The Secret Life of Nine

Though nobody can pinpoint the common origin of this myth, there is an ancient proverb that claims, “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, for the last three he stays.

Perhaps cats deal with catastrophic moments by staying pawsitive?

Perhaps cats deal with catastrophic moments by staying pawsitive? Image via iMDB

So do cats really have nine lives? The answer is, sadly, no. The basis of the myth stems from their ability to survive situations that other animals would most probably perish from, thus leading to the belief that they have multiple lives. However, this ability is purely due to the fact that cats are agile creatures by built and mind. Cats have a great physique, as well as a unique sense of balance. Thanks to their advanced level of intelligence and nimble reflexes, cats are quick on their feet. Hence, it’s no wonder that their survival rate tends to be higher than most animals.

They may be nimble, but that doesn't stop them from being scaredy cats!

They may be nimble, but that doesn’t stop them from being scaredy cats! Image via iMDB

Now that we’ve found a rational explanation to the phrase, another question emerges: why the number nine? Why not ten? Or eleven? Or even six? There are many reasons why nine is considered a magical number. An Egyptian legend speaks about the sun god, Atum-Ra, giving birth to eight other gods, thus representing nine lives in one. The number nine is also believed to be mystical in many religions and regions worldwide, sometimes called “the trinity of trinities.” In China, the number nine is considered an auspicious number because when pronounced, it sounds like the word for “long lasting.” Nine is also the number of completion and fullfilment, as it closes the loop: 1-9, 19, 99, 999.

As if we needed more reason to love cats. Image via iMDB

This cat’s feline pretty good about himself right about now. Image via iMDB

Fascinating as all that may be, here’s the magic that we adore behind the number nine. Get a pen, paper, AND a seat because this is going to make you want to give this trick a go! Nine is the only number that reproduces itself when multiplied by ANY number. Don’t believe us? Here are some instances that we’ve tried:


Not enough? Think the numbers being multiplied are too small? Well, so did we, which is why we kept trying with bigger numbers:


So the cat’s finally out of the bag, and nine is definitely the mystical number of amazing powers! As for cats, they’re purrfect just the way they are.

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