December 15th is National Cat Herder’s Day. Everyone knows that it’s a tall order to herd a group of cats for any reason, even if it’s to lead them to a buffet of fresh fish! But if a cat is not an animal to be herded, why is there a National Cat Herder’s Day? The truth is that this holiday has nothing to do with literally herding cats. It’s a metaphor for achieving tasks that are overwhelmingly tough and winning at jobs that feel like nothing more than a continual battle. We laid out everything that you need to know right here.
A Timeline of National Cat Herder’s Day
Thomas and Ruth Roy created National Cat Herder’s Day in the 1980s, which is also when they copyrighted the term and occasion. The day didn’t garner much attention from the public, as most people did not even know about it. Then in the 1990s, a manager named Warren Bennis published a book entitled, “Managing People Is Like Herding Cats,” which was about leading in management positions. This gave attention to the phrase, “cat herders,” and managers started incorporating it into their talks and training sessions. The year 2000 was when the term really became popularized.
How the Term “Cat Herders” Became Widely Recognized
During the Super Bowl in 2000, an EDS commercial aired that featured cowboys successfully herding cats. The message was that the company served its customers as well as the cowboys in the commercial herded cats. In other words, it was accomplishing the seemingly impossible. Ever since, people and companies alike have adopted the term “cat herders” to explain those who can lead when circumstances seem uncontrollable and to accomplish tasks that the average person cannot.
At first, the term was reserved for managers, corporate go-getters, and similar types of career professionals. However, it has been expanded to include those who do outstanding work or make amazing achievements yet get little to no appreciation or bonus for it. Home and hospital caregivers, construction workers, salespeople, farmers, taxi drivers, and stay-at-home parents are all people who can identify as being cat herders.
Top 5 Fun Ways to Celebrate National Cat Herder’s Day
National Cat Herder’s Day is not celebrated by many people, and nothing more than recognition of the day is necessary to honor those whom you consider to be cat herders. However, if you do feel like celebrating, here are a few ideas to consider:
- Host a pizza party or recognition ceremony for the members of your team at work. Celebrate all the team’s accomplishments, and talk about how to tackle upcoming obstacles.
- Give a thank-you card to all the cat herders in your life.
- Take a cat herder out for a meal or to see a movie in recognition of the day.
- Bake a cake, and indulge to your heart’s content after dinner (or for dinner!).
- Get on social media, and spread the word about National Cat Herder’s Day so it garners more attention.
There is no right or wrong way to celebrate National Cat Herder’s Day. You don’t need to do anything special at all aside from thinking about it. However, if you consider yourself a cat herder or you have cat herders in your life who are important to you, why not celebrate?
National Cat Herder’s Day has nothing to do with cats, which can be disappointing for cat lovers who hear about the occasion. However, it is a fun day to celebrate for anyone who feels that they do a hard day’s work in a way that many others cannot or will not. It is also a day for acknowledging others who do an almost superhuman job or achieve success that seems impossible to accomplish. So, while you likely won’t get time off from work to celebrate, enjoy the day!
Featured Image Credit: Jacob Lund, Shutterstock