Humans love company and that’s a fact! Even the grumpiest and grouchiest folks can flip their attitude by 180 degrees in the presence of a special lovable animal friend. Like the Grinch - cold, detached, crotchety, and uncooperative - but the moment he’s in the presence of his dog – his entire nature changes. And can we blame him? Pets have been an irreplaceable part of our lives for literal centuries. Archaeology suggests that human ownership of dogs as pets may date back at least 12,000 years ago. Even though most people associate the word pet with cats and dogs, our furry and not-so-furry friends come in all shapes, sizes and species. Fun fact: it’s not uncommon for Capybaras to be domesticated as pets. To show our appreciation for all the animals and animal lovers out there, we created a special Pinterest board filled with the ultimate feline and canine cuteness or you – so please check it out!
It comes as no surprise that there are endless benefits from owning a pet. For example, animals teach children and adults valuable life lessons such as responsibility, trust, compassion, respect and patience. This is a two-way relationship as well, because kids also have a lot to offer the furballs in your family – who can say ‘no’ to another high-energy play pal AND the perfect cuddle buddy during nap time? According to the findings of researchers, babies who grow up in homes with a pet – namely a dog or a cat – are less likely to get sick than children who live pet free. Those results bolster the notion that keeping infants’ environments overly sanitized isn’t that good for their health. Overall, babies who lived with a dog were 31% more likely to be healthy in their first year than babies without a dog. And kids from homes with cats were 6% more likely to be healthy than those in cat-free families.
And on the topic of cats, June is probably the most cat-centric holiday month there is (save for August, when people celebrate international cat day) with special days such as:
- International Box Day | 06.19.21
- National Garfield the Cat Day | 06.19.21
- National Take Your Cat to Work Day International | 06.21.21
But it must be noted that there are a few more holidays which can be coupled with those above, even if you don’t own a cat, per se. They are:
- National Loving Day | 06.12.21
- National Selfie Day | 06.21.21
- National Kissing Day | 06.22.21
- National Take your Dog to Work Day | 06.25.21
And here, at The Holiday Blog, we will gladly provide you with a little background and exciting ideas on how to celebrate each of them with your purring or not-so-purring friend.
International Box Day:
Stop us if this sounds too familiar – you've purchased your feline friend an overpriced nice, little 2 story playground home, which you spent an hour painstakingly assembling according to the Swedish instructions. And as you are basking in the glory of your creation, you turn around to look at the pile of boxes, and you notice someone very comfortably sleeping in one of them, completely ignoring your hour worth of labor and a day’s worth of pay. Well, cats do that, so it’s no surprise. Have you ever wondered about WHY they do it? As it turns out, it’s a combination of a few factors:
- Boxes are safe. Cats get comfort and security from enclosed spaces, which is why they love spending so much time in cardboard boxes, and as a bonus – they don’t think predators can sneak up on them. Our feline friends react to stressful situations differently than we do – they don’t have internal conflict resolution strategies, so their most common defense mechanism is to turn tail and hide from their problems. Problems that can be resolved if you’re located within the safety and security of a plain ol’ cardboard box.
- Cardboard is a great insulator. And one of the main reasons why our adorable kittens love boxes from that material is that they are great for warmth. And the small space even encourages your purry and furry (or not-so-furry in some cases) kitty cat to curl up and relax, transforming the box into a comfortable and cozy place.
- Cats are just curious. Let’s face it – they love snooping around and familiarizing themselves with new things. And one such thing is that box you’ve been meaning put out for recycling but are currently staring at. It smells different; it has a perfect bitey-scratchy texture for them, and for all they know – the box itself is the present you got them for this June 19th. It’s okay – we’re sure your kitties will appreciate their new “house” when they are ready for it.
National Garfield the Cat Day:
Speaking of adorable felines, we can’t pass over one of the most iconic cats in pop-culture history – your favorite witty, sassy, blunt, saucy, lasagna-eating, Monday-hating orange cat – Garfield. The brainchild of Jim Davis has brought so many laughs with his hilarious insights and occasional, slightly cynical demeanor. It’s no wonder there’s an entire day dedicated to him! With insights ranging from politics to lasagna, our favorite and lovable Persian-Tabby mix has endeared himself to audiences of all ages and a wide variety of locations. So, we invite you to Google your favorite comic strip and celebrate this wonderful June 19th by remembering why Garfield is just so darn loveable. And... Maybe... admit that deep down inside, we all wish our pets could speak to us and tell us what they really think!
National Take Your Cat to Work Day:
Pending the winner of the eternal debate CATS versus DOGS, we can announce June 21st as one of the cutest workdays of the year. From around 12,000 years ago, when felines were domesticated up to the modern days – our furry friends have been with us through thick and thin. Peep this Pinterest board for solid evidence of their historical and ultimate importance. We all know some animals handle workday separation worse than others, but this would be a perfect time to make it up to them. In the current climate and the ongoing covid epidemic, we have long ago started working from home, much to the joy (or sometimes annoyance) of our pets. So while this holiday may not seem like one that’s easily celebrated – consider opening the home office door to celebrate June 21st, letting your cat explore the room in its entirety. Who knows – maybe leaving the door open was the right move all along.
National Take Your Dog to Work Day:
We couldn’t NOT group cats and dogs together once more. Similar to their purring counterparts, dogs have been with us for thousands of years. Successfully domesticated, they serve as loyal companions, guards and free serotonin dispensers. One of the hardest parts of the day is leaving our four-legged fur babies behind as we head to the office, so when Pet Sitters International proposed to celebrate this holiday by taking our canine friends to the office annually (at least) on the 25th of June, we hardly think anyone objected. This holiday actually dates back to 1999 to celebrate companion dogs and encourage adoptions. Having your dog at work with you all day may make it a bit harder to get all your tasks checked off your list, but once again – in the current climate, don’t most of us have all our fur babies with us at work already (the joys of working from home)? And we’ve adapted to this much welcomed change (for both us and the dogs), keeping productivity and pet happiness at an all-time high!
Of course, June is not only about animal-specific holidays to celebrate our animal companions – as much as we would like that. There are several additional holidays that commemorate human behavior. However, even if they’re meant to recognize human things, who says we can’t partake in the rituals with our pets?
National Selfie Day:
With the advancement of technology, photography has become more and more popular. From low to high range cameras, cell phones and video recorders, there is a myriad of technical and digital apparatuses to choose from. And self-portraiture is as timeless as art itself. By the time the camera phone, digital cameras and social media converged (around 2005), “selfie" had become a full-blown global phenomenon. Since then, the selfie has changed, even getting its own “national day” which falls on the 21st of June, rapidly becoming both a casual means of communication and a perfected piece of art. And contrasting the time it takes to snap a selfie now, the person who gets the credit for this art form – Robert Cornelius – had to sit still for 10 to 15 minutes to create the first intentional self-portrait in 1839. So, in order to celebrate this day, we at The Holiday Blog advise you to grab your pet(s) and start a new selfie album (as if we don’t know it’s going to be your thousandth – but we don’t judge), because some moments deserve to have the magic captured. And are we happy that selfies take less than 15 minutes of time now! Because let’s face it – our pets are not always the most obedient when it comes to selfie time. They can’t help it though – and we don’t really care because they are too cute!
National Kissing Day:
We use kisses to show love, greet, and communicate with our kin. There’s actually a running theory that the origin of the kiss is based on our natural instinct to share food – like how many mammals feed their young. And in fact, the oldest recorded type of kiss is what is now known as the ‘eskimo kiss’ - rubbing/pressing noses together. What’s even more interesting is that those references come from India, at around 1500 B.C. And nowhere does it say that you always must kiss a human being – this special act of closeness can be displayed even with our pets. And in case you decide to celebrate this day on the 22nd of June and find yourself wondering if your cat and/or dog enjoys it – we got you covered. If your cat leans in, purrs, and rubs his head on you when you kiss him, he probably understands that you are trying to show him affection. However, if the ears go back, he begins to whip his tail back and forth, moves away from you, hissess, or swats at you – he doesn’t want to be kissed (pretty obvious sign). As for dogs, it generally depends on the dog - not necessarily the breed but the actual dog himself. Many factors come into play – such as the dog’s current mood, overall behavior and even built-up habits and socializing peeves (yeah, dogs have those too!). But if your canine companion is wagging his tail like a helicopter ready to take off – then we are almost certain he is not only enjoying it, but LOVING it!
Overall, June is the month where the weather gets warmer, the sun gets brighter, and the days get longer. There are many ways to spend these beginning-of-summer days with family, friends and pets, but in this cat-centric and dog-tastic month, here are some suggestions related to all the holidays we just explored together:
1. Build your cat an outside box fortress – head over to the supermarket and ask if they have any extra boxes. Bring them home and create the ultimate play area for your cat!
2. Join your cat in a box. Ever wonder why your cat has so much fun inside one? Why not find an extra-large (like the packaging box from your brand-new refrigerator) and join him inside? But beware – kitty may not want to share!
3. Try a lasagna blind test. Have a loved one prepare a lasagna with a couple of extra ingredients thrown in and do your best at guessing!
4. Liven up your Monday – go out for a walk, try to remember the best Monday you ever had and relive the emotions brought to you on that specific day.
5. Plan an office “White Kitty Exchange” where everyone gets to exchange random cat-themed gifts.
6. Open the door of your home office for a day. Let the little rascals zoom around and in and out (or not come in at all – we all know how cats are sometime) and they can even bless you with their presence during a work call. And there is literally nothing better than bearing witness to a coworker’s pet making a brief appearance during video meetings. Bonus points if your dog jumps on your lap unexpectedly and startles the owner!
7. Start a new selfie album with your pet. We know you probably already have tens, or hundreds of those – but one more couldn’t hurt, right? There could be incredible photo opportunities with the warm weather this month – at the local park, the zoo, on a favorite hiking trail – the world is your oyster!
No matter what you do, be sure to show our loveable canine and feline (and all other types of pets) the affection they deserve. We know you probably do that all the time and they won’t know they are being “treated” for a special day, but even if we did, we doubt they’d care. Pets are such an important part of our lives and have been for so very long, so it’s important we remember to not take them for granted. So go out (or stay in) and create magical memories with your pet family and animal friends that will last a lifetime! And as always – don't forget to share pictures or stories of your favorite times celebrating with your furry or not-so-furry friends on our social media accounts –Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.