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Why a cat is believed to have nine lives



   Why a cat is believed to have nine lives

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...


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   Why a cat is believed to have nine lives

Why a cat is believed to have nine lives