They say cats have nine lives. But even if that was the case, the sad fact is, cats can’t taste sweet. And they are possibly the only animal species that experienced something similar to genocide.
Why Is Believed That Cats Have Nine Lives?
The reason for this belief originates from ancient times. Egypt is the place where the belief was most likely created. Old Egyptians worshiped the sun God Atum-Ra. He was prone to take the form of a cat. Especially when visiting the underworld. And he created the other eight gods. When added to his, it is how nine lives started being associated with cats. But ancient Egyptians were not the only ones to perceive these animals in this way. Old Chinese also believed that cats have exactly nine lives. There is an ancient proverb, “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays and for the last three he stays.” This expression is even used by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet.
Another reason for the existence of this belief might the fact that cats, due to their agility and dexterity, always manage to land on their feet. Even in cases that would produce severe or even fatal injuries to other animals.
Cats Are Incapable of Tasting Sweet
Cats are the only land mammals that can’t taste sweet. Their taste receptors are incapable of processing sweet taste. The reason for this is that cats actually don’t need sugar to survive. For most of the land mammals including human beings, carbohydrates are necessary for survival. In order to induce organisms on consuming it, the taste receptors produce that pleasant feeling of sweet we feel while eating cookies, cakes, etc… It is assumed that mutation in a cat’s genes related to proteins resulted in this kind of inability. Cats are only interested in the umami of meat and saltness of blood.
Why Are Black Cats Considered Bad Luck?
This belief is mostly related to middle age. But is based on prehistoric fears when cats were one of the most dangerous predators men had to encounter. During middle age, a story about a boy and a father who pelted stones at a black cat was circulating around Europe. Allegedly, a man and his son started tossing stones at one black cat that was passing their way. The cat escaped into the nearby empty ruin of the house. After an hour a liming woman covered in bruises went out. At that time, the only logical explanation was that the witch had taken the form of a cat. Another explanation for animosity people developed towards black cats is their black fur. As it was the case with Grim Reaper, ravens, and crows, being covered in the black color is what associated black cats with evil and death.
Black Cats Were Victims of Genocide
If the term genocide could be related to animals then black cats would be possibly the only species to experience it. During the middle ages, the belief that black cats are the embodiment of the devil or associates of witches resulted in their mass killing. People wanted to get rid of them from the streets by all means necessary. But the hatred towards black cats was mainly the European thing. Old Egyptians, for example, observed them as divinity. And in certain parts of 19th-century Europe, they were even considered for a good omen.
How High Can Cats Jump?
Domestic cats are capable of jumping five to six their body lengths high. Usual dimensions of a body of a cat are 25cm height, 46cm length, and 30cm tail length. If the average cat is around 46cm long it means that its jump can reach the astonishing 2.75 meters. However, that is not a record. There are taller and longer domestic cats capable of jumping even more. To make it more interesting, the male high jump world record was set in 1993 at 2.45 meters. While the Cuban athlete did a spectacular job when compared to his competition, every domestic cat is capable of exceeding the peak of his efforts by far. As for the wild cats, the caracal is the highest jump with the measured record of 3.4 meters vertical jump from a standing point.
When Did People Start To Have Cats For Pets?
The first pet cat is 9500 years old. The custom of housing cats was first started in old Egypt. Ancient Egyptians revered many animals, but cats were considered for the most special of all. According to the already told story about the sun God, it was believed that having cats in the home brings good luck. To honor divine creatures, wealthy families dressed cats in jewels and fed them like royalty. When the cat would die it would be mummified while the owners would shave off their eyebrows and mourn until they would grow back. If someone was to kill a cat even by accident, he or she would be sentenced to death.
Why Cats Sleep So Long?
It is known that cats spent 2/3 of their life sleeping. It is an astonishing 16 hours per day which is more than double that human beings usually do. The reason for this is their instinct to conserve energy. Wild cats need to sleep and preserve strength for hunting. Chasing a pray can take a lot of effort. Domestic cats have noo need to hunt but their instinct remained unchanged. As a matter of fact, house cats share 95% of their genetic makeup with tigers. However, 3/4 of sleeping time is light sleep while only 1/4 is deep sleep. This can be confirmed by looking at their eyes which are slightly opened while they are snoozing.
Why Do Cats Hate Water?
One of the reasons cats have developed such a level of animosity towards the water is because having their fur drenched weights them down. In such a state their agility rapidly drops which produced a great deal of inconvenience. Another reason is their evolutionary history. Most of the cat’s ancestors lived in dry and arid areas. They never had water for an obstacle which is why they had no need to develop adequate overcoming mechanisms. Also, when they are in the water, cats can smell chemicals. Cats have an extremely developed sense of smell that they relay on. Humans can’t detect those chemicals. But cats do and it is very unpleasant to them when their fur drenched with water smells completely different than they are sued to. Also important for a relationship with water is childhood. Like it is the case with human beings, cats develop their attitude at an early age. Some traumatic experience could easily enhance their inborn animosity towards the water. There is also the moment related to the lack of control. Wet slippery surface or deep water make cats helpless when compared to normal circumstances. And all animals with wild genes tend to remain in places that allow them to be in control.
Additional Interesting Facts About Cats
Here are some additional interesting facts about cats:
- The longest cat was 48.5 inches long.
- The oldest cat was 38.
- A house cat can reach a speed of 30 mph.
- Isaac Newton invented a cat door.
- In 1963 the cat known as Astrocat went to space.
- The richest cat in the world had seven million dollars.