What religious holidays does your cat observe?
The humans here at Spot the Kitty HQ were raised Catholic and Christian, but we do not put up a Christmas tree or other Christmas decorations. A lot of aspects of Christmas can be very dangerous for kitties. This year we’ve heard about two different kitties getting strangled in Christmas light strings. A few years ago, a very beloved family cat passed away after eating Christmas ribbon, and a childhood friend lost her kitty many years ago because he ate tinsel off the tree. As pet owners, we have to take safety into consideration when decorating for any holiday. Cats are very curious and playful animals. Light strings, garlands, tinsel, ribbons, and any other stringy or tasty decoration can be very dangerous for cats.
A couple of years ago, a very dear Jewish friend taught me about Hanukkah, and this year although we are living far away from each other, we decided to celebrate it together again. She sent us eight Hanukkah gifts, including our very own Menorah. According to Jewish tradition, we light the Menorah every evening and gather around it for about half an hour of quality family time.
Lance loves this tradition very much. He finds the candles in the Menorah fascinating. We had to put the unused candles out of his reach because he kept trying to steal them. If you are celebrating Hanukkah this year, I think it is a very good opportunity for cats to enjoy some quality time with their humans, but please don’t leave your candles lit unsupervised. We don’t want to risk anyone getting their whiskers burnt off!
Another religion that is very good for cats is Islam. A few years ago, very close friends of Spot the Kitty told us about the Prophet Mohamed and his love for cats. Once when Mohamed wanted to put on his best robe and go to prayer, he discovered that his beloved cat was sleeping on the sleeve of the robe. Rather than disturb the kitty, he cut off the sleeve and left it for her to sleep on. Click here for more information about this. Baker and Lance both come from Qatar, a Muslim country. Both were strays when Spot the Kitty adopted them. Lance and other strays stayed near the local mosque, because visitors to the mosque always provided food and water there for stray cats.
If you want to open your home to a pet this holiday season, remember that it is against Islam to pay money for a cat or dog. You might want to consider adopting a pet from your local shelter.
A new trend all over the world is inviting cats to yoga classes. Yoga originated in Hinduism, which teaches that all animals are part of divine creation and we must care for them and treat them with love and respect. Learn more about Hinduism and animals here.
Buddhists also practice yoga and love for cats. Buddhism teaches us to show equal care and compassion for each and every creature in the universe. A beautiful story by Elizabeth Coatsworth in 1930 tells the story of a poor painter who takes a little cat into his home and soon after receives a commission for a painting of all the animals paying their respects to the Buddha. The commission will bring him fame and fortune. However, he is not to include the cat in the painting. The story is based on an old Buddhist tale. Learn more about Buddhism and animals here.
Whatever your beliefs and traditions, enjoy and take care of your cat this holiday season!