Cats have 7 lives – Is this all just a myth?
Cats have 7 lives, as the saying goes. Indeed, the robust little hunters move skillfully over all obstacles. Find out here what is a myth and what is a truth about this old saying!
There are many proverbs about the cat. One of the best known is that cats are said to have seven lives, as it’s not uncommon for these velvet-footed companions to amaze us with their almost unbelievable ability to survive falls. Researchers, therefore, assume that this saying originated because cats also survive one-piece crashes that would end anything but smoothly for humans. But ancient magical ideas also seem to play a role in the belief in the cat’s 7 lives.
Cats have 7 lives – or are there even 9?
The origins of this proverb are found in the darkness of history. In previous centuries, people didn’t know how to explain why cats always landed on their paws. Also, their silent locomotion and eyes that glow in the dark sometimes make them look like supernatural beings. The idea that velvet paws, unlike humans, have more than one life was therefore obvious.
It’s also no coincidence that it’s 7 lives
It’s also no coincidence that it’s 7 lives, of all things, that are attributed to cats. Even at the beginning of the Christian era, 7 was a special number, as can be seen in the 7 sacraments, the 7 deadly sins, and the 7 virtues. This number has a magical meaning above all because, in the medieval symbolism of numbers, it was considered a combination of the earth with its 4 cardinal points. But 7 was also a lucky number for the ancient Germanic peoples, which is why it appears in many traditional fairy tales.
In the English-speaking world, the situation is different.
Only in the English-speaking world is the situation somewhat different. The cats have not seven lives there, but nine, which is probably due to the particular history of the British Isles. The number 9 was already sacred for the Celts because it symbolized for them the universe. And 9 also played an important role in the mythology of the Vikings, who later colonized much of England. Unfortunately, neither 7 nor 9 lives were enough for cats in the Middle Ages, when they were ruthlessly persecuted as so-called familiars of the devil.
Cats are survival artists
Already in previous centuries, people could naturally observe that cats could take on extraordinary challenges. Of course, it is particularly impressive that even the most discreet Büsi can fall from great heights and remain unscathed. Only a few years ago, scientists discovered why cats can land on their paws and recover quickly even after injuries.
High-speed recordings reveal it: When a cat falls
High-speed recordings reveal it: When a cat falls, it automatically rolls over. The positioning reflex allows, thanks to opposite movements of the front and back of the body, to land without problems with the paws. Their flexible joints can also cushion the impact well. This does not mean that your buffalo will remain unscathed in all cases. Especially if they don’t have time to turn around or if the ground is not clear, cats can also suffer serious injuries.
But cats are still a bit of a mystery today. Even when injured, they generally recover much faster than humans. They carry within them the necessary healing power. Their unique hum not only spreads a pleasant mood, but its frequency also helps heal broken bones and other injuries quickly. Even humans experience this effect when a purring cat is near them. So cuddle your kitten again – it’s good for your health!