Ever wondered when cats fall, they always seem to land properly on their feet. Moreover, they do not suffer from any bruises or injuries. Does it have to do with the old mythological saying that cats have nine lives? Some say cats survive huge fall because they are tenacious and determined of life as compared to other animals. However, why nine lives? Let us explore this issue.
According to the ancient Greek mythology, nine refers to trinity of all trinities. Nine is a mystic number that invokes tradition and religion. Greeks believed Atum-Ra the sun god gave life to nine gods. These gods were together called as Ennead or Nine.
Atum-Ra the sun god took the appearance of cat and instilled its soul in each of these gods. When evil power came to destroy these gods, they survived unhurt because they had an instillation of sun god in them. Later, people in ancient Greek followed sun god. They started worshipping cats and believed that cats have nine lives same as these gods.
According to the legends, in AD 962, Count of Ypres Baldwin III hurled some felines from the top of the tower but to his surprise, they survived without a single bruise. He hurled them nine times and to his astonishment they survived every time and so, he left them alone. Since then, the Belgian people celebrate the cat history by throwing artificial cats from hall tower.
What Science Has To Say:
The miracles of the medieval period became science of the nineteenth century. In the year 1894, a renowned French life scientist Etienne-Jules Marey explained the remarkable ability of cats to survive huge falls and escape unhurt. Marey held a feline upside down and hurled it downwards.
The research unit captured the entire film, using a camera, which took about 60 images per second. This film made clear as how cat lands on its feet every time when it falls from high altitudes. Thus, a conclusion was made that, when the cat falls downwards the automatic twisting effect begins in the body of the cat.
The cat directs its head, legs, tail, and body towards the ground and readies itself for a stable landing. The reaction is so immediate that cat judges the gravity and guides its body accordingly. Thus, cats have the instinct of physics too.
Moreover, scientist says that cats have an inherent ability to land on feet every time they fall. However, this happens only during one or two occasion. It is same as the reaction of human body during critical situations. Studies also show that 90 percent of cats survive the falls and go unhurt.
However, a cautious note for people who might try throwing their cats out of their house is to understand that most domestic cats of recent times may not possess this skill as their lives have increasingly become sedentary.
The mystery of nine lives began during the medieval period. Although, Greek people no longer worship the cats and all the nine gods are elapsed with time, but the resilience of cats continues to inspire fascination. That is the reason why the myth of nine lives of cat endures until now.
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