Quick Facts

Every December 15th
Tagged as
  1. Animals
  2. Cats

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You’ve probably heard the saying that something is as impossible as “herding cats”, used in reference to a seemingly futile or difficult task. Granted, if you have actually attempted to literally herd a bunch of cats for some reason or the other, you would know exactly how impossible this task actually is.

All of that said, as far as we know, there’s no one out there who’s actually a professional cat herder. If there were, this day would actually be for those folks. This is a day for everyone who has to face the frustration of trying to manage the unmanageable, anyone whose day to day life involves insurmountable tasks.

History of Cat Herders’ Day

While the idiom that something impossible is “like herding cats” is a popular saying now, the phrase has relatively recent origins – one story has it that IT expert Dave Platt popularized the phrase when he said that “managing senior programmers is like herding cats”. What we can say is that the phrase is pretty suitable for what it describes. And while cats are independent, solitary, and easily distracted, many humans also share this characteristic.

So you may well have to complete tasks that are in fact as difficult as herding cats, even if you’ve never seen or heard of a cat until now. Anyway, we know that Cat Herders’ Day was invented sometime in the last decade, and is basically one of those cheeky holidays that you can celebrate however you want.

Observing Cat Herders’ Day

Get ten cats and a shepherd’s crook. Herd the cats using the shepherd’s crook, and you will have just made a futile attempt at herding felines. Congratulations, for you’re now a catherd/catherdess (like a shepherd, a cowherd, or a goatherd, only less often glorified in the Geetha Govinda or in baroque opera – we’ve yet to find pastoral scenes with catherds). Now that you’ve attempted and failed the impossible, head out and thank those who accomplish them every day.

From project managers to daycare workers, head out and let those who handle impossible tasks with aplomb every day know how much you appreciate and, frankly, stand in awe of them. Someone has to be there to get these tasks done, and without those who seem to be capable of herding felines of the metaphoric variety, the world may not work as well as it does. On final note, on Cat Herders’ Day, do try not to be a cat.