A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to author Roby Sweet. Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, March 17, 2014

For St. Patrick's Day: The Mythical Cat Sidhe of Ireland



Miss Cuddlywumps celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with playfulness, purrs, and a good nap



Benevolent fairy cat takes a rest.
Public domain image by Pierre Rudloff,
via Wikimedia Commons.
I, Miss Cuddlywumps, have my own special way of observing St. Patrick’s Day. You humans can have your little parades, you can wear your green clothes and drink your green beer. I am spending the day pretending I am a cat sidhe.

Now you are all confused. A cat sidhe? You probably think I am making up this unpronounceable word to trick you. But I am not making it up at all. A cat sidhe (or cat sith in Scottish Gaelic) is a feline creature found in Irish and Scottish tales. The name is pronounced “cat shee,” and the creature the name refers to is a large black cat with one white spot on its breast.

In folklore the cat sidhe was not an auspicious creature. Many believed that this type of cat was actually a shape-shifting witch. Supposedly witches could turn themselves into cats and back again eight times; if the witch shifted to feline form a ninth time, she would forever remain a cat. The cat sidhe was also thought to steal the souls of the dead (though why any cat would want to do that is beyond me).
 
I like to think the modern cat sidhe is a more benevolent fairy cat. Today, let us frolic playfully to make our humans smile and laugh, let us purr to comfort those who are sad or distressed, and let us take an especially long nap, because being a fairy for a day is no easy feat.

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