The belief that a cat has nine lives is probably based on the fact that a cat is more tenacious of life than most other animals. Those who have undertaken to kill cats appreciate that fact.
Attempts have been made to trace the origin of the common expression back to ancient Egypt. It is often said that Pasht, or Bastet, the cat-headed goddess of Egypt, had nine lives and that this circumstance gave rise to the old saying about a cat having nine lives. Egyptologists, however, say that they have found no evidence for the statement. In fact Bastet, being a goddess, would be regarded as immortal. Nine, however, was a favorite number in Egypt, as well as with other ancient orientals, and it may have somehow been associated with the cat-headed goddess.
The above story appeared in The Zanesville Signal on November 20, 1927 under the title "Why a cat is believed to have nine
lives." As you can see, the author is actually unable to resolve the question he raised in the title. I particularly
like the comment in the first paragraph wiht regard to cats being more tenacious of life: "Those who have undertaken to kill cats appreciate that fact."
Is he talking about a profession where people undertake to kill cats? Or what is this in reference to? A very strange
line of thought...
Pictures of cats
Ever Wondered Why Cats Are Said To Have Nine Lives?
Why do people say that cats have nine lives?
Who is the Hoochie Coochie Man?
A Galician Jew POW in Siberia