Happy Chinese New Year! But why isn’t there year of the Cat?

by | Jan 27, 2017 | Misc stuff | 6 comments

Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the 1st of January, 4715 in Chinese calendar year.

Photo credit: Meme Cat

Photo credit: Meme Cat

Even though I have put the picture of the two cute cats here, but this year is actually the Year of Rooster.

In fact, there is no year of the cat at all in Chinese Zodiac! Quite disappointing.

One might wonder why, and there is actually a folklore to explain this phenomenon. I figure we can have a bit of fun exploring this today!

Once upon a time, Cat and Rat were best friends.

One day, the Heavenly King announced he was to choose 12 animals to represent the 12 zodiacs for the calendar. He was going to organise a race that starts at the crack of the dawn, the first 12 animals arriving to the finishing lines will become the 12 zodiacs.

The night before all the animals were very nervous and tried to get themselves ready.

The Cat and the Rat camped out in a temple and were travelling together to get to the race in the morning.

Cat said to Rat, ‘hey, can you wake me up in the morning? You know how I love my sleep, I am worried I can’t wake up in the morning…’

Rat said, ‘sure of course, I will wake you up! No problem!’

So the next morning, when it was time to wake up, Rat started waking Cat up but Cat wouldn’t have any of it!

‘Hey, wake up! We got to go!!! WAKE UP!!!!’ said Rat.

‘um….zzzz….purr purr purr, go away…’

Time is running out, so Rat said, ‘listen, if you are not coming, I am going to go by myself. Listen, I tried and you can’t blame me for that.’

‘um….zzzz….purr purr purr, go away…’

So Rat left…

Rat arrived to the starting line of the race alone. The Ox noticed him and said, ‘hey little guy, yo are so small! When this thing gets going, you will be stomped! Why don’t you jump up here just to be safe?’

Rat thanked Ox and did just that.

So the race started and all the animals ran towards the finishing line.

Ox was leading the whole way!

On arriving the finishing line, Rat jumped down and reached the finishing line before Ox did! So Rat became the first of the 12 zodiac signs!

And here is the full result of the race: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.


Around midday, Cat woke up and realised the sun is up the sky!

‘What happened? Where is Rat? Holy crap, did he just leave me here? I can’t believe this!!!’

He ran and ran to the gathering place for the race, he found out the race was already over and the 12 winner animals were all lined up to receive their honour to be the 12 zodiac. And most importantly, Rat was the winner of the race!!!

Cat ran over to the Rat and jumped on him. Rat saw Cat coming at him full of rage and immediately understood what happened and started running. He kept explaining, ‘hey, I did wake you up but you wouldn’t listen to me!!!’

Cat wouldn’t have any of it and just kept chasing after Rat.

So from that day, for generations on, every cat would tell their kittens – rats are their biggest enemies. And every rat will tell them young to avoid cat at all cost because there is no talking to them they won’t listen.

The end.

Hahaha, it’s funny, isn’t it?

And it’s not difficult to imagine the Cat wouldn’t wake up for the race!

However, apparently there is year of the Cat in the Vietnamese New Year (which is the same day as Chinese New Year, we follow the same lunar calendar).

I hope you enjoy the story and have a great Chinese New Year.




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  1. 15andmeowing

    Thank you for that explanation, I did wonder about that. I am a rooster so I hope this will be a good year.

  2. kapitola

    Wow! Interesting reason – thanks for explaining

  3. Nellie (Cat From Hell)

    Great post! Mes figgured it was something like that! Happy New Year!


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I started this blog on 2014.
After working as a cat care professional for several years, I realised that I am in a unique position meeting a lot of interesting cats and their incredible humans.
This blog is their stories.
I also share some tricks of the trade and educational information.
I hope you enjoy.

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