2011: Year of the Cat, Sort Of

By Domenica Di Piazza, Editorial Director, TFCB

cats for Power Point

(Above, from left to right: Muffin, Finna, Miko)


(Above: lioness and her cubs in the Okavango Delta region of northern Botswana)

My father and I are both crazy about cats. He has two, and I have three (see top photo above). He called the other day to tell me that 2011, in the Chinese zodiac, is Year of the Cat. In doing a little follow-up research, I discovered that it’s not exactly the Year of the Cat; it’s more like the Year of the Tiger. And it only goes into early February 2011. After that, it becomes the Year of the Rabbit.

Some of the cat-tiger confusion comes from the fact that translating Chinese characters into English isn’t always straightforward. For example, in matters zodiacal, Chinese characters do not make distinctions between rat and mouse. So in the Chinese zodiac, would it be Year of the Rat—or Year of the Mouse? or maybe it should be simply Year of the Rodent? Take your pick. The next one isn’t coming up until 2020, so you have time to do your research.

For this new year, I’ve decided that I’m celebrating the Year of the Cat. It’s a generous way to include all felines. On to rabbits in February.

Check in next week for more from TFCB. And Happy New Year to you and yours!

[photos: courtesy of yours truly]