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Feline Folklore

August 15, 2021

Our feline friends are very mysterious little furballs, who have certainly gathered more than their fair share of myths and legends. In fact, for a cute, innocent-looking pet, Fluffy has amassed a rather impressive collection of urban—and rural—legends. A local veterinarian lists a few of them below.

Cat Goddesses

Cats have been associated with several different goddesses. The most well-known of them may very well be Egypt’s Bastet, who was often depicted in feline form. The ancient Greeks had their own feline goddess, Ailuros, but also associated kitties with Artemis and Athena. The Norse goddess Freya drove a chariot pulled by two large cats. Two Hindu goddesses, Durga and Parvati, were also closely associated with big kitties.


Fluffy has long been associated with luck, be it good or bad. As you may know, black cats have long been considered unlucky in Western mythology. This is actually very unfortunate, as these superstitions continue to this day, and make it harder for black cats to get adopted. In other eras and cultures, black kitties have been considered good luck. In some instances, the luck depends on the felines’ coloring. For instance, Buddhist lore states that kitties with dark fur will bring gold, while lighter-colored ones bring silver. Russian Blue cats are considered lucky in Russia. In China, luck is connected to age, with older furballs being the most fortunate.

Pussy Willow

The story of the pussy willow is one of the most enduring myths about kitties. This tale starts with a litter of kittens chasing after butterflies on a sunny spring day. Unfortunately, the kittens, being kittens, fell into a river. Their mother, desperate, cried out in distress at seeing her babies in the water. Hearing her terrified meows, a willow tree on the riverbank lowered its branches to the cats as a lifeline. The kittens grabbed the branches and climbed to safety, sopping wet and crying. Legend has it that willow trees have extended branches with furry ‘kitten’ buds every spring since.


We can’t talk about kitty myths without discussing that old adage about cats having nine lives. This one we can state for a fact isn’t true. While some of our feline patients do have an uncanny ability to escape dangerous situations, this is usually sheer luck and/or human intervention. Keep Fluffy safe and sound indoors! Of course, it won’t hurt to offer your feline overlord soft beds, fun toys, treats, and catnip.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your animal clinic in Hudson Valley, NY, today!