Carol Goodman Heizer is an author who moved to Hood County from Louisville, Kentucky in 2019. She has published short stories and articles in six editions of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. His column for the Hood County News will appear bi-weekly. She was a public school teacher for 17 years earlier in her professional career.
For any cat lovers who felt overlooked by my August column regarding National Dog Day, fear not. I did not forget you. You and your beloved cats have your own National Appreciation Day on October 29. It started in 2005 when Colleen Paige wanted to raise awareness of the number of cats in need of rescue each year. It is the responsibility of all pet owners to sterilize their animals that are not used for professional breeding purposes. However, many owners are negligent and irresponsible, resulting in thousands of helpless young animals being left homeless.
Although there is some discrepancy as to the actual date of this national recognition day, October 29 seems to be the most discussed among sources, with February 22 and August 8 being the other dates listed. But for the sake of clarity and the sentiments of our cat lovers in America who may have felt slighted a few months ago in this column, we will stick with the October date. After all, cats are the second most popular pet in our country.
We often think of cats as strictly beloved pets in our modern world. However, history tells a different story. Egyptians worshiped cats as early as 400 BC. They considered felines to be sacred and history records many images and statues of cats that have spanned millennia. In 400 BC. BC, the emperor of China received a cat as a gift, and the feline quickly became a popular pet among the wealthy. In 100 AD, cats took a vacation to Europe when Egyptian traders introduced cats to Europeans, especially the Greeks and Romans who used them as pest control.
According to a National Geographic article, DNA analysis of cats from thousands of years ago has “changed little from that of wild cats, except for one small tweak – scratches. and the distinctive points of the tabby cat”.
A study by University of Rome researcher Claudio Ottoni tells us that ancient sailors brought cats to “help protect food supplies on board by killing rodents. This practice allowed cats to spread around the world The whole world and today’s cat lovers are grateful for this “broadcast.” Like dogs who are known for their lovable nature and in tune with human moods, a cat can also feel whatever its owner does. A feline naturalist pointed out that indoor cats have given up much of their natural instinct to live indoors.
Cats live on their own schedule. When you think they’ve lost interest in you, they suddenly shift gears and manage to melt your heart. When they seem far too busy staring out the window at what interests them right now or chasing their toys in faraway places, they suddenly remind you that their world is centered around you. A cat can relieve stress and create a wonderful relationship between him and his owner.
Why do cats make their masters happy? Studies confirm that they can lower blood pressure and release dopamine and serotonin, two factors that reduce stress and improve immune function. They can also help release oxytocin which is associated with feeling in love! If you are a cat lover, did you know that you are called an “ailurophile”? The word is derived from the Greek word ailouros, which means “cat”, and the suffix -phile, which means “lover”. So, cat lovers, enjoy your beloved felines and enjoy the wonderful relationship you have with them.
I’ve never owned or been around cats because of a severe allergy to them, but I once saw a coffee mug with a message that others say is absolutely true: DOGS HAVE OWNERS. CATS HAVE SLAVES!
Cats provide such pleasure to their owners that some have asked if their felines can actually heal humans. At first, this seems like a ridiculous question. But upon further study, we know that a cat’s purr ranges between 25 and 140 Hz – the same frequency that helps heal broken bones, repair joints and tendons, and heal wounds.
Hasn’t our Creator thought of everything? Humans serving animals – and animals serving humans!