Most people think the March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day. However, March 17 is also the day of Gertrude of Nivelles, patron saint of cats and gardeners.

Gertrude of Nivelles was born around 626 in present-day Belgium into a well-connected noble family. When her father died, Gertrude and her mother, Itta, moved to Nivelles, south of Brussels, to set up a monastery, where she became an abbess. 

She became known for her devotion to charitable works, and for taking care of orphans and her love for cats. The cats she kept at the monastery worked as a very diligent rodent patrol. That means you can celebrate March 17 as a special holiday for your cat.

To learn more about Saint Gertrude, the patron saint of cats, click here.