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The sanctity of cats

The sanctity of cats

The cat is considered a sacred animal and not only by the ancient Egyptians. They were the ones who had a real cult following for the mysterious animal.

On the walls of their tombs are painted cats that are in the laps of their owners, or under their chairs. With the image of cats, Egyptians had shown their sun god Ra, a cat with a dark color has also appeared, known as Mahes - god of storms.

They are most strongly associated with the cat goddess Bastet. The goddess of anger and fighting, which had a lion's head - Sehmet became Bastet when relaxed, and then – turned into Hathor, the goddess of love.

A figurine of a cat was a powerful amulet for sexual activity in Egypt, it showed success in love and everything else.

In 950 BC Pharaoh Sheshonk the First founded in the capital city of Bubastis, from there the cult of Bastet spread all over Egypt. The Greek historian Herodotus described the huge temple dedicated to Bastet, where cats were hunted.

When Egyptian homes have a dead cat, all families are in mourning, and all their adult members plucked their eyebrows. The cat was mummified and placed beside her toys and mummies of mice.

Killing a cat in Egypt was punishable by death. During the war between Persia and Egypt, Cambyses king of Persia ordered his soldiers to tie cats to their shields. Egyptians would rather lose the battle than to slay these sacred animals.

Some followers of the occult believe that the cat is able to reach nirvana. In China, the tendency of cats to do meditation aroused respect and admiration. In China, figurines in the shape of cats chase away evil spirits.

In Japan, ancient traditions require the cat to be buried in the family tomb. This foreshadowed the owners thereof’s being and happiness .

In Thailand, the royal family has traditionally been buried with their cats.