It’s World Cat Day! Even as a cat has the proverbial nine lives, World Cat Day is celebrated on more than just one day. The feline is feted on different days in different parts of the world: Feb 17 in many parts of Europe; March 1 in Russia; and Oct 29 in the United States.

Mysterious creatures that they are, cats have long been the objects of affection, even adoration, in various countries. Ancient Egyptians worshipped the half feline-half female goddess known as Bastet. In those days, anyone found guilty of injuring or killing a cat could be put to death.

So, for World Cat Day, let’s take a look at some (in)famous cats out there.

Cats in the movies

Few Hollywood movies portray cats in good light, such as Garfield and Puss In Boots. Generally, the good guys have dogs as their sidekicks or buddies while the villains usually wield their fearsome felines. Supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld (in James Bond films) has a white Persian cat (whose name is a mystery, although there are speculations that it could be Number Nine or 14 or even Octopussy).

I'm purr-fect

‘I’m purr-fect.’

Inspector Gadget’s faceless enemy Dr Claw, leader of the evil M.A.D. organisation, can sometimes be seen using his robotic hand to stroke his cat while plotting mayhem in his quest for world domination. At the end of every episode, Dr Claw menacingly says, “I’ll get you next time, Gadget! Next time!” – followed by a loud meow from his M.A.D. cat.

The little blue people – the Smurfs – are not spared, either. They are hunted and terrorised by the dark wizard Gargamel whose cat, Azrael, helps to ferret them out of their hiding places.

Fame sniffs them out

Numerous felines have achieved celebrity status on the Internet. They have garnered hundreds of thousands (or millions) of Likes or followers on Facebook, Instagram and/or YouTube. They cannot help it, when they have such interesting looks or stories, such as:

1. Tsim Tung Cream Brother – kidnapped for over 20 days, then found, thanks to postings on Facebook

Tsim Tung Cream Brother and his owner Ko Chee-shing at home in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP

Tsim Tung Cream Brother and his owner Ko Chee-shing at home in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP

2. Tardar Sauce aka Grumpy Cat – wears a perpetual scowl

3. Venus, the Chimera cat (aka Two Face Cat)

Venus the Chimera is a startling two-faced cat.

4. Monty – born without a nasal bridge

Monty was born without a bone in his nose.

5. Honey Bee – blind, and likes hiking

6. Lilian Bubbles aka Lil Bub – permanently looks like a kitten due to a medical condition

Lilian Bubbles aka Lil Bub will forever look like a kitten, due to a medical condition.

7. Sam – has funny “eye-brows”

Sam has funny ‘eye-brows’, making him look very worried indeed.

8. Garfi, the “angry” cat

9. Hamilton, the hipster cat

Hamilton does look hipster, doesn’t he, with that ‘moustache’?

10. Lazarus, the “vampire” cat

Lazarus looks like the feline version of a vampire.

11. Pudge, female cat with a “moustache”

12. Sockington Sockamillion

13. Snowball, the Hitler-lookalike

Snowball, the Hitler lookalike.

Snowball, the Hitler lookalike.

14. Nala, the “shell-shocked” kitty

15. Coby the snowy-white cat

Celebrations are held on World Cat Day, particularly in the West. Special services and exhibitions are held in honour of the cat. Many individuals and groups make use of this day to raise awareness of the stray population, and find ways to protect street cats or round them up and take them to animal welfare shelters.

Unique cat toys and apparel are produced and presented as gifts, too. Some hotels and cafes welcome cats onto their premises, where the pets can enjoy comfortable surroundings for a short period of time.

World Cat Day is a reminder to take note of cats (especially strays and shelter animals) and their needs, but really, any day (and every day) is a good day to be mindful of all cats everywhere.