If you ask me, every day is a mystical journey with my five feline companions. Their peculiar behavior continually places them in an enigmatic light, making me wonder about their secrets. But, believe it or not, the fascination for these furry beings is not a new fever; it dates back to ancient civilizations. Across time and cultures, cats have garnered a mix of reverence, fear, and awe. In this riveting journey down the cat-alley of history, we’ll unravel startling ancient beliefs about cats that will surely make you rethink your knowledge of your purring pal!
Shortcut to great tips!
Cats in Ancient Egypt: The Divine Companions
In Ancient Egypt, cats were more than pet friends; they were divine creatures. Representations of lions, lionesses, and domestic cats were common in Ancient Egyptian art. A well-known deity, Bastet, the goddess of home, fertility, and childbirth, was depicted as a lioness or as a woman with the head of a lioness or domestic cat (source). She was also the protector of the pharaoh and the sun god Ra. No wonder my cat, Pharaoh, behaves like a king!
The Asian Lore: Cats are Lucky Charms
Asian cultures, particularly in Japan and China, celebrate cats as bringers of good luck and fortune. The popular “Maneki-neko” or the Beckoning Cat in Japanese culture is a talisman believed to bring good luck to its owner. Originating in Japan during the later part of the Edo period, this well-known charm depicts a cat beckoning with an upright paw (source). Surely it’s a feline testimony that cats are definitely more than just furry creatures lying around the house!
Celtic Mythology: The Dark Feline Fairy
Stepping into the realm of Celtic folklore, we encounter the spooky Cait Sith, a mythological creature believed to be a spectral cat as large as a dog and believed to have the ability to steal souls (source). Not exactly the friendly kit at home, eh?
Middle Ages: The Witch’s Companion
Now, let’s embark on a darker chapter of feline history. During the Middle Ages in Europe, cats, particularly black ones, were unfortunately associated with witchcraft. People believed that witches could transform into black cats. While this earned our feline friends a notorious reputation, it also imbued them with a certain mystical charm (source).
The Ancient Roman Perspective: Cats as Guardians
In Ancient Rome, cats were considered guardians. A cat, kept happily in the home, was believed to protect the house and family from disasters. They were also considered symbols of liberty (source). Maybe that’s why they are so independent!
The enigma surrounding cats has transcended beyond time and space, passed down from ancient times through generations, enhancing their appeal and our fascination with these creatures. While we live with our kitties in our modern world, a piece of their long and storied history finds a place in our daily lives. The next time your kitty stretches out lazily on your lap or chases around a laser, remember, they carry an aura of majesty, luck, and mystery in their paw-steps. Now carry this new-found knowledge and be the cat trivia master amongst your friends! After all, every day is an excellent day to celebrate our feline friends.