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Do Cats Really Have Nine Lives?

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cat containment systemI think it’s safe to say that we all know that cats don’t have nine lives. This myth has been around for many hundreds of years and it’s not likely to die out soon. The saying comes from the very real fact that cats are agile creatures.

No one is sure of where the nine lives saying originates. Some think it comes from ancient Egypt. In Egyptian god Atum-Ra visited the underworld in the form of a cat. While there Atum-Ra gave birth to eight other gods and therefore unified nine lives in one. Others believe it originated in China. The number nine is lucky in China and it is a feature of the Chinese dragon mythologies.

The nine life saying has been referenced by William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. There’s even an old English proverb that says ‘A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays and for the last three he stays’.

Another reference can be found in a book by Thomas Fuller, published in 1732. The book is called Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences And Witty Sayings, Ancient And Modern, Foreign And British. In the book Fuller writes ‘A cat has nine lives and a woman has nine cats’ lives’.

Cats are able to twist in the air and they often land on their feet, even though this is not guaranteed. The extra vertebrae in cats give them extra flexibility and they have sensational balance, but they are not immune from danger. You only need to read our last article about the Blue Cross plea to keep cats away from windows and balconies to see that cats don’t have nine lives.

Cats do well in the outdoors, but there are always risks and there are ways to prevent these hazards from causing injuries and feline fatalities. One of the best ways to prevent many accidents and protect against injuries is with cat containment systems or cat fencing. Our bespoke systems can be designed to work with your own outdoor spaces, including trees and sheds. Don’t risk one of your cats lives, ask our experts for more information.


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