Lucinda Discusses The Mythology Of Cats

black cat with glasses reading bookGreetings, two-legged readers. It’s Lucinda, your literate cat. My CCL (Cantankerous Cat Lady) has asked me to review a chapter in a book called The Mythology of Cats, Feline Legend and Lore Through the Ages. Authors are Gerald and Loretta Housman.

The chapter I am reviewing is called The Household Cat. I must admit, this information challenged me, because the vocabulary contained many words I did not know. Bear with me. I will do my best.

How Can Cats Find Home From Incredible Distances?

In this chapter, the authors discuss the ability of the cat to find its way home from seemingly impossible distances. Give them time! Barring accidents, they will find their home again.

At the beginning, the authors talk about Sugar, a black and white cat, who travels from Anderson, California to her home in Gage, Oklahoma. This trip had a distance of 1500 miles, and it took Sugar 14 months to get home safely.

CCL says that is over 100 miles per month. Goodness! That cat must have been a good hunter, to find enough game to feed herself for that long time. Though I could undoubtedly make such a trip, I hope I never have to. For one thing, I’d have to stow away on a boat or plane for part of the trip.

The CCL reassures me that she has no intention of moving or of leaving me behind. That is a relief.

The chapter then discusses how the cat is able to accomplish such a feat. Both catsCat walking down road and dogs have something called “psi trailing.” That stands for psychic tracking (whatever that means — it refers somehow to our navigation system.) The authors point out that cats have a more finely honed talent of navigation than do dogs.

Perhaps in the story, The Incredible Journey, which I reviewed, and, incidentally, enjoyed a great deal, the two dogs were fortunate to have had a cat with them, since the cat had a better navigation system. At least, those two dogs showed that they appreciated their cat friend.

A Sunny Day Is The Traveling Cat’s Friend

The authors say that cats have the ability to “read” sunlight. To do so, they consider the time of day, the season of the year, and the passing of one second, with a subtle internal mechanism. My, my! I had no idea I had such equipment built in!

Through this internal knowledge, and possibly using both solar and lunar magnetism, the cat’s mind provides it with a map for the journey.

Though you two-leggeds use these fancy words to describe what we do, we call it instinct. We don’t know how it works; we just trust it. You are the ones who have to study us and figure out how we do such things.

It’s all done by feel. It’s how our instincts work. If we talked to ourselves, we would say, “This way feels wrong, so I will change direction. This way feels right, so I will continue on in this direction.”

As the cat gets closer and closer to his goal, his internal stress is removed. Thus the cat becomes what you two-leggeds call a “sonar finder.” The cat moves through inner space, and follows a trail established by his remarkable cat mind.

There are other ideas you two-leggeds have about how a cat performs this feat. One idea is that cats use their whiskers to set up what you call an echolocation device. In other words, behaviorists (those who study how and why we act) suggest that perhaps cats pick up magnetic impulses that affect those whiskers.

The chapter uses the word “occult” which refers to the supernatural. Neither of these words — occult or supernatural — have much meaning for me. Again, it is your way of describing something.

What Of The Cat’s “Occult” Powers?

Large candle,cat seated behind, large shadow behind catSome of these “occult” ideas consider cats’ whiskers as objects of great power. The whisker is supposed to be good for helping you find lost objects.

Cats’ entrails have been used in some parts of the world for the purpose of prophecy. I do not like this idea at all. When I researched, I discovered that entrails referred to a cat’s insides. To use this method of prophecy, you would have to kill a cat. I definitely do not approve.

Our guts have been used as strings for musical instruments, and for fishing leaders. They are obviously very strong, but again, I do not approve at all of these uses.

Dr. Michael Fox, a scientist and a mystic, says “if an animal can perceive the time of day or the season, it should be able to find the square mile where it lives by ‘reading’ the sun and the angle of its rays.”

Though there is some language in here I can’t figure out, basically the chapter explains that this sun-reading allows the animal to find its square mile on the globe. However, you two-leggeds are still not sure exactly how we accomplish such amazing feats of travel.

This ability extends across all breeds of cats. It does not matter what kind of cat we are. All of us have this ability, built-in. To us, it does not matter how we do it — we just know we can. But you two-leggeds always need to have elaborate explanations.

The chapter goes on to say that “the clairvoyant cat is Everycat.” Many times the cat reminds you two-leggeds of the supernatural, for whatever reason, so the cat often became associated with fortune-tellers, or deities that you have invented.

A long time ago, when you two-leggeds worshiped cats, you were able to share the power we have. The cat is associated with the moon and the supernatural. No other Statue of Egyptian catanimal has been bowed to more times. In my opinion, that is as it should be. Our power needs to be recognized again.

Some of your sociologists (another term that is definitely of two-legged origin) believe that it is only through such animals as dogs and cats that you can experience the pleasure of the “wild outside.” Since we have agreed to be domesticated, we are your doorway to the wild world you do not know or understand.

Cats Have Superior Psychic Skills

Once, in the ancient past, you accepted us as having psychic skills and power greater than yours. Most of you have lost this belief in our superior abilities, because you are so self-absorbed with your own abilities, many of which we do not possess.

However, I believe you would be wise to acknowledge our power. With our guidance, we hope that you can reclaim some of this power that you have lost. Our intuition can teach you, if you will allow it.

This book has many interesting discussions about cats in general and about specific breeds as well. I will probably use this book again to teach you more about cat mythology.

If you would like your own copy, you can order it from this post. Just click on the book image below or on the blue highlighted title, and you will be taken to Amazon to make your purchase.

Please be aware that, as an Amazon associate, my CCL will receive a small commission when you purchase this book. I would be very appreciative of your purchase, as this money helps pay for cat food and supplies for me and for my cousin, Pogo.

If you would like to make a comment about this review, both my CCL and I would love it. I really enjoy reading comments from readers and fans. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and write your message in the section provided. It makes me feel like my efforts in reading and writing these posts is worthwhile.

Thanks for reading!

The Mythology of Cats, Feline Legend and Lore Through the Ages

by St. Martins Press

Price:  Hardcover — $47.87; Paperback — $28.75

Plus lower prices for used books


10 Responses to Lucinda Discusses The Mythology Of Cats

  1. KC says:

    Love it when Lucinda gets her time on the keyboard! An interesting article by and about my favorite critter.

    I’m continually amazed at how my cats, especially Fatboy, can tell time. When 9:30 PM rolls around you’ll find him sitting in front of me staring at me until I get up and get his snacky-snack. The longer I put it off, the closer he gets until he’s looking over the top of my laptop screen dead at me. He stares, licks his lips, and patiently waits until I comply. It’s a ritual he has perfectly timed.

    04:00 AM is when he decides it’s time to be scratched. He’ll walk up, usually right across me, paw at the covers around my shoulders until I wake up and give him his scratch. The upside is that he usually lays down right next to me and goes to sleep while snuggled up and enjoying a belly rub. That hypnotic purr and warm fuzziness puts me right back to sleep too. Definitely worth the interrupted snooze.

    • Fran Kelso says:

      It is amazing, isn’t it, how well they can tell time. Once their routine is established, they have the whole day’s schedule figured out. Wish I were as efficient! Your story about his way of looking over the computer screen reminds me of something my cat, Carlos used to do. When I lived in Kodiak, I had a large desk-type computer. I liked to play solitaire in the evening. Carlos would get on the top of the computer, and would hang one paw over the screen edge. When the solitaire cards would move, he’d try to grab them. This practice went on for quite a while, until he just got tired of trying to catch the cards. Too funny!

  2. Jagi says:

    Lucinda, you seem to be a very knowledgeable cat. You have a lot to say and most of its all very interesting. Thank you, Lucinda, for providing the information to us humans. Yes, I know many people in many cultures regarded cats as highly respected creatures. In the old days, it was better, but nowadays people still love cats but they’ve just become pets now. There to entertain the human they belong to.

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Thank you for your comment.  However, you have made one error in your thinking.  We are not here to entertain our two-leggeds.  We are here to protect and to offer love and caring, so long as the food bowl keeps getting filled, but as to entertaining, we are more interested in having you entertain us!  

      We are very glad you still love us, but it is important to straighten out this fallacy.  I think our definition of a “pet” as it pertains to us would be a little different than yours.  After all, perhaps it has been a well-kept secret to you, but we believe that we own you, not the other way around.

  3. Jen says:

    Thanks again Lucinda. I like your website and I think the drop-down menu at the top is nice. That’s pretty amazing how cats can use their instincts. I wish that I could travel that freely but I am a two-legged so I am dependent on living in a house and eating from a fridge.
    I definitely do not approve of killing cats either.
    You mentioned that you agreed to be domesticated. Why did you agree to be domesticated? I feel like if I was a cat I would not be happy with humans.
    I like your website and please keep writing!

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Jen, thank you for addressing your comment to me.  I am glad you agree with my point of view.

      We became domesticated back in ancient times.  We made a business agreement with those who stored grain and hay for themselves or their other animals.  We agreed that we would free the area of any rodents or other varmints and in exchange, we would be fed and housed.  

      Some of us chose not to accept that agreement, but many of us did, and as my ancestors did accept the agreement, I am now a domesticated cat.

  4. Henderson says:

    Lucinder is being typical here by giving us some dose of knowledge. I like what I have read and I’m happy I could learn from it. I also wondered at how cats can tell time and find their way home. I don’t agree though that they are occultic because dogs also possess a this powers too so would we say they are occultic too? Whether it is the whiskers or just mere instinct, we can agree that this cat ability is truly facinating and a great deal of research should be done extensively on it . About the book, I should grab myself a copy.

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Thanks much for your comment.  Cats and dogs have very similar powers, and if cats have occult powers, dogs do as well.  Interesting, though, that cats seem to measure out a little better in such abilities.  Yay for cats!  I do like dogs, but have been raised by cats all my life so I tend to be a bit prejudiced.

  5. Aly says:

    This is a very interesting read. I had to move an outdoor cat many years ago, and the poor kitty absolutely hated every second of the ride in the car. We arrived at our new destination and were not able to keep the kitty indoors. Although we shared food, water, toys, beds, and all of the things that the cat had previously known, the cat left on the first night in the new location. I’ve often wondered if the cat just decided to go home. Although “home” was a location many miles away, it sounds like this could be what happened. Very impressive creatures!

    • Fran Kelso says:

      That is sad that your kitty chose to leave.  I wouldn’t be surprised if your cat did return to its last home.  It knew the area; had established a territory; knew where the best hunting spots were.  The cat probably talked someone in the neighborhood into adopting it.  They often like to choose their own homes.

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