Cats have long been known to be one of the most difficult pets to give a bath to.  You pick the cat up, speak calming words into it’s ears, and “MREOW!!!”…all four legs extend to the four corners of the sink.   It seems that cats hate water…but their history would tell you a different story.

In times past, sailors would have cats onboard, and thought that they brought good luck.  Besides the fact that they made great companions for long (perhaps months at a time) journeys at sea, they also served a couple of extremely important purposes.

First and foremost, the cats protected the ship, it’s cargo, it’s men, and it’s pantry from rats and other disease carrying vermin.  It would be disastrous if any of these items were to be destroyed in the midst of a lengthy voyage.

Second, cats have long been thought to be able to detect weather.  They have been known to be extremely sensitive to their surroundings (including atmospheric conditions) because of their heightened sense of sight, smell, and taste.  Common folklore has suggested that when a cat sneezes, it will rain soon; and that weather could also be predicted by examining the way that a cat bathes itself.  Other people suggest that a variety of other cat activities can also predict bad weather, wind, and much more.

As a side-note, there once lived a British cat named ‘Simon’.  Simon was a part of the British Navy and served on HMS Amethyst.  He was wounded during the Yahgtse Incident 1949, and ended up receiving the ‘Dickin Medal’ for his acts.  Unfortunately, Simon did not live to receive his medal; but will be forever remembered for his dedication to the British Navy.

So…then next time you go to set your cat in the bath, you may want to remember all of the ways that cats really do belong near the water.  You may also want to remind him that his ancestors did so with the utmost bravery.