My Cat Wouldn’t Hurt a Fly

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Well, actually, that’s not true. Lucy loves to hunt down and eat flies with impunity. But one story about cats that I know to be false is a centuries-old urban legend. The story goes that a cat, being jealous upon the arrival of a new baby, will approach the child while it sleeps, and suck out its breath, thus killing the baby. This story is so prevalent, that there are official accounts of doctors listing death by cat smothering. (Snopes.) This dangerous cat theory is the inspiration for my Urban Legends entry for Drawlloween 2015.

Cat checks out sleeping baby. Drawlloween 2015

I’m just coming in for a closer look. Really!

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2 responses »

  1. Like so many folk legends, there’s a grain of truth in this. Cats like cuddling up to people. They like to sit on us when we’re in bed. If a cat sits on a baby, it can inadvertently stop the baby’s breathing. My mother liked cats better than she liked us kids, so I know this stuff. The household rule was, always check the room for cats before you leave the baby. We all survived to adulthood, so her theory worked. Of course, not all cats like babies – some find them noisy, smelly, and uncouth. It’s just a matter of looking at your family (including the animals) and working out what fits. Babies usually love the animals. Why? Because they don’t give mixed messages like people do.

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