What is National Cat Day
National Cat Day on Oct. 29 reminds us that just when you think your cats have lost interest in you, they’ll turn around and melt your hearts. When it appears they’re too busy staring out at passing cars, chasing nylon mice, and sending tiny multi-colored balls to their under-the-refrigerator graves, they’ll somehow let you know that their very world revolves around you. Just wait. It’ll happen when you least expect it. Cats have their own timetable.
Send your best cat photos to email@example.com. Some will be featured in the Nov. 2 print edition and all will be presented in a special online gallery! Send pic with cat/kitten’s name(s), pet parent’s name(s), pet’s age or breed and any cute, funny or touching story about your cat!
History of National Cat Day
Lifestyle writer Colleen Paige has taken credit for establishing National Cat Day in 2005. Her stated mission: “To help galvanize the public to recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year and also to encourage cat lovers to celebrate the cat(s) in their lives for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow upon us.”
We cat-egorically believe her. She appears to love all cats — domestic and feral — and we’re certainly in favor of that.
Science magazine reports that cat domestication goes back 12,000 years. That encompasses a lot of toys and even more naps. The process appears to have taken place in the Middle East — think Israel, Iraq, and Lebanon. Domestication did not happen overnight. Cats did not go from wild beasts to softly purring pets — just, sort of, one day.
Per National Geographic: “DNA analysis suggests that cats lived for thousands of years alongside humans before they were domesticated. During that time, their genes have changed little from those of wildcats, apart from picking up one recent tweak: the distinctive stripes and dots of the tabby cat.”
Another study from University of Rome scholar Claudio Ottoni reveals that ancient sailors would bring cats along to “help protect food storages on board by killing rodents. This allowed cats to spread across the world.”
We’re glad they spread. Like dogs, who get all the credit for being lovable, cats feel everything we do. They can gauge our moods and emotions — and act accordingly. They have also given up a lot of their natural cravings to live in homes and apartments. (Especially indoor cats.)
Take a moment on National Cat Day to appreciate all the love they bring. Yes, they’re on the aloof side, but they’ve come a long way.