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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Why The Cat Is Not In the Chinese Zodiac Calendar

My cute shiba door stickers
2018  is the Year of the Dog. According to Chinese zodiac, an animal is assigned to your birth year and impacts on your personality traits and fortune. The dog is one of the 12 animals associated with each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. In order, the 12 animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.

What? No Cat? Don't Chinese people love cats, you wonder. Yes we do! So why isn't Cat in the cycle?

image credit -

There are many versions of the folktale behind the missing cat in the Chinese zodiac.
Here's the one I grew up on.

The Great Race

The Jade Emperor wanted to devise a way to measure time so he decreed a race between all the animals in his kingdom. The first 12 animals to make it across a river would earn a spot on the zodiac calendar in the order they arrived.
Rat knew he was no match against the other bigger and stronger animals so he hopped onto Ox’s back. Cat, who disliked getting wet, also hitched a ride on Ox. When the three were almost ashore, Rat pushed Cat off  Ox's back, jumped ahead and was the first to arrive. Ox lumbered right behind and came in second. Tiger was third. Leaping from boulder to boulder to keep dry was Rabbit  but halfway across the river he slipped and tumbled into the water. Rabbit grabbed onto a floating log nearby that would later take him to shore. He was the fourth animal to arrive. In fifth place was the flying Dragon. The Jade Emperor wondered why a swift airborne creature such as Dragon should fail to reach first place. Dragon explained that he was held back as he had to stop and make rain for a village suffering from a drought. Then, on his way to the finishing line, he saw Rabbit clinging onto a log, drifting helplessly so he again, stopped to let out a huff of wind to push Rabbit to shore. Horse galloped up next but unbeknownst to him, a snake that had coiled around his leg slithered out in front. Horse reared back in fright, giving Snake the sixth spot, while  Horse placed seventh.
Coming right behind were the Goat,  Monkey and Rooster. The trio had been working together as a team to paddle a raft across the river. When they pulled the raft to shore, they marched to the feet of the Emperor in the same order they had been seated, thus coming in eighth, ninth and tenth place. Finishing eleventh was Dog followed by Pig.

Cat eventually drowned and therefore, never  made it in the zodiac

Watch this super cute video that tells the story.

Good news! Cat didn't die in the video.

Haha! Rat was, after all,  a rat!

Cute dog videos to share.


So what is your Chinese zodiac animal? I am a Tiger. Roarrrrrrrrr!

#ChineseZodiac #YearOfTheDog #Folklore #OriginStory #CuteAnimals #Tiger #Horse #Roar #Adventures


  1. So that's why there isn't a cat. Now I know.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

  2. I didn't realize the cat was included...thanks for sharing that information and your visit!

  3. Poor kitty! I don't know if I like that folktale. It's not a pleasant story to tell a kid that the cat drown. Oh well, at least you let us know why there is no cat. I'm a pig. Ha! Never thought of myself as being a pig! Too funny!


  4. I see now why the Chinese don't have cats in the calendar- I don't particular care for them, I'm a dog lover and I had a pug I loved dearly for almost 13 years and I still miss him.
    Happy year of the dog.
    Thank you for your sweet visit.

  5. I never knew why there wasn't a cat. I can't say that I noticed either, lol! I'm a rat.

  6. Veronica,

    Thanks for sharing the story of how the Chinese zodiac was established. The video of the dog getting a massage is great. I think if I had someone to do that to me that I'd fall asleep, too. Thanks for stopping in and sharing!

  7. Crap. I am so old, I can't find my year of birth on your chart! Uh oh. That is not good. I think I am a rabbit for some reason. What is 1963?

  8. That is so interesting.. i had always wondered about animals of the zodiac but had never know what it was all about.. it is such an interesting story.

  9. Interesting post!! Thanks for sharing!!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment on my post about Blogging!! I will continue to post but not as often as I had been doing...maybe once a week or so...
    Thanks again for your encouraging words!!

  10. Thanks for sharing your Chinese chart, interesting info.
    THank you for sharing on #omhgww this week!
    Hope you have a lovely week! 🙂

  11. Wow I never knew that and a shame as I love cats!! Thanks for sharing with #bloggersbest x

  12. This is so interesting to read. I did not know this. #bloggersbest

  13. That has got to be the coolest and cutest Post I have ever seen in all the years I have been blogging! Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks for the education too! You asked what my Chinese zodiac animal was... only thing is I didn't see the year I was born! :*( Guess I don't have one! Bummer!!! Have a great week my friend & do stop by again soon! Hugs

  14. I have always wondered that. Cats are my favorite :)

  15. What an interesting story! We have been asking the same question as well and you know how cute cat is! Happy Chinese New Year ya mbaaa

  16. What? Wait. The cat drowned. Awww, that's sad. I just thought he felt a race was beneath him and refused to participate. After all, a cat is not going to follow the crowd.

  17. Aw poor kitty had to drown in the story. ;) We just adopted a 10 year old cat on a whim at a rescue shelter. That's what I get for going into a rescue shelter, hahaha, but we love her. :)

  18. Poor can, but the dogs look so cute dressed up like that.

  19. Well that's an interesting story!

  20. So that's why! I always wondered ...

  21. This fun post is a HOME feature on the April You're the STAR blog hop:

  22. Well now I know why there isn't a cat! #kcacols

  23. I've always wondered why there was no cat! #KCACOLS

  24. Ooh I am a pig, how interesting. Love the little story! Thanks for linking up with #KCACOLS hope to see you back next time!

  25. Thank you for the story, Veronica. I always thought that the cat is not in the zodiac because it is the tiger in the zodiac and both being felines have common characteristics. 😊

  26. Interesting post and cute video. Glad the poor kitty didn't drown in the video. That would have been very sad.