Cats are the only animal that is included in traditional Halloween celebrations. We ponder the reasons and why they are generally good companions since today is National Cat Day.
Do you think of Halloween and what do you think of it? Goblins, warlocks, witches and black cats. Yes, cats are the only animal that is routinely included in the Halloween celebration.
For a long time they were considered companions of witches and were considered domestic animals, which served the witches as allies and in many cases as protectors. In ancient times, many thought that cats would cast spells and harm a witch’s enemy.
In the 14th century, black cats were associated with the devil, and thousands of them were killed during the black death pandemic. To this day, animal shelters do not offer black cats for adoption on Halloween because they fear they will be sacrificed.
This is ironic as cats were worshiped in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians viewed cats as useful predators and they gradually became symbols of divinity and protection, according to history.com.
Today is National Cat Day, which is celebrated nationwide to raise awareness of the importance of cat adoption.
Owning a cat can be beneficial for health. The Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology published a study that found that cat owners are less likely to die from a heart attack or stroke. Not only can the cat’s purr keep you company, but it can also help lower blood pressure and calm nerves.
Despite the fact that cats are low-maintenance and cheaper to care for – they take up less space, usually stay indoors, use a litter box, and groom themselves – dogs appear to be more popular pets in society today. According to the American Pet Product Association, approximately 63 percent of all US households own a dog. Cat lovers are falling behind. About 43 percent of households own a cat and 10 percent of households feed a community cat.
At the University of Miami, about 50 students are members of a cat-loving club called UPurr (of course), and their mission is to try and find foster care options for street cats.
Suha Khan, President of UPurr, with Luna.
Suha Khan is the President of UPurr and the proud owner of Luna, a long haired gray cat. Luna arrived from Pakistan with the family in 2016. Khan said she believes cats have earned a reputation for being aloof, cold, and picky. However, cat owners generally agree that while cats can be independent, they are often loyal and affectionate.
“Luna can be private,” said Khan. “But sometimes she acts like a dog.”
Khan said UPurr wants to work to increase the number of students who can care for cats and kittens and also take care of the cats on campus.
“Cats are an invasive species in Miami,” she said. “The conditions for them on the street are terrible. Our goal is to connect students with rescue organizations so they can care for a cat. The momentum for our rescue efforts is increasing. ”
In the future, the group hopes to save cats, neuter them and release them into their habitat. To do this, they recruit veterinarians who would carry out the castration pro bono.
Laurie McDonald, senior program coordinator at the School of Education and Human Development, shares ownership of a gray and white cat named Simba with her daughter Kiersten.
For the past six years, she has enjoyed seeing Simba become part of the family.
“Although most cats are assigned a private personality, Simba thinks he’s a dog,” said McDonald. Active and playful, Simba even stands on her hind legs for treats.
For Katya Gutierrez in her sophomore year (yes, daughter of the author), the wait to become a cat owner was long. She was born with a severe allergy to cats. She finally outgrew him this year and is now the happy owner of a diluted calico named Canary.
Gutierrez spends a lot of time playing with Canary and throwing a little ball for her to pick up. Canary, in real cat fashion, sometimes pulls the ball back and sometimes ignores it.
Gutierrez said that she “likes that cats are somewhat independent but can be affectionate”.
Canary, a diluted calico. Photo: Barbara Gutierrez / University of Miami