Hindus have a thing about saliva so do they get on with domestic cats?
Hindus don't get on with domestic cats in general according to my research (wrong? - tell me please). But, on the face of it, it is not to do with their social and cultural rule called: Uchchhishta.
I've learned that devout Hindus have a problem with saliva. Perhaps we all do to be honest. This is because saliva contains bacteria and we think germs spread in saliva. But they have a revulsion about it. They also have a specific term to describe leftover food which contains the saliva of the person who ate it. This word is: Uchchhishta.
Hindus represent about 80% of the general population of India. But do they all have a revulsion against the saliva in leftover food? I don't think so. However, there's a problem here because Hindus know that domestic cats groom themselves very thoroughly. They deposit their saliva all over their body when grooming. It dries on the fur. How do Hindus react to that knowledge?
Does it put them off keeping a domestic cat companion? Or is there a certain amount of fluidity and flexibility within the Hindu religion which allows Hindus to feel comfortable living with domestic cats despite their fastidiousness in keeping themselves spick-and-span through the use of their own saliva?
In India a person of higher caste or status can leave food leftovers for someone of a lower caste. And if a person of lower status eats the food of a person of higher status this is not in breach of this cultural rule called Uchchhishta.
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There is little about this rule on the Internet. However, questions are asked as to whether Indians living in India dislike domestic cats and if so why? It seems the biggest barrier in that country for domestic cat ownership is not Uchchhishta but superstition. They believe that when a cat crosses your path it is bad luck.
This superstition affects a lot of countries and a lot of people but it depends how strongly it is felt. Clearly in India it's quite a strong superstition. This appears to be similar cat superstitions on the African continent.
This superstition is due to Hindu mythology. Another barrier to Hindus owning cats is because they are meat eaters and a large percentage of Indians are vegetarians. They don't want meat-eating pets in their homes. They also don't want to neuter pets according to my research and because cats breed well they don't want lots of kittens. And they believe that cats are unsanitary and expensive to keep. Well, there you go. Indians regard the domestic cat as unattractive but the saliva issue isn't a problem or it is not mentioned as a problem. I wonder if it is a secret problem 😏.
RELATED CROSS-POST: Orthodox Hindus hate the domestic cat habit of constantly licking themselves
Uhmm...I wonder how Hindus react to kissing when saliva is merged between the participants? The quora.com website asks why Indians, especially marrying Hindus, do not kiss each other in front of everybody during their wedding. Is this true? I couldn't find a good answer. It appears to be a simple tradition. I wonder whether the tradition is linked to Uchchhishta?
It seems that there is a fault line in the culture regarding saliva. We have to respect it nonetheless. A lot of people in the West have a problem with cat saliva but in a different context: being bitten by cats and the bateria being deposited under the skin causing an infection. And also it contains an allergen (a protein) called Fel D1 which causes an allergy to cats in about 10% of the human population.
However, it has to be noted that human saliva contains the same levels of bacteria and if humans bit each other they'd become infected to the same extent 😎.