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Today, August 8th, is International Cat Day. It is a day also known as World Cat Day and was designated in 2002 as a way to celebrate the bond that cats and humans share. International Cat Day is also a day to be an advocate for the well-being and safety of all cats.
The history of cats
Scientists have long tried to determine how cats came into being. They stumbled upon the solution to the mystery – or so they believe. Here is the story: A wildcat was found buried next to the corpse of a human in Cyprus close to 10,000 years ago. This discovery speaks to the fact that humans and cats had relationships for longer than had been imagined. Scientists also believe cat ownership can be traced back about 5,500 years ago to an area in central China.
Cats were prized by farmers because the cats kept down the rodent population and protected the grain supplies. This led to the domestication of cats, or so it’s believed. The cats were given a warm barn in which to sleep, in return, they took care of the rat population.
If you’re a cat parent you know your cat “owns” you – not the other way around. Cat parents also know that, contrary to popular belief, cats are not solitary creatures. They enjoy being with their humans and they enjoy being in the company of other cats.
What are some ways you can celebrate cats regardless of whether it’s International Cat or World Cat Day?
Here are a few ways:
Local shelters welcome volunteers to come and play with the cats and kittens. You may want to volunteer to scoop litter boxes, too. There are more than three million cats surrendered to shelters annually. Shelters are generally overrun with cats and kittens in the spring when kittens are born. Even if you can’t adopt a cat long-term, you could volunteer to be a foster – even for a weekend.
Shelters are typically cash-strapped and welcome donations. Ask your local shelter what is on its wish list and buy a few items and donate them. Bring some kitty litter or bags of cat and kitten food. Donate toys or blankets or cat beds to make the shelter more comfortable for the cats and kittens until they find their forever homes. You could even pay for the adoption fee for a kitty so his or her new pet parents can bring him home without having to pay the fee – that is a great gift for the cat and the new cat parents.
Drop by a cat café
Cat cafes are becoming more prevalent across the country. These areas are where cats, who are up for adoption, roam freely. Patrons can stop by, grab a cup of coffee, sit and read a book and pet a cat. You can even adopt a cat while you’re there!
Buy a cat health insurance policy
If you already live with a cat, here are some ways to celebrate him or her.
How do you celebrate your cats? We would love to know!