With today’s modern homebuilding, technology, and pest control, it’s hard to imagine cats as the protectors they once were to people in ancient times. Before humanity had the technology and innovation we have today, like plastic containers to protect our food and solid walls and seals to keep poisonous creatures out, we relied on animals like cats to protect our homes and ourselves.
Though it might be too presumptuous to say that Egyptians worshipped cats per se, there are undoubtedly many strong ties to cats in Ancient Egyptian culture. Cats were truly loved and respected creatures, as artifacts from the times tell us today.
Egyptian Cat Creation Story
Ancient Egyptian legend says that the sun god, Ra, was once very angry with humanity. Ra sent his lion-headed daughter, Sakhmet, to the earth to rage against humanity for its crimes against him. However, he quickly realized this was a mistake, and Sakhmet was getting out of control.
To slow her down, he provided her with red-colored beer to substitute for the blood she craved. After she drank the beer, she fell into a deep sleep and became a small house cat.
Feline Special Treatment
Because of this high regard for felines, Egyptians were known to treat their house cats as well as they treated the children in the family. Seeing cats adorned with jewelry or fed like kings and queens was not unusual.
Cats are an important part of Egyptian history and are an important part of the history of humankind. They protected people from rats and mice that contaminated food supplies and scorpions and snakes that killed vital members of families. We have a lot to thank cats for, and it’s fascinating to see how the Egyptians did that in their own way.
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Featured Image: mariesacha, Shutterstock