GATES: 'Paw' reading for cats? Believe it!

For many years, palmistry has been used in foretelling the future. Palm reading is practiced all over the world, with roots in Indian astrology and gypsy fortune-telling. The goal is to evaluate a person's character or future by studying the palm. Though everyone has heard of palm reading, you may not be familiar with the lesser known practice of "paw reading."

The art of paw reading is relatively new but is quickly gaining popularity. Just as our palms may reveal secrets about our own future and health, a cat's paw can tell us about our pets!

In the book, "Palmistry: How to Read Your Cats' Paws," authors Ken Ring and Paul Romhany explain how to tap into the secrets of your cat's personality. The authors claim, "an understanding of our loved ones, including our pets, will make us better and more sensitive caregivers."

According to Ring and Romhany, paws come in seven types. Which of these describes your cat?

1. The Hunter, or Earth, paw is large and wide. These cats are sure of themselves and untrusting of humans at first. They are courageous and great hunters. In a home environment they make wonderful pets.

2. The Air, or Useful, paw is square or rectangular and found on cats that are orderly, and love habit. They are loyal but can be stubborn.

3. The Active, or Irregular, paw is narrow at the base and wider at the top. It indicates a creative nature, full of energy and enthusiasm. They have a desire to communicate and make excellent pets.

4. The Knotty, or Shy, paw is angular, bony and often referred to as the Philosophical type. These cats appear indifferent to other cats and humans, but are friendly once they get to know you. They bring a sense of peace and harmony to the home, and always maintain a hint of mystery.

5. The Conical Paw is narrow at the top with pronounced and pointed claws. These cats are clever and mentally alert. They stand out for the speed at which they learn and are very entertaining.

6. The Intuitive, or Water, paw is long, slender and fragile. Cats with this type of paw are gentle and quiet, and trust anyone who is nice to them. They are appreciative of everything and get along well with everyone due to their sweet nature.

7. The Mixed paw. Probably the most difficult to describe, it contains a combination of the other types. These cats are gentle and quiet in the home but have a different temperament outside. They are versatile and interesting to own and often behave like kittens their entire lives.

Palm and paw reading can be a great form of entertainment. Give it a try!

Rose Gates is a founding member of Angelcat Haven Feline Rescue and serves as volunteer coordinator and official PURR-tographer. She can be reached at and welcomes your comments and e-meows.

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