thirsty warriors with ninja skills, razor sharp knife fingers, and moves like Jet Li.
The way cats walk and stalk and sit silently, and keep to themselves…they are like small superheroes in fur suits. They are sleek, suave, neat as a pin, and have a nice set of whiskers. I can’t think of anything more manly than that. Maybe men are just jealous of cats, so they pretend to hate them. Men could learn a lot from a cat. Cats know just how to get attention from a lady.
Cats are not only sexy, manly beasts that earn their keep by protecting their castle; they are also medical miracles. Said to have nine lives, cats have been known to have survived falling from five-story buildings. Although these great falls do injure the felines, they heal quicker and with less complications than any other comparable animal with similar injuries. Scientists account this extra healing power that cats have to their purring. They have studied a cat’s purring vibrations and found the frequency to be between 25 and 150 Hertz. These vibrations have shown to be a healing factor in promoting bone regrowth, muscle repair and reducing stress, even in humans.
Did you know that just owning and caring for a cat reduces your risk of stroke and heart disease by up to 30 percent? Petting a purring cat lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress better than yoga, meditation, and relaxed breathing. Cats are just good for us. Unless, you have allergies.
But even allergies to cats can be dealt with if you tried hard enough. Now more than ever before, allergy medications are available over the counter that can help relieve symptoms of cat allergies. Also things like wiping your cat down with a wet cloth each morning, dusting and vacuuming frequently, and choosing a certain breed of cat can also help reduce your chances of aggravated allergies.
Also on the horizon, according to cat experts in the field, within a couple of years, there should be on the market a cat vaccine that would make any cat less likely to be offensive to those allergic to them. The vaccine would eliminate the protein that causes the allergies from being produced in the cat’s saliva, thus rendering the cat hypoallergenic. I will keep you posted, but that’s the word on the street.
There are so many cat breeds to choose from. No matter what your fancy, whether you like tall and thin cats, or fat and fluffy, or spotted or striped, or anything in between; there is the perfect cat for you out there. There are cats that resemble ballerinas, or bobcats, or Egyptian statues, or weiner dogs, or poodles. Cats with curled back ears, curled down ears, cats that look like owls, bald cats, cats with wirey hair, cats that are all hair, cats with no tails, cats with long legs, tiny cats, huge cats, and ordinary gray striped cats. Some things about cats will always be the same, but no two cats will ever be alike. They are as unique as we are.
Cats can make your life more full. Cats can make you feel loved. Cats always earn their keep, and always give back more than they take. If you hate spiders, cats kill them for you. If you don’t already have a cat, please consider giving one a home this month. And may I suggest, adopt an adult shelter cat. Adult cats are already over that annoying kitten crying stage and have a well developed personality that you can recognize straight away. They also will more than likely have well-established good litter box habits and will know how to use a scratching post rather than your sofa.
Cats live long lives, so missing those first couple of years won’t matter that much. You will still have a lot of time to enjoy your cat. Even older cats make great pets. Cats are just cool, so get a cat. Especially black cats. I think they are beautiful. I hope you do too.