Cats. Soft, silky, and purry, and yet equipped with super sharp claws and killer hunting instincts. But do we really know them at all? Yes, in many ways we do. Cats are charming, aloof, loving, loyal, and fiercely independent. They’re the epitome of contradiction and yet we can’t get enough of our feline friends.
To celebrate Cat Day (which is Monday!), we’ve put together the top five facts about cats we bet you didn’t know.
#5 What Exactly is a Jellicle Cat?
Macavity, macavity. We’re not talking about Irish Cat dental issues, here, but the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Cats, which is based on T.S. Eliot’s collection of poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.
So just what is a jellicle cat? According to Eliot, the words jellicle cats and pollicle dogs is a corruption of a child’s pronunciation of dear little cats and poor little dogs.
#4 What’s In a Name?
The word cat comes from the Old English catt. But being language, there are a slew of European languages that the name "cat should be very familiar, (even if the language isn’t English… )
In German, it’s katze; in Welsh cath; in Spanish gato; and in Latin, the very telling catus.
#3 These Paws Are Made For Walking
And that’s just what they’ll do, one of these days … Anyway, cats have a specialized walk, one that minimizes paw prints and also noise (forget Kitten Mittens).
Cats walk on their toes and very precisely step into their front steps with their back paws, thus making them look like they’re a bipedal creature. Crafty, huh?
#2 Marco … Polo
Sure, you know the cat had whiskers on its face to maneuver around the darkness, but did you know it has whiskers all over its body? These whiskers (especially the ones on the face) sense nearby objects and pick up changes in air currents. Why hasn’t the army utilized the cat for military exercises? It’s probably because they’d only do it on their precious time.
#1 Winner: Most Popular!
The cat is, in fact, the most popular pet in the United States. Sure, dog fans may be louder than cat fans, but there are approximately five million (that’s 73 million cats) more cats in American households than dogs. That’s right, cats rule supreme.
And, as we all know, that’s pretty much how the cat would have it.
Meow! It’s Monday.