During the reign of Howell the Good, King of Wales (948AD – over a thousand years ago) there weren’t many cats in Britain which made them worth a lot of money: A tiny kitten was worth a penny – we’re talking old pennies, so a lot of money. When it killed its first mouse it was worth two pennies. And when it had caught a lot of mice it was worth four!
Pope Gregory IX in the 13th Century said cats came from the devil and so some people thought women who owned cats might be witches. So they killed the cats and occasionally the woman too!
Charles I of England thought cats were lucky. He carried his cat with him everywhere. When it died he said, he had lost his luck - and he was right! The next day he was arrested and soon after that he was beheaded by Oliver Cromwell!
There are about 8 million cats in the UK today.
A Cats Protection survey asked 100 under 13 year old cat owners some questions – this is what they found out:
80% said their cat helped them get on better with their family and friends
81% said they’d rather talk to their cat about what was on their mind than their friends, their mum or their dad
87% said they think of their cat as a ‘close friend’