Word of the Week
Superstition (super-sti-shun): A widely held but unjustified belief. It comes from the Latin word superstitiosus meaning "full of dread of the supernatural."
It's National Black Cat Day . . . the purrfect day to celebrate these sweet creatures! Over the years, black cats have been associated with bad luck though no one is quite sure how this superstition started. This gives us all the more reason to celebrate them and put an end to that stigma!
Have you ever given much thought to how cats communicate? There's a lot more to it than you might think. Here's a little of what I've learned along the way.
A headbump is a cat's way of saying hello. It uses the oil glands in front of its ears to greet you and leave its scent on you. Cats also do this with other cats.
Tails: When its tail is up, a cat is happy. When its tail is down, a cat is scared or feeling threatened. Have you ever seen a cat move its tail rapidly from side to side? In this case, its communicating that it's agitated and wants to be left alone, while a slow movement means that it's assessing the situation. What about a fluffed-out tail? It's a trick to look larger and scarier.
Ears: Forward ears mean that a cat is content, maybe even playful. Ears straight up are a sign of alertness. If they're turned back, a cat is likely irritated or overstimulated and should be left alone. Ears turned sideways are a sign of nervousness. When a cat's ears are back and flat against its head, the cat is probably scared.
Eyes: Dilated pupils is a sign that a cat is surprised, while constricted pupils are a sign of aggression. Have you ever seen a cat blink at you very slowly? This means it loves you and feels safe with you. A cat resting with its eyes half closed means its relaxed and trusts you.
So . . . how do we celebrate? I started by writing a poem.
Gentle eyes that see so much,
paws that have the quiet touch.
Purrs to signal "all is well,"
and show more love than words could tell.
Graceful movements touched with pride,
a calming presence by our side.
A friendship that takes time to grow.
Small wonder why we love them so.
I also had a lot of fun creating this curious cat. See how it can move its eyes around? It wasn't very complicated. Read on to create yours!
What you'll need: A paper plate, black paint, a paintbrush, glue, scissors, construction paper, paper, markers, pompoms, chalk marker, paper straws
How it's done:
Paint the underside of a paper plate black.
Cut two holes out for the eyes. I traced a small bottle to make them even.
Cut a long strip of white paper about a foot long and wide enough to cover the holes you cut. Place the strip beneath the eye holes and trace the circle.
Grab some markers and color your cat's eyes. I used a pretty green, then I drew long black pupils.
Cut two narrow strips of paper for the back of the cat's face to hold the long strip with its eyes in place. Glue the top and bottom of two strips near the edges of the back of the plate. You're creating a pocket to slide your long strip through.
Decorate the cat! I used paper straws cut in half for the whiskers, a pompom for the nose, and paper for its ears. As for the smile? You can paint one on, use a metallic permanent marker, or even chalk/a chalk marker.
Have some fun! Slide the strip of paper to move the eyes from side to side, creating a truly curious cat!
Stay Kind. . .