Cats ARE in the Bible

Some of you probably already knew this… but I was poking around the other day, and found out that the famous factoid (which is even the title of a book about Scripture) is incorrect, if you’re Catholic or Orthodox. I posted about it last night on my home blog, and have since been making myself obnoxious all over the Internet, contradicting people’s factoid posts.

So now I come here to post the cat verse. :slight_smile:

It’s in the book of Baruch (in Catholic Bibles) and in the Letter of Jeremiah (in Orthodox Bibles right after Lamentations – but I don’t know their chapter/verse numbers). In some Protestant Bibles, they print it among the Apocrypha. Anyway, the letter discusses all the reasons that idols are a little bit laughable, as an encouragement to Jews living among pagans, and then gets down to idols kept inside people’s houses.

Baruch 6:21-22 –

"Owls* and swallows and other birds fly over their bodies and above their heads, and cats** walk*** on them in like manner, whereby you may know that they are no gods. Therefore, fear them not.”

(* Bats in modern translations.)

(** In the Vulgate, cattae, which is apparently Jerome’s word for she-cats. “Catta” and “cata” is uncommon, but does show up in popular Latin, as in Aesop’s Fables. Anyway, in the Septuagint, it’s ailouroi, cats of either sex. So if anybody tells you it’s a type of bird, they are wrong.)

(*** Some claim that the verb for both groups of animals is about defecating on the idols, which would go along with all the talk about the household idols up in the rafters constantly getting dirty from dust and hearthsmoke.There are other theories.)

So if cats aren’t in the Bible, it’s an abridged version. :slight_smile:

It is curious that they don’t appear more often in the Bible, because they apparently were around a lot in the ancient Middle East. If ancient Jewish people thought of cats as useful and ubiquitous but potentially dirty, as this verse seems to suggest, they may not have wanted to think too hard about whether the cats did clean or unclean things. (Or God may just have wanted to give them a break on the laws, because cats get into everything.)

But apparently, the mouser of choice for really really ancient Jews was a house weasel, so that’s why we don’t really see cats mentioned. (Though the predilection for weasels may have had something to do with avoiding Egyptian cat worship, also.)

What is the point of this thread?
Who cares if cats are mentioned in the Bible. How does that affect our faith or salvation?

It seems the purpose of the verse is to demonstrate how birds and cats and insects sit on the idols of pagans. The purpose of this is to show that the idols are not alive as the pagans who worship the statues believe. Verses 23-24 say of these idol statues: “Despite the gold that covers them for adornment, unless someone wipes away the corrosion, they do not shine; nor did they feel anything when they were molded. They are bought at any price, and there is no spirit in them.” So the cats and the other animals are there to show the inanimateness of the statutes thought to have spirit and life within them. This is an interesting contrast to our God, Who came Incarnate and bled and did feel pain. Our God is alive. The cats in a way bear witness to that. :o


If you are a person with a pet cat in your life, you’d never ask that question.

I often thank God for mine. She earned her cat food. When my teens went through bad times Kitty still loved them unconditionally.

Lighten up, guys–it’s just a fun factoid. No one says the Faith has to be dead-serious ALL the time. :whacky:

*“Lord save me from sour-faced saints.” * --St. Teresa of Avila

Lion (cats) are mentioned 154 times in the Bible…meow

My cats seem to have already known this. :slight_smile:

Can’t miss the opportunity of the old Internet favourite - the lost chapter of Genesis:

And Adam said, “Lord, when I was in the garden, you walked with me everyday. Now I do not see you anymore. I am lonesome here and it is difficult for me to remember how much you love me.” And God said, “No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will know I love you, even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish and childish and unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourself.”

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and he wagged his tail. And Adam said, “But Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and all the good names are taken and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.” And God said, “No problem! Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG.”

And Dog lived with Adam and was a companion to him and loved him. And Adam was comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that Adam’s guardian angel came to the Lord and said, “Lord, Adam has become filled with pride. He struts and preens like a peacock and he believes he is worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught him that he is loved, but no one has taught him humility.”

And the Lord said, “No problem! I will create for him a companion who will be with him forever and who will see him as he is. The companion will remind him of his limitations, so he will know that he is not worthy of adoration.”

And God created CAT.
And Cat would not obey Adam.

And when Adam gazed into Cat’s eyes, he was reminded that he was not the supreme being. And Adam learned humility.

And God was pleased. And Adam was greatly improved. And Dog wagged his tail.

And Cat did not care one way or the other.

I had red this once before and loved it! thanks for posting it.

I have two cats and they definitely keep me in check :blush:

Cool. :slight_smile:

These are not the cats that we see today that are mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures.

The cats mentioned are fire-breathing, nine hundred pound monster cats that bi locate at random destroying all in their path.

I can assure you that if you study the early fathers that you will discover this is the case.

Brother Paul

So it shows that it was pagans, and not good Judeo-Christians, who kept company with cats? Ha, I always thought so!

God-Fearing Christian Dog Person

And my dog is named kitten:p

RSV CE has “Cats”

(bats are mentioned too though…as are swallows and birds)

The New Latin Vulgate has “Cattae”

But they are not to be worshiped…

(I have to hide my pictures of the cat gods of Egypt from the Vatican Museum…from my cats)


Agreed! There is not commandment that says “Thou shall not have fun.”

Good. Because I have also become a God-Fearing Christian Rabbit Person.

God-Fearing Christian Rabbit Person