Anonymous
Anonymous asked in PetsCats · 1 decade ago

What is the origin of the saying " cats have nine lives "?

I have seen my cat endure some horrific episodes and have caught myself quoting this age old saying a lot lately. Did this start from a myth or is there some evidential merit to this well known quote ? I never fail to choose a " best answer " for my questions so your efforts will not be wasted. Just check my profile for proof... Thanks

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Nine lives

    According to a myth in many cultures, cats have nine (or sometimes seven) lives. The myth is attributed to the natural suppleness and swiftness cats exhibit to escape life-threatening situations. Also lending credence to this myth is that falling cats often land on their feet because of an inbuilt automatic twisting reaction and are able to twist their bodies around to land feet first, though they can still be injured or killed by a high fall.

    Do you know why cat's have nine lives -- or did you ever wonder why people say they do? This is the story. A very hungry cat entered a house one day and found a plate of nine fish that were going to be eaten for dinner by the nine starving children who lived there. The cat was feeling a little selfish that day and ate up all of the fish in nine quick bites. With no food on the table, the nine starving children died of hunger the very next day, along with the cat who died from eating WAY too much. When the cat went up to heaven and spoke with God, God was so angry with the cat that he threw him out of heaven and made him fall for nine days all the way back to earth. To this day, the cat still holds the nine lives of the starving children in his belly, which is why he must die nine different times before he will stay dead.

    (Good myth, never heard of it.)Source:http://www.ustrek.org/odyssey/semester2/...

    Stephen St Claire goes on to note an even more astounding ability of cats to quite literally land on their feet by routinely surviving and completely recovering from falls that would kill most animals (including humans). On the basis of a survey in the late 1980s (based on reports from vets... as opposed to intentionally dropping the cats), 132 cats fell from an average of 5.5 stories but with only about one third requiring emergency treatment, another third non-emergency treatment, and one third no treatment at all. St Claire notes that the highest recorded fall survived by a cat was 45 stories! Apparently, the adage of a cat having nine lives has a scientific, experiential basis.

    http://www.halexandria.org/dward765.htm

    Although cats do not have nine lives, they do seem to. Cats can fall from tremendous heights and jump seven times their tail length. http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~bgoebel/Russell/A...

    The well-known saying that a cat has nine lives has its origins in witchcraft. A book titled Beware the Cat written by English author William Baldwin during the Dark Ages in 1584 contained the phrase "It is permitted for a witch to take her cat's body nine times". Thus the idea that cats have nine lives. http://pets1st.com/articles/00072legends...

    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chica...

    SCIENTISTS have discovered that the purring of cats is a "natural healing mechanism" that has helped inspire the myth that they have nine lives. Wounded cats - wild and domestic - purr because it helps their bones and organs to heal and grow stronger, say researchers who have analysed the purring of different feline species. This, they say, explains why cats survive falls from high buildings and why they are said to have "nine lives". http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/mai...

    The cat having nine lives represents the unique relation to humans. The legend of Noah and his Ark are well known but there is another legend that is associated with this that many people have never heard. There weren’t any domestic cats when Noah built the Ark, but there were rats and mice on board. They reproduced and soon there were too many vermin. Noah asked the lion for help so the lion sneezed and this is when the first domestic cats appeared to help rid of the vermin.♥ http://www.sfsu.edu/~geog/bholzman/cours...

    • Percy3 years agoReport

      The phrase does predate that book, but exactly when and where the phrase (and such variations as 6 and 7 lives) first entered into any language is not known.

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  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    What is the origin of the saying " cats have nine lives "?

    I have seen my cat endure some horrific episodes and have caught myself quoting this age old saying a lot lately. Did this start from a myth or is there some evidential merit to this well known quote ? I never fail to choose a " best answer " for my questions so your efforts will not be...

    Source(s): origin quot cats lives quot: https://bitly.im/wIcAV
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  • Erika
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Why Do Cats Have 9 Lives

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  • 5 years ago

    Its a myth

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  • because cats are swagging their tail swaggy mcyolo swagmadalion i sucked a cheeta's dick

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  • hope
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    That is interesting

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  • 4 years ago

    Sorry, not sure about this

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. Its a myth that came from China Long long long time ago.

    You know how all the Chinese people, They have very crazy myth's.

    • Caleb6 years agoReport

      rude....

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