Miss C investigates dream cats
Seeing cats in your dreams?
Could mean good luck—or something entirely different.
Have you ever wondered what it means when you dream about a cat, or if it means anything at all? Well, you are not alone. People have been trying to interpret their nocturnal encounters with dream cats for about four thousand years, and probably longer.
Ancient Egyptian cat-dream interpretation
The ancient Egyptians, whom we know held the cat in special regard, were (at least as far as we know) the first to consider the meaning of cats in dreams. Jaromir Malek, in The Cat in Ancient Egypt, wrote of an early dream-interpretation text dated to about 1980–1801 BC. According to this text, if a man saw a large cat (that’s mii oa if you’re talking like an Egyptian) in a dream, it was a good omen, as it meant he would have a large harvest (p. 79). Presumably that large cat would keep vermin from destroying the crop.
Modern cat-dream interpretation
A lot of years have passed between 1980 BC and today, so I sent She of Little Talent to search out some modern views on dream interpretation. It turns out there are many, and none of them have anything to do with a large harvest.
A century ago, Sigmund Freud thought that dreams were all about wish fulfillment, but (in adults, at any rate) the true meanings were distorted so the dreamer didn’t recognize them. Carl Jung theorized that dreams could be much more, tapping into both a personal and a collective unconscious. In either system of interpretation, things in dreams can be symbols of something else—or not (sometimes a cat is just a cat, to paraphrase something Freud may or may not have said).
Assuming dream objects can be symbols, what do cats symbolize? Well, old SoLT’s research turned up the following interpretations of what dream cats represent:
- Illusions, delusions, false or irrational beliefs, lying to yourself, and/or an unwillingness to confront the truth. This according to the Dream Bible.
- Feminine qualities or positive aspects of femininity. If you dream about an aggressive cat, you may have a conflict with your feminine side, according to Dreamsleep.
- An independent spirit, feminine sexuality, creativity, or power. A dream cat can also represent misfortune or bad luck. Dreaming of a cat with green spikes means jealousy is messing up your relationships, and dreaming of a cat missing its body or legs means you have limited independence, according to Dream Moods.
Interpretation of an actual cat dream
Armed with this little bit of information, let’s practice our interpretation abilities on She of Little Talent. Not long ago, old SoLT dreamed that she adopted a large tabby cat named Ruby. What is the hidden meaning of this dream? I offer three possibilities:
- She is unwilling to confront the truth that she is not getting another cat right now.
- She is drawing closer to her feminine qualities.
- She is about to experience some sort of luck, either good or bad, or perhaps she will have a good harvest.
Old SoLT herself decided to go Freudian and interpreted the dream as the nocturnal fulfillment of a daytime wish. See, the day before the dream, she made the mistake of looking at the adoptable cats in the local pet store and accidentally fell in love with a big, gorgeous tabby whom she wanted to adopt but couldn’t.
Maybe sometimes a cat is just a cat.
Photo credits: Woman dreaming © Darkbird77 | Dreamstime.com - Beautiful Plus Size Woman Dreaming About Something Photo