Cats and cultures: How important are they?

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If you like cats then this is good to know for you!
Cats are animals known since the Ancient Egypt society (but they were already domesticated in even older times) and in that culture they were worshiped.

At the beginning they gained such an important position because they were efficient mice and other pests killers, and eventually there was a cat goddess called Bast, representing protection, fertility and motherhood.
In nowadays cultures cats are still by the human side, but they are not worshiped any more.

Nevertheless, these animals still have a role as pets, mice killers or revered animals (especially in the Muslim culture).
In Italy there is a superstition about black cats: if they cross your way, you will be unlucky.
On the other hand, especially in some urban areas there are the so-called “gattare”, old ladies who feed an unspecified number of stray cats, spending loads of money and time over this mission.

Some people also believe in cats’ healing powers, and they are often used as therapy animals.

They say that cats can “feel it” when you are depressed or sick, and they try to help you by purring on you. In some recent studies, scientists stated that cats can reduce high blood pressure, decrease stress and help fighting chronic diseases.

Some other people think that cats can feel also the “bad energy” in your house, that is particular places where in the past something bad happened (i.e. a room where someone was killed). In this case they say cats standing or sleeping in those places “absorb” the negative energy, and leave it purified.

Personally, I think if you live with a cat at least he/she makes you laugh with all the strange movements he/she does :)

Sometimes they do such stupid things, like in this video:

When you are in a sad mood I think this can really help! By the way if you don’t live with cats, you probably can’t understand why it is so funny and why so many people just go crazy for cats, and so did I before having my cat. But if you are looking for some fun and company in your life you should try this experience :)

So what do you think about cats and the way they are represented in your culture? Do you think they should be more/less respected? Do you have any particular tradition, superstition or proverb in your country?

[Italiano]

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