In Chinese Zodiac, zodiac signs are represented by using various animals excluding cats. There are 12 animals representing 12 zodiac signs. The story behind Chinese Zodiac is given below.
In ancient China, the Chinese God decided to measure timing. According to Chinese God, every year was decided to be represented by an animal. On the birthday of the Chinese God, he arranged a swimming race for the animals. First twelve animals winning the swimming race were supposed to be the symbols on next 12 years.
In that time, there was very good friendship between cat and rat. They were neighbors. Hearing the news about the swimming race, cat and rat decided to sign up early for the race. But cat was worried as he was a late-riser. The rat promised the cat that he will awaken him.
On the following morning, rat got up early. But he was too excited about the race and forgot his promise. He went to the race alone. On the way to the gathering place, there was a wild river. Rat became worried as he had no idea about how to swim. Suddenly, he saw an ox. He made a condition with the ox that the ox will carry the rat over the river and the rat will sang for him. The ox happily agreed and they arrived first. The ox was happy because he though he will be the sign of the next year. But, at the arrival point, the rat slid from the ox and became the first winner of the swimming race. So, the rat became the first sign of the Chinese zodiac.