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Back of Card DESCRIPTION
The natural skills of body and mind enable cats to lead lives of peaceful communication, exploration and fearlessness. In common myth, cats are said to have nine lives, to be able to survive risk and to experience enough to satisfy many lifetimes.
Cats have especially keen senses. Visually, cats are sensitive to contrast in light and movement. Although they cannot see in complete darkness, cats see especially well at night, using dim light to distinguish objects and depth. The whiskers of a cat can detect tiny movements in air and heat; they help a cat navigate at night and when hunting. Cats can hear high-frequency sounds, and their ears are flexible; they can turn them to locate sounds precisely. Cats are also social animals, with the ability to communicate both obviously and subtly. A threatened cat will crouch down and growl. The arched back of a cat shows its aggressiveness. A cat’s tail held high in the air is a friendly greeting. The purring of a cat is often a sign of contentment, as is the less-often-noticed slow eye blink. A scared cat will hold its ears completely flattened, while a peaceful cat will hold its ears pricked up.
We see magic and mysticism in cats, in their own abilities and in our relationships with them. Ancient Egyptians were among the first people to honor and revere cats, and some Egyptian gods were believed to regularly take on the form of a cat to visit the underworld or to banish powers of darkness. It was held that cats who befriended people might teach the words that would bestow protection upon them and their homes.
In cultures around the world, at different times, cats have been seen as exalted, wise, and as bearers of good fortune. Cats also inspire us, with their agility, their curiosity, their beauty, and in the long-standing affection and devotion they have offered us as companions in our lives.
artwork by Betsy Karasik © 2008
text by Gigi Marks