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Welcome to Paw Planet.... this blog is dedicated to all pet and animal lovers especially those who have foot of an animal having claws. Also offer reviews, news and information about different pets.

paw: paw clawed foot of an animal especially a quadruped.
pet: pet is a domesticated animal kept for companionship, a special loved one.

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"I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." ~ Abraham Lincoln "An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language." ~ Martin Buber "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France "In the beginning, God created man, but seeing him so feeble, He gave him the cat" ~ Warren Eckstein

Year of the Rabbit or Cat?

While much of Asia celebrates the Year of the Rabbit, Vietnam is striking a note of independence from the dominance of Chinese culture and marking the beginning of the Year of the Cat.

The two communist countries remain ideological allies and have endorsed a similar transition to a market-oriented economy. But their relationship evokes strong emotions and contradictions in Vietnam, where many bitterly recall 1,000 years of Chinese occupation and, more recently, a 1979 border war. The two countries share 10 of the zodiac calendar's 12 signs-- the rat, tiger, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, but the Vietnamese replace the rabbit with the cat

Why does cat not included in Chinese zodiac? There is a folk that explains how each animal in the Chinese zodiac was given their place in the 12-year cycle.

According to the website of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh chapter, the Buddha summoned all the animals together for a banquet, so he could assign them a particular year in the cycle. Animals were bestowed a year in the order of their arrivals. When the cat heard the news, he notified his friend, the rat, and the two made plans to go together the next day. However, the cat lived up to its lazy reputation and slept in the next morning. As the rat did not bother to wake up his friend, the cat did not make it to Buddha’s meeting. He was not given a year in the Chinese zodiac. This legend not only clarifies the cat’s absence from the zodiac, but also explains why cats hate rats — the rat betrayed the cat. Meanwhile, the rat made its way to the assembly, but not without more tricks. Knowing that it would be hard to beat the larger animals to the meeting, the rat enlisted the help of the ox, who allowed the rodent to ride on its head. The two continued on their journey together. But right before their arrival, the rat jumped off the ox’s head and rushed to the finish line first. The rat’s wily ways earned him the first year in the zodiac cycle followed by the ox.

And how did the cat replace the rabbit in the Vietnamese zodiac? Though there are various explanations of why the cat replaced the rabbit in the Vietnamese zodiac, the most plausible and popular theory suggests that the word for rabbit in Chinese, mao, sounds like the word for cat in Vietnamese.

Regardless of how the split came about, the Vietnamese today have no interest in bringing their zodiac signs into line with the Middle Kingdom. "For the Vietnamese, it's a matter of national honour not to have copied China completely," said Benoit de Treglode, from the Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia in Bangkok.


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