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The Chinese Zodiac is an astrological system that coordinates each year to an animal. There are twelve "official" animals in the Zodiac: the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog, and the Boar. The Cat and the God are two who are not part of the Zodiac, but part of the Sohma Curse, as whenever a member of the opposite sex hugs them or they become weak or stressed, they turn into the animal of which year they were born into.
The Chinese Zodiac Legend
Long ago, God told all the animals he was throwing a banquet the next day and not to be late. The mischievous rat told his neighbor, the cat, that the banquet was the day after tomorrow. So, the next day, all the animals lined up for the banquet, and the rat rode there all the way on the cow's back.
All the animals had fun, except for the cat, who was at home sleeping and dreaming for a banquet that would never come. so then the cat fought the rat every time he saw him so he would be excepted with the others.
The Chinese's Legend of the Zodiac
In the Chinese legend, God had 12 places to be taken for the 13 animals he invited to his Chinese New Year celebration.
The animals were:
- The Cat
- The Rat
- The Cow
- The Tiger
- The Rabbit
- The Sheep
- The Dragon
- The Pig
- The Dog
- The Rooster
- The Snake
- The Monkey
- The Horse
Back then, the cat and the rat were the best of friends. However, upon receiving the words of the race, the rat wanted to win the race. It didn't even want its best friend to win. The cat wanted to race too. It told the rat that he would sleep and trusts the rat to wake him up in the morning of the race. However, on the morning of the race, the rat slyly didn't do it and ran off.
At the last leg of the race, the ox had taken over the rat. Even more determined to win, the rat jumped onto the ox's back. As the rat was light, the ox didn't know and carried on running. At the finishing line, the rat jumped off the ox's back to win the first place of the Zodiac.
When the dragon finished the race, God wondered why he had not taken first place. In reply, the dragon said that he had to first bring rain to crops and help the people. God was pleased with that.
The pig was far too lazy to wake up. However, its friend, the dog, woke it up and told him to get going. That's why the dog and the pig's positions are close: the dog ran in front of the lazy pig who walked all the way in the race.
As for the cat, he remained sleeping, waiting for his best friend, the rat to wake him up.im up.
Only after God declared the Zodiac did the cat wake up. It rushed to the end of the race, only find out the rat betrayed him. From that day onwards, the cat and the rat's relationship soured until the cat kept on chasing the rat.
The True Zodiac Legend
A man (later to be called ‘God’) lived alone on top of a mountain and was one day visited by a Cat. The Cat and the man befriended one another and eventually, the man decided to send out invitations to other animals, to hold a banquet. This is when the other animals (those that are considered part of the Chinese zodiac) showed up. They all partied and had a great time together until one day the cat fell ill and began to die.
God didn’t want their friendship or banquet to ever end so he created a spell by drawing a circle in a cup of water with his finger. God had the Cat drink first without telling him what it was. Then he revealed what the spell was to everyone else, saying it would make their friendship last for all eternity, that they would be reborn again and again and no matter how many times they were reborn the bond of their friendship would remain. Then after he had explained, all the other animals drank the spell willingly, the Rat going first.
Afterwards, the Cat spoke up and said he didn’t want this and rejected God’s plan for their eternity. He died after saying his piece but the text tells us that all the others turned their back on the Cat because of his words, because he had rejected their plan for an eternal bond, and it seemed like a betrayal to them.
The whole, complete story follows as:
Which animal in the Sohmas
- Main article: Sohma Curse
- The Rat: Yuki Sohma
- The Ox/Cow: Hatsuharu Sohma
- The Tiger: Kisa Sohma
- The Rabbit: Momiji Sohma
- The Dragon: Hatori Sohma
- The Snake: Ayame Sohma
- The Horse: Isuzu Sohma
- The Sheep: Hiro Sohma
- The Monkey: Ritsu Sohma
- The Rooster: Kureno Sohma
- The Dog: Shigure Sohma
- The Boar/Pig: Kagura Sohma
- The Cat: Kyo Sohma
- The God: Akito Sohma
- Only 12 of the cursed members (including Kyo and Akito) appear in the 2001 anime.
- Kyo is the only non-member of the Zodiac that has an animal form despite lacking an official zodiac year and possesses a "true" form.