October 29, 2012 - National Cat Day

You might think that black cats would be especially popular at this time of year—what with Halloween only a few days away—but apparently black cats are more likely than any other cat to languish in an animal shelter rather than being adopted...and eventually to be put to sleep, unwanted and unloved.

(And all cats are more likely to be put to sleep than dogs.)

Unwanted cats is a big problem, and of course it's not a simple problem. Many people are allergic to cats, cannot afford to have a pet, don't have time for a pet, or already have pets. It's not at all practical to just tell everyone, “Please, go adopt a cat!” (Although, if you do want to adopt a cat, you might consider getting a black one!) Instead, we have to urge people who already have cats to get them “fixed” so they don't have babies and to outfit their cats with ID tags so that, if they get lost, the cats and owners can be reunited.

Celebrate cats!

Cats were apparently first domesticated (tamed) in the Middle-East/Egyptian area about ten thousand years ago. Ancient Egyptians had a religion that worshipped animals, including cats, and had a cat goddess named Bast. Cats were often portrayed in Egyptian statues and painted murals, and they were often pictured wearing jewelry. Some cats even rated the time-consuming and expensive mummification process after they died.

Some cultures have viewed cats, especially black cats, as a sign of bad luck or even evil. (This explains why fewer black cats are adopted.) However, in Japan and Russia, cats have traditionally been associated with good luck.

Nowadays, there are more than 86 million pet cats in the U.S. alone, with about one third of all U.S. homes having at least one pet cat! Estimates of worldwide pet cats number 500 million—the most in the U.S., and then China (more than 50 million), Russia and Brazil (dropping to just 12 million each), France and Italy (9 million each). You can see the top 10 cat countries here

Cats have made a big, big hit somewhere near and dear to our hearts: the internet! From cat posters to cat videos, from LOLcats who can't spell to Ceiling Cat who rules over all, cats are and always have been the prevalent species online. The internet is so full of cats that Google, trying to build a computer brain that can learn on its own, ended up with a machine that can recognize cats

Here are some possible reasons why cats are so popular. 

LOL Cats are notoriously bad at
spelling and grammar!
LOLCats features funny cat posters. 

"Surprised Kitty" is a video
that went viral.

Here are some of the most-watched cat and kitten videos. 

Also on this date:

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