Tracing the 9 lives of a cat back to ancient Egypt


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Cats have the incredible ability to land on their feet even if they fall from a great height. Photo: TNS / Dreamstime

Have you ever wondered how the notion that “a cat has nine lives” came about? Historians say the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods. The people revered the number nine because they associated it with their sun god, Atum-Ra.

According to one version, Ra gave birth to eight other gods. Since Ra often took the form of a cat, people began associating the nine lives (Ra plus eight) with feline longevity, and it has persisted ever since.

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