by Marsha Brandsdorfer
Topical collecting of cats on postage stamps can be fun. Cats have been around for thousands of years. An old Arabian legend connects the cat’s creation with Noah’s Ark. A pair of mice was taken on the Ark but the mice reproduced multiplying very quickly and the Ark became infested by these rodents. Noah consulted with the lioness for assistance. He passed his hand three times over the lioness’ head and the lioness squeezed out the very first cat, which was to aid as a natural mouse trap.
The history of the domestic cat began in Egypt and there is evidence of this as tombs had mummified cats. The cat was identified with the powerful moon goddess Pasht. Egyptians also established cats were important in their role for mice control.
Cats have survived through the ages as independent solitary hunters. Capable of surviving and adapting, a cat, without someone to help feed and take care of it, can manage on an imperfect diet. If it needs to survive on its own without nutritious cat food, the cat can eat mice, birds, fish, and insects. They may eat scraps of food left over from human meals that they find in the trash. However, a cat can be finicky about what it eats. Cats rely strongly on their sense of smell and make decisions about food by smelling it, as a good scent means good food to a cat.
A cat’s vision is exceptional at night, and even better than a human’s sight. However, in the daylight, their vision is like other nocturnal animals and poorer than a human’s eye sight. Their hearing is not necessarily better than humans, but they can hear a different range of sound frequency. They are smart and they can learn. Occasionally, there is a cat that appears not to be trainable, but most cats can be taught how to use the indoor litter box, or taught not to jump on the dining room table to steal food. Also scratching posts should be provided to allow cats to claw when they need to do so, so they don’t claw on one’s furniture.
Cats that are lucky enough to have owners are enjoying a longer life span thanks to veterinarians and are eating well thanks to commercial cat food. Nonetheless, there is a huge homeless population problem. When I was in Greece in 2007, I discovered that it was mandatory for the community to oblige itself to the care and treatment of stray cats and dogs. The United States is not so strict, but there are good hearted people who take care of strays and many cities have non-profit organizations to help unwanted animals. We can collect stamps to celebrate and promote cats. There are many different kinds of cats. As there are dozens of cat stamps available in the US and internationally, you can try to collect one species or just collect cats in general.
Most of my information was researched from the book, Wholly Cats by Faith McNulty and Elisabeth Keiffer.