Although it was thought for a long time that cats were first domesticated in Egypt, the earliest indication for the taming of an African wildcat was actually found in Cyprus, where a cat skeleton was excavated close by a human Neolithic grave dating to around 7500 BC.
It is well known that cats were venerated by the Egyptians (people who harmed or killed cats faced harsh legal sentences, including the death penalty)… and they are still the masters/mistresses of many a household even today.
“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” – Terry Pratchett
International Cat Day was created in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare as a day to raise awareness for cats and learn about ways to help and protect them.
- A group of cats can be referred to as a clowder or a glaring.
- A male cat is called a tom or tomcat (or a gib if neutered)
- A female cat is called a queen or a molly
- The word kindle doesn’t just refer to the e-reader – it’s also a word that’s used to describe a group of kittens born to one mama cat
- In Early Modern English, a kitten could also be called a ‘catling’
- There are over 500 million domestic cats in the world
- Domestic cats usually weigh around 4 – 5 kgs
- The heaviest domestic cat on record is 21.297 kgs
- On average, cats live for around 12 to 15 years
- Cats spend around 30 to 50 percent of their day grooming themselves
- No-one knows exactly why cats purr
- In 2015, composer David Teie partnered with animal scientists to make an album called Music for Cats
- ‘Ailurophile’ is a fancy word for ‘cat lover’
- A cat spends nearly two-thirds of its life asleep
The purr-fect way to help local cats
There are plenty of cat sanctuaries and fosterers in Malta and most of them have Facebook pages, such as Tomasina Cat Sanctuary, Animal Guardians Malta, CLAWS Malta, Carers for Stray and Abandoned Felines(CSAF), Animal Care Malta, MSPCA and Gozo SPCA If you can’t adopt a cat, you may want to consider donating to one (or more) of them – that would be paw-sitively great!