History of Cats in ancient civilizations…The cat is a lovely pet noted for its lightness and naughtiness. Through time, the cat becomes beloved by the man. Man knew and even sanctified it in ancient times, and as a result, he became one of the gods of ancient civilizations, coexisted with mankind, and remained his friend throughout time.
Some historians believe that cats were one of the first animals to be domesticated, and that was about 5000 years ago, while others confirm that they lived close to humans from about 3500-8000 years ago.
Cats in ancient civilizations…were sacred goddess and kills those who harm them
- Pharaonic civilization
Cats were known in ancient Egypt as “Mao,” and they held an important place in ancient Egyptian society. There were some of the Egyptian deities that took the form of cats. For example, Bastet was one of the gods of the ancient Egyptians that took the form of a cat. She was merged with the goddess Sekhmet in the modern state, where Sekhmet is represented in the form of a predatory lioness. When Bastet gets angry, she becomes Sekhmet and takes revenge on enemies and people of bad character. During the celebrations of the goddess Basset, the Egyptian pharaohs refrained from hunting lions and cats, and considered it impure and a sin at this time.
The ancient Egyptians raised cats in homes, and when they died, they would mummify them like their dead, and killing a cat outside a place of worship without priests was a crime that could be punished severely.
According to a number of historians, the ancient Egyptians had a very special relationship with animals, especially cats. The killing of cats in ancient Egypt was a crime that required death, even if the killing was by mistake.
The historian Diodorus Siculus tells the story of a Roman man who accidentally killed a cat in Egypt, and the Egyptians attacked him and killed him. Although the king personally intervened to try to save him (fearing that diplomatic relations with Rome might break down and go to war with her), the people did not care, neither for the king’s fears nor for the possibility of war.
- Scandinavian civilization
In Norse mythology, the cat was associated with the goddess Freya, the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility, who is depicted on a chariot pulled by two cats. In religions that believe in the doctrine of transmigration of souls, as in Buddhism, cats are considered the abode of holy spirits, who choose them to dwell in them.
In ancient European times, the cat was worshiped as a goddess in Ireland, and the Viking tribes considered cats the most affectionate and affectionate animals, and only kings and princes owned them.
- The Greeks
As for the Greeks, they knew the value of cats and their ability to combat rodents. Cats were revered in Rome as a symbol of liberty and a spiritual guardian of the home.Cats were used as guards for temples in order to protect manuscripts from rats and rodents.
- Eastern Civilizations
In China, the cat “Li Shu” was considered a fertility goddess, offering her sacrifices at the end of each harvest season. Cats were also considered in the ancient civilization of India by the goddess of motherhood. The cat in Japan enjoyed a high status. It was expensive, only nobles could own it, and it was kept in temples to guard precious manuscripts and protect silkworm cocoons from rodents.
- Scandinavian civilization