Cats Rule in Ancient Egypt
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Bastet was a goddess who could become a cat.
Ancient Egyptians worshipped many animals for thousands of years. Animals were revered for different reasons. Dogs were valued for their ability to protect and hunt, but cats were thought to be the most special. Egyptians believed cats were magical creatures, capable of bringing good luck to the people who housed them.
To honor these treasured pets, wealthy families dressed them in jewels and fed them treats fit for royalty. When the cats died, they were mummified. As a sign of mourning, the cat owners shaved off their eyebrows, and continued to mourn until their eyebrows grew back. Art from ancient Egypt shows statues and paintings of every type of feline. Cats were so special that those who killed them, even by accident, were sentenced to death.
According to Egyptian mythology, gods and goddesses had the power to transform themselves into different animals. Only one deity, the goddess named Bastet, had the power to become a cat. In the city of Per-Bast, a beautiful temple was built, and people came from all over to experience its splendor.
Cats were often worshipped by ancient Egyptians and considered as family members. A family’s feline pet was often mourned by the entire family and received a ritualistic burial. They buried the mummified cat’s body with a supply of milk, mice and any other items that the animal may need in its afterlife. Cats hunted vermin and insects that threatened the food supply and many believed them the associates of deities. Source: WiseGeek.com
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