Imagine being born on a day that's more elusive than a cat when it's time for a vet visit. That's the life of a 'leapling' – someone, or in our case, some-pet born on February 29th. This unique date, appearing only every four years, gives those born on it a special kind of celebrity status.
In the human world, leaplings often celebrate birthdays on February 28th or March 1st in non-leap years. But when it comes to our pets, this rarity opens up a world of fun and unique ways to celebrate. Just like leap year adds a twist to our calendar, it adds a dash of extra specialness to our pets. Let's leap into how this concept can make for an unforgettable pet birthday bash!
Leap year myths and legends
What makes being a pet parent to a leapling so extraordinary? Well, it's all in whom you're chatting with. While myths and legends usually swirl around human leap day babies, we're inclined to believe these enchanting tales might just extend to our soulful sidekicks as well.
Luck and Unluck: In many cultures, Leap Day babies are considered to be extremely lucky, while others believe they are unlucky. The concept of luck varies significantly across different cultures and beliefs. When it comes to our pets, their presence in our lives can only be considered a blessing. We like to think that parenting a leap day pup or kitty brings us extra luck.
Unique Talents and Traits: Some folklore suggests that Leap Day babies possess unique talents and personality traits, making them stand out from others. This could be attributed to the rarity and uniqueness of their birth date. If your leapling pet has a few special tricks or traits up their furry sleeve, it could be due to this legend!
Scotland and Unlucky Leap Years: In Scotland, it was once thought that leap years were unlucky for farming and livestock. Additionally, it was believed that Leap Day itself was not a good day to start something new. Today, far fewer of us can claim to be farmers, so we think this remains solidly in myth category.
Leap Year Capitol: In 1988, leaplings Mary Ann Brown and Birdie Lewis kick-started a Leap Year Festival in Anthony, Texas–New Mexico, marking the birth of a unique celebration. This four-day fiesta, brimming with music, food, and fun, draws people worldwide, earning Anthony the title of Leap Year Capital of the World. Why not use this festival as inspiration for you own, pet-friendly one?
A very merry unbirthday
Even if it's not a leap year, your pet still deserves a celebration. How about marking their 'un-birthday' instead? Choose either February 28th or March 1st to keep the party spirit alive.
On this day, spoil them with their favorite treats, a new toy, or an extra-long walk. You can even throw a half-birthday party in August, making it an exciting biannual event. This way, every year, leap or not, becomes a special occasion for your leapling pet – and let's be real, our dogs and cats won't know you're a day or two off if there are treats involved.
When the actual leap day does roll around, it's time to go all out! Think themed parties – maybe one with frog-themed decorations and games. Prepare special treats, organize playful activities, and invite other pet friends over for a silly leap year celebration.
Or you could play with the concept of "four". Since the day only comes around every four years, you could get your pet four new toys, treat them to four of their favorite activities, etc. Make it fun and your soulful sidekick is sure to feel loved.
Make new traditions
Create leap year traditions that you and your curious copilot can look forward to. This could include a special outing to their favorite park or a unique toy presented only on leap years. These traditions can make leap year birthdays a much-anticipated event in your household.
Celebrating your pet's leap year birthday is a unique opportunity to shower them with extra love and fun. As our affinity for pets continues to grow, the ways to celebrate them will as well. And remember, it's never a waste of time to give your pet the life they deserve.
Lizz Caputo is the Manager of Content Strategy at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.