April 19th is Crazy Cat Lady Day! We probably don’t have to explain this one too much … or do we? The crazy cat lady myths may go back further than you expect!
As you may know, cats were looked on with fear and suspicion during the Dark Ages, when they were associated with witchcraft. Many accused witches had pet cats, which were often suspected of being familiars. Later on, Fluffy formed a close friendship with the stereotypical old maid. The association purrsisted: art and comics from the 18th century and on often refer to older ladies and their feline friends.
Did you know about the Crazy Cat Lady convention? The appropriately titled Catcon was started in 2015 by journalist and producer Susan Michaels. Michaels heard so many ‘crazy cat lady’ wisecracks that she decided to reclaim the title. The inaugural convention drew 12,000 people in celebration of all things cat. (We suspect our feline overlords were pleased.)
There’s a little truth behind any story or legend … even that of the crazy cat lady. As it turns out, some kitties carry a microscopic parasite, known as Toxoplasma gondii. Curiously, when rodents become infected, they lose their fear of cats. This of course makes hunting much easier for Fluffy. Toxoplasmosis can infect people, though this is quite rare, and is generally harmless. However, it is not safe for pregnant women. Expecting mothers should take precautions when gardening or handling cat litter, as should those with autoimmune diseases. Ask your vet for more information.
How does one celebrate this ‘pawspicious’ occasion? The most on-brand option would probably be watching the Crazy Cat Lady documentary, which highlights a group of Los Angeles cat lovers as they try to help the city’s massive homeless cat population.
It’s almost impossible to find any sort of pop culture figure or icon that the Simpsons haven’t tackled in some way, shape or form. The crazy cat lady is no exception. Springfield’s version, Eleanor Abernathy, MD, is known for throwing kitties and rambling on about, well, nothing that makes sense. She even got her own action figure, which comes with a ‘starter’ set of six kitties. We also can’t forget esteemed actor Robert DeNiro taking on the role in Christmas with the Cat Lady.
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your local animal clinic in Fox Lake, IL!