We are all likely to know one – that female relative or friend who owns more cats than strictly necessary and who relentlessly posts pictures and videos of them on social media. The crazy cat lady is usually a single woman who lives alone with her feline companions in a flat with creaky floorboards surrounded by mouldy tins of Whiskers, but where did the term come from and why does it persist in modern-day society?
From respected to persecuted
Historically, cats were worshipped. In Egypt, for example, the half-feline, half-female goddess Bastet was revered by the population. Similarly, in ancient China, the feline goddess Li Shou was famous for her abilities in pest control and was a symbol of fertility.
It was not until the 1400s that the publication of Malleus Maleficarum, a book that was also known as The Witch Hammer, served as a guide on how to identify and prosecute witches. This book effectively turned the public’s attention to witches and classified them as evil, along with cats. The church’s intention was to persecute pagan gods and goddesses, and it constructed some of the first negative connotations between witches and cats – essentially personifying them as the devil.
Today, of course, the crazy cat lady label is more likely to be used affectionately towards your aunt who just loves staying at home talking to her cats and whose house is stuffed full of cat memorabilia. According to the Urban Dictionary, the crazy cat lady is no longer the devil personified, but she does enjoy dressing up her cats, taking videos and pictures of them, and owning numerous general household items with cats on them.
Become a crazy cat lady
It is unlikely the crazy cat lady label will disappear anytime soon, as people turn to cats for cute fluffy solace and company. If you are considering becoming a crazy cat lady yourself, think about investing in some cat memorabilia, such as some really useful cat lap trays from a stockist such as https://personalisedlaptrays.co.uk/collections/animal-lap-trays-cats.
Stoke up the fire, crack out the Whiskers and snuggle up on the sofa with Oscar and Clara. Just be sure to capture the moment with a selfie and share it on social media so that you too can call yourself a true crazy cat lady.