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Why cats are said to have 9 lives?
Through years a cat is associated with something mysterious and a bit magical. Many legends are created about these graceful animals who didn’t want to become slaves for humans, but managed to be friends. One of the mysteries associated with cats is fantastic endurance of these animals. In ancient times, people even believed that cats are able to reincarnate. Why do cats have 9 lives? And who gave them such a gift? We can only guess, trying to find the answer in the eyes of these mysterious animals shimmering like precious stones.
1. Divine Intervention
Twenty-seven gods of Ancient Egypt are conventionally divided into three groups of nine gods responsible for the water, the earth and the heavens. Egyptians thought cats were close to gods, who gave these animals the right to be authority messengers. Ancient Egyptians even believed that cats are gods themselves living in our world in the form of cats. Perhaps the myth that cats have nine lives was originated in ancient Egypt. Some believe that these 9 lives is a gift of the god Ra, who was often portrayed in the cat's appearance. Or maybe it's the gift of Freya goddess, the sovereign of nine worlds, who thanked cats that carry her chariot across the sky?
2. Diabolical machinations
The souls of people who lived in the Middle Ages were filled with dread of Satan, the devil and all his essences. It was believed that a witch could turn into a cat to sneak into the dwelling of righteous people. Dying, the cat took its true form. A witch could do this “trick” nine times during her life.
Why do cats have exactly nine lives instead of ten, for example? Number 9 was considered magical from ancient times. It closes the loop: 1-9, 19, 29, 999. This number reproduces itself when multiplied by any number: 9 x 7 = 63, 6 +3 = 9; 9 x 156 = 1404, 1 +4 +4 = 9. According to the writings of the ancient Greek philosopher Pluto, Atlantis included nine kingdoms. By the way, the number of Greek muses is also nine. In Orthodoxy angels have nine ranks. Ancient symbol of the Holy Spirit – is a nine-star with 9 symbols of one of the nine gifts. Bach's Ninth Symphony was the last work of the composer. The Ninth Wave is the nightmare of sailors.
4. Ideal proportions
Perhaps cats have nine lives by the very nature, that “hit the mark” from the first bid. Prehistoric ancestors of whales lived on land and resembled otters, and the only difference is that their paws were slimmer and longer. Ancestors of horses moved on the fingertips and resembled foxes with rough head. But cats were recognizable already 50 million years ago. These animals have strikingly little changed over millions of years of evolution. Apparently, the cats were so perfect from the outset, that they only needed light “retouching”.
Expensive computer equipment, plastic box, a cat, supersensitive sensors and a person, gently caressing the cat – exactly this way scientists worldwide study cat’s purr. It is known that purring accelerates regeneration of tissues, especially bone tissues. Why is this happening so – no idea. Many researchers even try to create a device that will simulate the sound already; there is some experimental development in this field. It is proved that purring of a healthy pet is most effective. Some zoologists believe that 9 lives of cats is the result of their ability for self-recovery.
6. Vestibular apparatus
Cats not only have a great physique, but also have a unique sense of balance. Falling from heights, these animals always manage to land on their paws, taking the right position already during the “flight.” Even little kittens that barely began to walk are most likely to land on their paws. In addition, due to the size and the ratio of muscle density to body weight, these whiskered acrobats falling off the roof of a tall building, are able to get off lightly. Often 9 lives of cats are explained by this phenomenon.
Blessed with high intelligence, a cat is able to find a way out of any situation and adapt to any conditions. Wherever the cat lived, be it in steppes, or dense forests, in the mountains or on the streets of a metropolis, it would always manage to find warmth and food. Cats and used to live next to a man, though it’s out of their nature to be a part of the pride. They even invented a unique language for communication with humans – meowing! This is an amazing phenomenon! No other animals managed to create a special sound for communicating with people.
Sometimes 9 lives of a cat are associated with its autonomy and independence. Cunning cats have learned how to benefit from people staying fully adaptive to any living conditions. Most pets when getting back into their natural habitats are unable to survive or they survive at the cost of enormous effort. But not a cat. It seems to remember the whole experience of its ancestors, quickly turning from affectionate purring pet into a wild predator. For this reason, many zoologists believe cats are domesticated only partially, as they can run wild too easy finding themselves in a natural habitat.
9. Courage, but not recklessness
Perhaps cats have 9 lives because they are great analysts. Let’s, for example, a dominant terrier with a strong territorial instinct. What happens if a Caucasian shepherd dog enters its territory? The terrier will rush to the attack on the offender, although it is obvious that the chance of winning is little. But cats have a cold prudence. They would attack a dog that is not larger than twice its size, but if the enemy is more dangerous the cat will just climb the tree. It’s a rare thing to notice a real fight between two cats, they prefer a “loud” confrontation: the cats may hiss and yell at each other for hours without releasing their teeth and claws. Why? Because the slightest scratch can lead to death if the infection penetrates the body through a wound. Cat aren’t able to fully understand it, but instinctively they feel when there is a sense in an open battle, and when it is wiser to retreat.
Despite the incredible vitality of these amazing animals, cats have only one live. The owner should not count on the gods, the nature or the gumption of their pet. The legends are very nice, and the myths are so beautiful that we want to believe in all that, but it’s better not to tempt fate.
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