All About Animals: A Bit About Kitties

I don’t know about you, but when I die, I’m absolutely sure that I want to come back as a cat. Not just any cat, mind you, but one of my cats. My days would be filled with lounging leisurely on the back of the couch, watching butterflies and hummingbirds flit about in the yard. I’d stretch out and nap on the kitchen table, knowing full well that I wasn’t supposed to. I’d hide in the laundry basket under nice warm clothes, fresh out of the dryer. I’d pop out as they were being folded. I’d always act elegant and, of course, be unpredictable. Oh, my, what a great life! I can see it all now, my cat loving friends, nodding in knowing agreement. How many of you are owned by a cat? If you are, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Well, enough about that fantasy – on to a few fun feline facts.

Cats have been allowing humans to live with them for over 8,000 years. They were first domesticated in ancient Egypt where they were worshiped as gods. Killing a cat was punishable by death. The first known cat was named Nedjem, which means star. In Japan and Great Britain, black cats are a symbol of good luck. There are over 500 million domestic cats in the world, and over 40 different breeds. WOW!

Did you know that domestic cats carry their tails upright and feral cats carry their tails horizontally? Cats hear better than humans and most dogs. Calicos are always females. They have keen vision, more detailed than dogs. A cat can jump 5-7 times its height. Cat owners outnumber dog owners. Indoor cats have an average life span of 12-20 years, while outdoor cats average only up to 10 years. Cats sleep an average of 16 hours per day. They hunt at dusk and dawn. A cat’s nose is ridged and has a unique pattern similar to our fingerprint. A group of cats is called a clowder. Cats walk on their fingertips so as to allow them to sprint up to 31 miles per hour. Their average weight is 6-12 pounds and height up to 12 inches tall. A cat with more than 5 toes on the front and 4 toes on the back is called polydactyl. Lastly, cats love garlic!

Want to know what your cat is telling you? If his tail is slapping or twitching, look out, he’s irritated. If his back is arched and his tail is puffed up – he’s afraid. Are his ears up and forward? He’s happy. If his eyes are closed, he’s content.

So, now go give your cat a hug and always treat him kindly. One day, that just might be you.

Remember, spay and neuter your family pet!

Chic Miller
Since 1990 Chic Miller and her husband, Bob, have owned and operated Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal sanctuary on Gas Point Road in Cottonwood. The Millers care for hundreds of abused and neglected animals. Animals that come to this sanctuary remain there for the rest of their lives. Chic is a retired nurse and takes care of all the medical needs for the injured and ill animals. Aside from a few volunteers, Bob and Chic take care of all the daily chores. The Millers care for hundreds of animals, including dogs, horses, ponies, pigs, llamas, goats, cats, chickens and yes, even a one-legged turkey. Chic Miller can be reached at 530-347-0544. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to help support Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary.
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6 Responses

  1. Joanne Lobeski Snyder says:

    Great article Chic! We are still mourning our last feline friend who lived to be 18 years old. There must have been a mix up in his genes because he was tri-colored. Thank you for this article. I miss have the company of a cat. They are amazing creatures, and it’s a mystery why people and cats can co-exist so well.

  2. Margy says:

    So accurate! I’ve never had a cat try garlic, I do have one that likes asparagus, zucchini, red bell pepper and green beans . This is the second cat I’ve had that loved asparagus.

  3. Nina G says:

    Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

  4. Carla DeLauder says:

    I loved reading this. I put cats first in my writer’s bio for a reason!!

    I didn’t know a gaggle of cats is called a clowder. Spell checker wants to auto-correct that to chowder!

    And when I was living in Japan I rescued three cats, two of which were black. One I re-homed and Luna traveled home with me. She was an old cat and passed away a few years ago.

    Of my eight cats (nine until dear Kuma was taken by a coyote), three is an orange tabby family I rescued by the steel mill in downtown Redding: Turtle, his younger brother Ezra, and their mama Apple, who was still a kitten.

    Then there’s the black cats: Brothers Jasper and Juniper, super fluffy Juna, and Mystique D’Avalon (we just call her Misty). And lastly is our chubby sweetheart Luna I rescued from a grocery store parking lot late one night while a huge, perfectly round moon loomed overhead.

    (I’m not opposed to resurrecting names from my animal friends that have passed.)

    The dogs, well, we have those, too. And chickens. But it sounds like you have even more!!

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