I know this may be a controversial statement, but for what it's worth: It's International Cat Day, and you should celebrate it. Hear me out. I have some good points, particular when it comes to how to celebrate International Cat Day. International Cat Day first began in 2002, organized by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), as a 24-hour ode to everyone's favorite frenemy: The fickle feline. There's no singular celebration or event that marks to occasion, but whatever. As the cat does, you, too, can make your own fun. Here's how.
And honestly, we should be celebrating cats, as annoying as they can be sometimes. They've been documented human companions for over 4,000 years, with the earliest evidence being a 9,500-year-old co-burial between a human and a wildcat. From a science perspective, owning a pet cat can lower levels of anxiety and depression, as well as help bolster you through difficult times, particularly in dealing with grief and chronic stress.
Also, I would like to note that humans are way more like cats than dogs. And that, I think, is why cats are so divisive: Because sometimes cats don't like other cats. Sometimes cats want to be the only cat.
Even, so, though, let's celebrate cats. Even if you're allergic to them, you can still send them love from afar. Here are 11 ways to give International Cat Day the attention it deserves.
1. Volunteer At An Animal Shelter
Approximately 3.4 million cats enter animal shelters every year in the United States. Call honestly any animal shelter in your area, and there's a good chance they're looking for volunteers. Give some sweet animals a li'l love. They deserve it. Even cats.
2. Watch The Aristocats
Or a few episodes of My Cat From Hell, because you'll gain as much insight into humans as you will into felines if you accept host Jackson Galaxy into your life.
3. Visit A Cat Cafe
These are real. You get to drink tea and chill with a bunch of kitties. I am not sure how the health regulations work for this concept, but honestly, I don't care. There are approximately 24 cat cafes in the United States right now; here is a list if you are interested in visiting one. If you do visit one, you have to take a minimum of 100 pictures and send them to me. I heard it's a requirement or something. (It's not, but it should be. Please. Send me your cat cafe pictures.)
4. Support The ASPCA Through AmazonSmile
By choosing the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as your AmazonSmile charity, you'll be donating 0.5 percent of your purchase price every time you shop.
5. Sing Along To The Cast Recording of Cats: The Musical
Or your VHS of Cats: The Musical, which I know you have because I can't be the only one.
6. Listen To A Cat-Themed Podcast
There's this How Stuff Works podcast, chock full of cat facts, great for those wondering, generally, "Cats — what?" For more consummate cat lovers, the Cat Lady Podcast seeks out feline fans, celebrity and otherwise.
7. Engage In A Cat Prank
One time in college, my very delightful roommate pranked a friend of a friend for literally weeks with her patented Cat Facts Prank. It is very simple: Pick a friend and text them, "Thank you for signing up for Daily Cat Facts! [insert cat fact]. Text [embarrassing cat-related pun] to unsubscribe from Daily Cat Facts." They will most likely text back the embarrassing cat-related pun because, duh. In response, text: "Thank you for signing up the Daily Cat Facts! [insert new cat fact]. Text [same embarrassing cat-related pun] to unsubscribe." The next day, send them two new cat facts, and then so on and so forth until you decide to extend some mercy. I don't know why this is so funny to watch unfold, but trust me. It is.
8. Buy Some Cat Stuff
Beard Bangs, Etsy $28.86
I mean, hi. Etsy is a goldmine for cat-emblazoned items. There's this astronaut cat mug, this other cat mug that involves both witches and cats, this growl-y cat pin, this print of a historically fancy girl with a cat, a Picasso-inspired cat tote, a feminism + cats t-shirt, and a temporary tattoo set that also includes a "Spooky" banner and a pentagram. And that's just from the first 10 pages of my saved favorites on Etsy. There's a lot out there. Most of it is good.
9. Indulge In Some Feline Art
10. Get Really Into Neko Atsume
So, the premise of this cult favorite app/game (free for iOS and Android) is to convince cats to come and hang out in your virtual yard.
That's it. But apparently, it's incredibly appealing.
11. Adopt A Cat!
And then give it to me! But be sure to make it a very fluffy kitten — one that I can train to walk on a leash like a true Adventure Cat.
(Also don't actually adopt a cat unless you're ready and equipped to care for it — I mean, it's a living creature after all — but if you have seriously been considering getting a pet for a while, now might be a good time to get on that.)