Friday, January 27, 2017

The reason for cattitude - by Vijaya Schartz

Angel of Lusignan - Curse of the Lost Isle Book 8
Find Vijaya Schartz's books from BWL HERE

Cats have a special place in our lives and in our hearts. Cats and writers have a special relationship. I had many over the years and all had different personalities, but I loved them all.

The first cats were traced to the Egyptian "Mau" (which simply means cat). The domestic cat had an important role in ancient Egypt, keeping the rodent population under control, protecting the grain and other food supplies from rat infestation. So important that it was worshiped and rose to the rank of deity, with the Goddess Bastet. 

Not native to the Americas, the first domestic cats came with the first explorers on Christopher Columbus's caravels. More found their way across the Atlantic on the Mayflower. Every ship sailing for the Americas (or on any long voyage) carried a contingent of highly respected and well fed cats.

These precious animals were treated like royalty on ocean-going ships, because they had an important job. Like in ancient Egypt, they kept the rodent population under control, and protected the food storage. It took weeks to cross the Atlantic in those days, and if the food was eaten or contaminated by vermin, crew and passengers might starve or succumb to diseases before reaching their destination.

In continental Europe, cats were never considered special. In the British Isles, however, as the country developed its Navy and conquered more colonies, the cult of the cat rose to high status. Great Britain gave credit where credit was due. Without the domestic cat, there might not have been a superior British Navy or a British Colonial Empire.
Princess Jasmine, my current companion.

So you will understand why cats are so full of their importance. While the need for rat hunters has dwindled, these furry aristocrats still claim the respect due to their special class of nobility. They are precious and they know it. Cats are the epitome of haughtiness and have mastered all forms of disdain. They will refuse the treat they crave, just to claim and eat it on their own terms. They do not tolerate being ignored, and some behave like spoiled rotten divas.

We should not blame them for their behavior. As with any kind of nobility aware of their high class status, they see the world differently. While dogs have masters, cats have staff. Whether we are aware of it or not, humans were born to serve their cats. That's the way the world turns. And even if we do not agree, all cats know that.

Cats also have special powers. Probably from their time being worshiped in Egypt, they kept the power to vanish from a room and reappear in another, or outside, without ever using doors. They are said to have nine lives. Maybe that's how they remember their glorious past. They can disappear, be totally silent, and hide where no one can find them. But forget it's time for their special tuna treat, and you will never hear the end of it.

In any case, we should be grateful to our feline friends. Although they will not be ignored, we value their love of cuddles, and secretly we like their attitude. After all, who could resist a kitten's innocent round eyes and not go awww?

I also have cats in many of my novels, although not in my medieval series, and I'm currently writing a new novel with... a cat... a very big cat... so stay tuned...

Vijaya Schartz
  Romance with a Kick
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