Cat owners in Nigeria have joined their counterparts across the world to mark this year’s International Cat Day.
Established in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and other animal rights groups to celebrate cats, the 2020 edition is however the 18th and the day is getting more awareness by the year.
The Ecology Global Network estimates that there are about 600million small cats in the world which include pets, strays, homeless and feral cats.
Meanwhile in Nigeria, unfortunately many people do not like these gentle creatures. Reasons range from spiritual, cultural to superstition.
However, www.animaltimesafrica.com encountered Nigerians who keep cats and they relay their experiences.
“Back then in the family house we used to have about 20 cats inside our living room. It was awesome enjoying the friendliness and presence of the cats” says Olumide Bello, an artiste.
Gbenga Adesanya is another cat keeper who got interested in cats as a little boy. “My grandmother kept cats. She had a lot of them in different colours. I still keep the memory of the cats so dear.
“Whenever they had kittens the house would be so lively. I think the idiom ‘as playful as a kitten’ was coined from their playful nature. I also have cats and I see nothing wrong in doing so,” he said.
Another respondent, Mrs. Funmilola Akande, a Lagos resident said, “Yes I have a cat and I named her ‘Princess’, she is so wonderful and I love the way she hangs around me especially when I am cooking in the kitchen,” she said,
Akande, a business woman who is also a caterer added that, “While in the kitchen, the cat would sit and be looking at me as if she was learning how to cook. Princess would follow me up and down in the house and they call her my ‘body guard’. She is so intelligent and very clean too.
“She knows her way to my room whenever she needs attention. She’ll never poo anywhere until she gets to the toilet I made for her. Ever since she arrived, no rat has the confidence to come near the house, she would do justice,” she said.
However, some other Nigerians are not in love with cats and would never think of taking in any.
Well, today, cats are celebrated all over the world and it would be nice to join the celebration to learn more about these wonderful pets.
International Cat Day is a day to raise awareness for cats and learn about ways to help and protect them.