Watermark is hosting the Carnival of the Cats this week! The more, the merrier -- send your catblogging URL to submissions (at) carnivalofthecats.com or (our strong preference) use The Carnival Submission Form before 5:00 PM mountain time on Sunday.
This Labor Day weekend, let's honor our feline comrades, who keep our lives spider and rodent-free: the working cats:
There is a long history of working cats. The following excerpts are from Wikipedia: History of Cats:
The exact history of human interaction with cats is still somewhat vague. The earliest written records of attempts to domesticate cats date back to ancient Egypt, circa 4000 BC, where cats were employed to keep mice and rats away from grain stores in order to prevent food poisoning . . .
The human killing of cats in the Middle Ages has also been cited as one of the reasons for the spread of bubonic plague - the Black Death, which was spread by the increased rodent population caused by the death of so many cats . . .
The cat is highly respected in Islam because of tales that the prophet Muhammad approved its domestication by one of his companions. This companion was nicknamed "Abu Hurairah" or "Father of the little cat". In Islam, it is considered a commendable act to feed a cat milk. There are numerous stories about cats in Islam. One story tells of a cat that saved Muhammad from being bitten by a deadly snake. In another tale, when Muhammad was called to prayer he found his cat Muezza asleep on the sleeve of his robe; the prophet cut off the sleeve rather than disturb his cat. In a famous Hadeeth, a woman was doomed to Hell after she kept a cat till it starved to death . . .
So don't forget to give your cat its wages: milk, cream, sardines -- whatever its union demands.
There are several websites that honor our feline coworkers, including: Shopcat.com; Working Company Cats; The Adventures of Ripley, the Office Cat; and Shoelace, the Costume Shop Cat. There's even a WebRing for working cats: WWWCW (World Wide Working Cats on the Web).
. . . Those of you who are reading this from home may have a cat supervising your computer efforts and you will understand the vital role that a cat can play in your daily activities.
Authors have long known about the value of cat assistants, but that information should be more widely disseminated.
A well-drilled office cat knows when to purr in approval and when to sit quietly when you are on a conference call. If you persist in staring at the monitor for too long, your concerned cat will generally interrupt you gently at first, then more aggressively. In extreme cases of monitor fixation, cats will walk on the keyboard and insist on being picked up, thus effectively breaking the trance that occurs when handling interminable emails . . .
To which Marjorie comments: I noticed that your cat has not forgotten an important traditional role from days of old... keeping an eye on the modern day mouse.
These cats don't work. They're not on the dole, exactly; they're more like ... royalty.
To keep yourself entertained between now and the Carnival, go visit: