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Cat Herders' Day

When you are working to organize or control something that is uncontrollable, you may say that the task is like herding cats. It is unclear exactly when this idiom started being used. It may have been inspired by Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979), and seems to have begun being used in the 1980s by the information technology industry. A popular early phrase was "Managing senior programmers is like herding cats." Herding cats even became the subject of a popular Super Bowl commercial.

At work, or in life in general, you may feel like you have one thing in line, and then something else goes wrong. This is comparable to if you had a bunch of cats in front of you. Sometimes you may get one or a few of them to stand where you want them to, but eventually one will run off, and you will have to go retrieve it. While you are doing that, another one may go off in another direction. It isn't easy herding cats. The creators of this holiday explained it by saying, "If you can say that your job, or even your life, is like trying to herd cats, then this day is for you, with our sympathy."

How to Observe Cat Herders' Day

The day could be celebrated by giving your sympathies to those who have particularly difficult jobs—jobs where it seems like they are herding cats. If your job or life is like herding cats, maybe it's time to make a conscious effort to find a way to make your life a little easier. Perhaps it's time to give a few "cats" away or to stop trying to "herd" altogether. You could also celebrate the day by using the phrase "like herding cats" as much as possible. Also, if you actually have a few cats, you could take them outside and try to herd them.

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