Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stories of Our Feline Friends: June is National Adopt a Cat Month


Cat Among the Fairies
by John Anster Fitzgerald 1819-1906





I confess, I am more of a dog lover but I did grow up with many cats and kittens in my childhood home. At one time there were two adult cats, which timed their pregnancies perfectly, and blessed us with 12 kittens all at the same time!

My first cat was beautiful, fluffy, white stray, and of course, being such a creative child, I named her "Fluffy."  But by far, the funniest cat ever was Sassy, named for her rather erratic behavior and personality. She would run full tilt down the hall, a straight shot from our kitchen to my bedroom door, and slam herself into it shake it off, then begin the routine all over again. I learned quickly to leave the door open.

She never did quite get the hand of the litter box . Sassy would climb into it, scratch around, finding just the right spot, then hang her behind over the box and deposit her business on the kitchen linoleum. She always made my friends laugh!

One day Sassy sat on the hassock, facing my sister's boyfriend who was ensconced in my father’s favorite chair, and entered into a staring contest with her. It went on for quite a while until Sassy began to slowly tilt, then tumbled right off onto the floor!

June is National Adopt a Cat Month so let’s celebrate these beautiful, feline creatures that definitely have their own style and attitude! These stories will have you purring in no time at all!

  • The oldest archaeological evidence for domesticated cats was found on the Greek island of Cyprus, where several animal species including cats were introduced by 7500 BC.
  • The next is 6th millennium BC Haçilar, Turkey, where female figurines carrying cats or catlike figures in their arms have been discovered.
  • The first illustration of a cat with a collar appears on an Egyptian tomb in Saqqara, dated to the 5th dynasty (Old Kingdom, ca 2500-2350 BC). By the 12th dynasty (Middle Kingdom, ca 1976-1793 BC), cats are definitely domesticated, and the animals appear frequently in Egyptian art paintings and mummies.
  • The ancient Egyptian reverence for cats is well-known—and well-documented in the archaeological record: scientists found a cat cemetery in Beni-Hassan brimming with 300,000 cat mummies. Bastet, an Egyptian goddess of love, had the head of a cat, and to be convicted of killing a cat in Egypt often meant a death sentence for the offender.
  • Ancient Romans held a similar—albeit tempered and secularized—reverence for cats, which were seen as a symbol of liberty. In the Far East, cats were valued for the protection they offered treasured manuscripts from rodents.
  • Cats came to be demonized in Europe during the Middle Ages. They were seen by many as being affiliated with witches and the devil, and many were killed in an effort to ward off evil (an action that scholars think ironically helped to spread the plague, which was carried by rats). Not until the 1600s did the public image of cats begin to rally in the West.

The above information was found at the following websites:: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/brief_cats.html#ixzz2UPp0bxQp
STORIES

The Boy Who Drew Cats – Japan
The Cat’s Elopement – Japan
Cat and Mouse in Partnership - Germany
Domingo’s Cat – South America
Why Cats and Dogs Never Get Along – Haiti
You will find these seven folktales at the link below, along with a few Aesop fables.
·                     How Cat’s Got Their Purr – England
·                     The Master Cat, or Puss n’ Boots - France
·                     The White Cat - France
·                     Kissa the Cat - Denmark
·                     The Lion and the Cat - England
·                     The Cottager and His Cat - Iceland
·                     The Clever Cat - Iran
Here are 12 different stories about cats from Nigeria, Palestine, Tibet and other countries around the world.
  
CRAFTS

Cat and Kitten Crafts for Kids
Cat Puppet – Cute and easy, made from Styrofoam and a straw.
CURRICULUM

For Kids About Cats - Resources for Parents and Teachers

Kidssoup.com – Cute cat math activity for preschoolers.



SONGS/FINGERPLAYS
 
Step by StepSong, fingerplays books and there is even a flannel board story all related to cats.

Do you have any of  cat stories to share? I would love to hear them! Please feel free to add them in the comment section of the blog.






Karen Chace 2013 ©
This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at storybug@aol.com. Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.

3 comments:

Joy said...

Although I grew up with mostly dogs as pets I decided my first "luxury" after graduating college was to get a cat. I went to the Humane Society and got a little black kitten I named Sheba. Pretty much immediately afterwards I started touring with a band and Sheba went with me. She lived with me in Tennessee, Conneticut and finally New York. A few years after I moved to New York a friend came over with his Doberman swearing this dog loved cats and Sheba would be in no danger. I was still nervous about it and put Sheba in a room down the hall from the living room and closed the door. The dog apparently out of curiosity, started to saunter down the hall to check out the cat. Suddenly the dog stopped dead in her tracks about midway down the hall and started walking slowly backwards away from the room I had locked Sheba in. I don't know but I'm thinking it was the dog that was in possible danger and not the cat!

Karen Chace said...

Thanks for sharing that delightful story Joy! Yes, cats are so confident even a Doberman can sense it behind closed doors!

Karen

Sheila Arnold said...

Karen, thanks again for your blogs. On June 4, "Hug Your Cat" day, I told "Why Cat and Dog Don't Get along" from Mules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston (or my version of it) at the Grapevine monthly Storytelling Series. It just so happened that I told folks on Facebook I would do that and a friend, asked me if it was true about Noah not wanting to take the cats on the ark and they sneaked on. I was so delighted with that thought, that I created an on the spot additional story.

Dog becomes Noah's best friend and besmirches the reputation of cat. Noah proclaims cat is not wanted in the ark. At the same time, Mrs. Noah refuses to allow mice on board. As the water falls, cat and mouse come in partnership (thought it was cute to see that story on your blog and I like it) and cat holds tightly and climbs up the wood, mouse chews an opening in the top. They hide at the top and mouse is to scrounge up food, but gets seen. Mrs. Noah asks for a member of the animal world to take out mouse, everyone refuses because elephant talks about how awful and scary mouse is, but one evening cat slinks out and says she'll take the job. She doesn't succeed well, but her willingness endeared her to Mrs. Noah. Cat ended the story saying, "I took our ham, Dog, and am willing to take you out, Mouse, so watch out when I purr." (it was well received and I have a new story, and you can have it, too, if you'd like). peace,