When fellow writer Laurie Darroch wrote 10 Dog-Related Terms Used in Conversation, it got my wheels turning. I’d never pondered it before, but I felt certain there would be an equal number of cat-related words and phrases. I was right; I came up with ten off the top of my head (what they were doing on my head is beyond me, but there they were!). All that remained was to prowl the back alleys of the internet for origin information and trivia about the cat terms.
Here’s what I found:
This noun refers to a person who does the same thing as someone else, i.e., they imitate another person’s behavior, style or practices. It’s a curious term, given that cats are not exactly notorious for imitative behavior. The first known written evidence of the word was in Constance Cary Harrison’s 1887 quasi-memoir Bar Harbor Days: “Our boys say you are a copy cat, if you write in anything that’s been already printed.” It’s thought that the term was probably used in speech long before this, but the origin is unknown. Today, the word is often linked to illegal acts, i.e., a copycat criminal.
This expression dates back to Shakespeare’s time, when theatergoers would make a raucous shout or a shrill sound with a whistle to express disapproval of the bad acting. It’s thought that the name originated because the sounds were similar to that of an angry cat. Nowadays, a catcall is used to describe men who harass women by whistling at them or making lewd comments when they walk past them.
Have you ever looked at your cat’s cute face and wondered if those whiskers served a purpose, and what that might be? I have, so I decided to find out and share it with all of you. Perhaps “fascinating” is a bit of a stretch, but it turns out that cat whiskers are pretty remarkable things.
Whiskers – also called vibrissae or tactile hairs – are thicker and more deeply rooted than your cat’s normal hair, and serve several functions. Because whiskers are rich in nerve endings, they are important sensory tools for a cat. Here are five more fun facts I discovered about cat whiskers.
Cats Whiskers Measure an Opening
There are four rows of whiskers on each side of a cat’s muzzle; the top two rows can move independently from the bottom two rows. Because the whiskers on a cat’s muzzle are approximately equal to her body width, they help to determine how wide an opening is. When a cat puts its head through the opening, she’s checking out the surroundings while simultaneously doing a “whisker check” to see if she can fit through the hole. If the whiskers brush the sides of the hole, the cat knows her body won’t fit.
I’ve long been fascinated by dreams, and even underwent a serious attempt at dream analysis years ago. I read countless books on dream interpretation and dream symbols. Each morning, I recorded what I could recall of my dreams, not an easy feat considering that most dreams evaporate quickly upon waking. (A tape recorder saves valuable time and is less jarring than reaching for a pen and paper and turning on the light to write).
What I eventually realized is that I could spend my entire life studying these nocturnal visions, and still not understand what they were trying to tell me. Do I believe that my dreams are an attempt to transfer valuable information from my subconscious to my conscious mind? Yes. Would understanding the messages help in my waking life? Yes again…but decoding the messages is the hard part.
The biggest problem with dream analysis is that it’s so subjective. There is no “one size fits all” interpretation, unfortunately. Dream symbols can mean different things to men versus women; symbols can also mean different things depending upon how you personally feel about them in your waking life. Adding to the difficulty is that dream symbols can have multiple supposed meanings. Whose interpretation is correct? It’s impossible to say. Nevertheless, I will offer here some interpretations about cats in dreams, mostly for your entertainment.
Cat Symbolism in Dreams
Some say that cats in dreams are a symbol for your intuition, and that the health of the cat indicates whether you are heeding or ignoring your intuition. A dream about a sick cat, then, might mean that you need to listen to your intuition more and rely less on intellect.
Other interpretations claim that cats in dreams symbolize femininity, softness, an independent spirit, creativity, power, misfortune, vulnerability, bad luck, deceit and falseness (see what I mean about multiple supposed meanings?).
An aggressive cat might suggest difficulty with the feminine aspect of yourself. Being afraid of the dream cat implies there is some fear associated with your femininity. A dream feline may be a symbol for someone in your life who is “catty” or malicious. Being scratched by a cat in a dream suggests that you feel threatened.
Dreaming that you cannot find your cat is a metaphor for your independent spirit, and that you feel someone or something is holding you back from being free. Saving a dream cat’s life suggests that you are reclaiming your independence and power.
To see a frisky cat playing in your dream suggests a need to be more carefree and playful in your own life. Cats in your dream can reflect your need to feel loved, or your fear that you’re being untrue to others so they will love you. A house full of cats in a dream represents excessive illusions or things that you believe to be untrue.
Dreams about a wild cat may indicate that a neighbor could be dangerous or that you will have some sort of dispute with them. Dreaming about fighting with a cat could be a warning that you’ll be robbed or cheated in some way, whereas cuddling with a cat in a dream suggests that your enemies can be “tamed.” A cat biting you in a dream symbolizes the loss of something, typically relating to those closest to you.
Dreams about Kittens
Although adult cats are usually associated with independence and self-reliance, kittens are seen as helpless beings. Dreaming about kittens, then, could indicate that you are feeling vulnerable, scared or need help.
Women Dreaming of Cats
When women dream about cats, the felines are thought to be a symbol of how she views herself. This includes not only her physical body but also her intuition, independence, creativity and her relationships with men.
Men Dreaming of Cats
When a man dreams about cats, the felines are said to symbolize his attitude towards women, or how he thinks women perceive him. A purring cat means the man thinks women find him attractive and he feels comfortable around women. A hissing cat suggests that he feels rejected by women or that there are problems in his relationship.
Have you had any intriguing dreams about cats lately? Now that you know a little something about the symbolism of cats in dreams, you can start to analyze what wisdom these wise felines might be trying to impart.
Most pet owners spend a lot of time bonding with their pets and learning all about them. We know where they like to be scratched, if a thunderstorm will upset them, how they respond to strangers, or if a stubborn streak will try your patience. Each pet is unique with their own personality, but as a species all dogs and cats are intriguing. Here are 13 facts you may not know about your pet.
1. A dog’s sense of smell is so powerful that some can detect odors buried 40 feet underground or track whale scat in the ocean. We have around 5 million scent receptors in our nose, but canine noses are equipped with around 125 to 300 million scent receptors, depending on the breed.
2. A common belief is that all cats are lactose intolerant and shouldn’t be given milk, but that’s not true for every feline. Some don’t have a problem drinking milk; however, after weaning they don’t need milk, and it can upset a cat’s tummy if she drinks too much. As long as your cat can tolerate it, there’s nothing wrong with giving her an occasional saucer of milk in addition to a quality cat food like CANIDAE. If you want to know if your kitty can have some milk now and then, give a small amount and wait 24 hours. If she doesn’t develop diarrhea, a little milk as a treat is fine.
3. A dog’s wet nose helps capture scent particles, and if his nose is dry, he may lick it to help him catch a scent. They can wiggle each nostril independently, and they know which nostril a smell entered, which helps them locate the source of a smell. The nose is made up of ridges and dimples unique to an individual dog, and is believed to be as individual as our fingerprints are. Felines also have a nose print that can be used to identify an individual cat.
4. Cats that live on their own don’t communicate by meowing to each other. Domesticated cat meows and yowls are used to communicate with humans. Felines have a fairly sophisticated vocalization range of about 100 different meows or yowls. Dogs only have about 10 different barks, yips or snarls.
5. Dogs have a disconnected shoulder blade, which gives them a better range of motion when running and jumping. Most canines can run at around 19 mph at full speed.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.