Stella the cat.
Stella the cat. Photography by Gina Cioli.

Stella the Cat Weighs in on Cat Superstitions


For such a sleepy house pet, it’s quite a surprise that the cat is so wrapped up in folklore and superstition. I decided to ask my cat, Stella, about some popular cat superstitions.

Stella, I was wondering: Do cats really have nine lives?
I hope so. I’ve been running through them far too quickly.

Really? How many times have you died?
Well, let me think. Remember when your mother knocked on the door last week?

That killed you?
You can’t just spring your mother on me like that.

She loves you! She was just visiting!
And of course there was that time you went on vacation and didn’t get me a cat sitter.

A cat sitter? I left the house for one night and left you two bowls of food.
I didn’t make it past 8 o’clock.

I don’t think you understand death correctly.
I understand death just fine. For example, do you remember when you bought that new vacuum without telling me?

I have to tell you when I buy a vacuum?
I died twice that week.

I do recall you looking a little sluggish.
Coming back to life is hard on a cat. I hope your rug was worth two massive heart attacks.

Any other deaths you want to tell me about?
Oh, sure. There was that time a bird flew in the house, and also when I had grilled chicken the first time.

But those were happy deaths. Do you think they count?
Dying of happiness is still dying.

Anything else?
You must forbid UPS drivers to knock on the door. It’s like they use hammers.

A black cat on a spooky dark path.
A black cat on a spooky dark path. Photography by JOHN NORTH/THINKSTOCK.

Let’s move on: Are any other cat superstitions true, like how a cat can steal someone’s breath when he’s sleeping?
I’m still researching that one.

Researching it how?
Don’t worry about it.

Are you trying stealing my breath, Stella?
It’s how I get you to stop snoring. I bring you to the brink of death and then … poof, you’re quiet. Sort of comatose, to be honest.

I think you should stop that.
It’s just the brink of death, coward. Besides, how many lives do humans have? You must have dozens.

Just the one.
OMG! I just sort of assumed you died of embarrassment all the time. I mean, remember that date you went on last week?

Let’s keep moving on: How about a black cat crossing your path? Is that really bad luck?
Only if you step on her. You’ll need all the lives you can get when that happens.

Thumbnail: Photography by Gina Cioli.

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Eleven-year-old Stella, a Bengal, has a firm grip on her handler, freelance writer Michael Leaverton, whom she rescued from an alt weekly many meals ago. They live in San Diego.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Catster magazine delivered straight to you

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