Throughout history women have had a special relationship with cats: from the ancient Egyptian priestesses in the temples of the goddess Isis, to witches of the Middle Ages and career women of today. This makes sense, as women and cats share many traits: beauty and elegance; sensitivity; affectionate natures; a knack for nurturing; and a love of the luxurious. Cats also embody the feminine dark side, with a tendency to neuroses and fear of change. Then there are those qualities that cats possess that women long to emulate. A cat will fight fiercely to protect itself; never says ‘yes’ when it means ‘no’; and isn’t afraid to claim the best seat in the house for itself. Cats are loyal to those who love them, but couldn’t give a toss what people think of them. They don’t suffer self-esteem issues or worry if they are overweight. In addition, they exude an air of mystery in that slinky walk… oh, to be a cat!
Yet society has often driven a wedge between women and their cats, both physically and emotionally. In history, they were persecuted together during the witch-hunts, and even in modern times the lore of the ‘crazy cat lady’ persists. The ‘cat lady’ is thought of as a hermit and a hoarder. Shunned by society, she dies alone. Her body isn’t discovered for weeks and when it is, she has been half-consumed by her ravenous cats. The story is a subtle warning to women who want to remain single, independent and childless: better get a husband and family or this could be you! (It’s interesting that there is no equivalent of the ‘crazy cat lady’ for men.)
In this book you will find none of that. It is an unashamed celebration of the spiritual bond of feline and feminine that has been handed down to us from ancient times. I will describe the history of the relationship of women and cats through the ages and share the journey of my own life with cats, relating how they have influenced my writing.