Cat Day: in Italy it occurs annually on February 17

National-Cat Day
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Cat Day in Italy: why does it occur every year on February 17?


In Tamra Maew or“Book of Cat Poems,” an invaluable text kept in the Bangkok City Library, we read an evocative story.

The story goes that the souls of people who had reached the highest levels of spirituality during their lifetime would transfer into the body of a cat once the body ceased to live.

Reincarnating as a cat empowered the soul of the deceased to ascend to an enlightened dimension.

A Hindu myth has it that in its sixth reincarnation the cat becomes a guru and seeks a disciple among humans, usually preferring an intellectual or artist.

Non è necessario attingere ai testi buddisti né ai miti induisti per capire che i gatti (come tutti i viventi non umani) sono creature dotate di spiritualità.

In Italy as in the rest of the world, we still need to establish national and international days to keep this in mind.

The establishment of National Cat Day dates back to 1990.

On that occasion, “cat-loving” journalist Claudia Angeletti proposed a referendum in a trade magazine asking readers to express their preference on the date to dedicate to their beloved kitties.

The choice fell on 17 to reverse the aura of doom surrounding this number by reinterpreting it, instead, in a positive light.

Nel caso dei gatti può il 17 essere visto come “1 vita per 7 volte”, proprio perché ai felini si attribuisce il dono magico di possedere sette vite

The number seven is considered the number of perfection; Plato, for example, linked it to the concept of eternity.

For the Pythagoreans, however, 3 represented humanity and 4 represented divinity.

So, 7 being the sum of these two numbers, embodies the union of material and spiritual, mortality and immortality.

In factual reality, cats possess only one life, and it is up to us humans to make it as memorable as possible.

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