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Why did the Egyptians love cats so much?

The+Egyptians+were+so+enthusiastic+about+cats+that+they+had+several+deities+that+were+associated+with+them.+But%2C+have+you+ever+thought+about+why+this+is%3F
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Why did the Egyptians love cats so much?

The Egyptians were so enthusiastic about cats that they had several deities that were associated with them. But, have you ever thought about why this is?

The Egyptians were so enthusiastic about cats that they had several deities that were associated with them. But, have you ever thought about why this is?

The Egyptians were so enthusiastic about cats that they had several deities that were associated with them. But, have you ever thought about why this is?

The Egyptians were so enthusiastic about cats that they had several deities that were associated with them. But, have you ever thought about why this is?

David Disney, Lode Writer

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Nowadays people love cats. We see our feline friends all over the place, from internet videos to our living rooms. Some may even treat their cats like royalty… What if, however, we actually did worship our cats? That was what the ancient Egyptians did, and their reasoning is somehow as interesting as it is obvious.

Imagine yourself back in 600 B.C. Egypt. You may be a farmer, or maybe you just have an open pantry. Either way, you are going to have bread and grains somewhere in your house just waiting for a hungry mouse. Now imagine you can’t slip on your sandals without the risk of a snake lunging out and biting your toes.

Do not fret my friend, for there is a feline savior here to protect your home from such threats! That’s right, the consensus is Egyptians regarded cats so highly because they helped keep pests out of their homes. Ancient Egyptians actually had a goddess, Mafdet, who represented the house cat, and protected against snakes and scorpions.

But wait, there’s more! The reverence for felines goes a little bit deeper than pest control. Enter Bastet, the butt-kicking lioness and defender of Ra, the sun god. Bastet was seen as a defender, carrying the general theme of felines being protectors, except this time instead of keeping spiders out of your nightstand this deity was the protector of Northern Egypt.

Lions themselves were seen as incredibly noble animals in Egypt. Many tombs have been uncovered to reveal lions depicted on burial urns and similar artifacts. In one case an actual lion was mummified in the tomb. It is thought that lions were seen with such respect because of their power, creating a mixture of fear and reverence in anyone who had the misfortune of coming across a pride on a hike.

Lastly, we move on to perhaps the most famous cat in Egypt, the Great Sphinx of Giza. Modern opinion is a bit torn on what exactly this monument represents, but there are a few points that are agreed upon. The body of the sphinx is a lion, and the head is that of a man. The man in question is where things get a little dicey. It is believed to be a representation of the pharaoh Khafre, although modern Egyptologists tend to disagree on who exactly this face is meant to resemble.

The fact seems to be that this is an ancient statue that was carved imperfectly, and to argue over who it is meant to resemble is an exercise in futility. As for the lion symbology, it is thought that perhaps this statue was originally a sun temple; and the lion body related to the regal status lions held as protectors of the sun.

That is the not-so-strange history of the Egyptian fascination with cats. They pretty much just thought it was cool that they killed mice, and also lions were scary. There is more to this story to be sure, and I’m sure there are countless more examples of feline-inspired gods from Egyptian myths. I’d say the real lesson to take is to paws every once in a while, and let your feline friend know that they were, and still are, royalty.

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Why did the Egyptians love cats so much?