After the accendental death of my cat, Zoe a few months back, for whatever reasons, i began researching more into felines in ancient myth, beliefs and
cultures..their purpose for domestication both for 'logical' reasons as well as spiritually. Having always been a 'cat person' i have always held
great affection and respect for them, not strange in itself as i love all animals and often hold more respect for them than many humans i've met in
life! But its a very different respect when it comes to cats of all breeds and sizes..
It is estimated that early feline species began to come to human settlements around 2000 BC, drawn to human dwellings for rodents, food scraps and
warmth from fires, the Felis silvestris lybica- commons.wikimedia.org...
is said to be the ancestor of all domesticated cats known today.
Initially, these smaller species of African wild cats were encouraged to come to the settlements by the people when they came to understand their
hunting abilities, to hunt pests jeopardising grain supplies such as mice and rats who often stole from the supplies as well as contaminating the food
with their urine and feces, thus spreading diseases such as Leptospirosis (Weils Disease), Tularemia, Hantavirus, Lassa Fever and fever with renal
syndromes, and of course the widely known Black Plague for some examples.. www.cdc.gov...
So in this sense, cats became quite invaluable with their 'mousing skills', and often helped in keeping poisionous snakes away..
It has been said in cat myths that the tabby cats 'M' mark most have on their foreheads came from Mary Magdalene in thanks to a stray tabby who
kept the baby jesus warm in the stables..(I am not Christian however, and this is just one of many, many examples of feline lore)..
As many know, cats appear in most every cultures folk stories and myths of old.. various superstitions have been around for a very long time -such
as a pure black cat crossing ones path being bad luck or an omen of sorts, a kitten born in may is said to be a witches cat, and as many know, cats
have been associated with witches and the Occult for centuries now, by the mid to late 1500s they began to be thought of by the average people as
familiars to aid a witch in their magickal workings, rituals, spell castings, shape shifting and so on.. Black cats have been seen by some throughout
history to be the 'devil' himself..and so the distrust and superstitions of cats started to form.. but not all views of cats were or are negative,
In Italian lore, anyone who hears a cat sneeze is meant to have good luck.. while in Scotland, a strange (stray or unknown) cat on ones doorstep is to
bring prosperity to that household, and dreaming of a white cat is also meant to be a good omen..
As many know, the Ancient Egyptians were feline enthusiasts, so to say, throughout history..So much so that if anyone were to be seen by another to
kill a cat either on purpose or by pure accident was immediately put to death, They were defeated in war, supposedly so an old story goes, when their
rivals came to the battlefield with cats strapped to their shields (alive) and in fear of killing or injuring a single one of the creatures, laid down
their weapons. True or not, i found the mental imagery of this most amusing lol..
Tomb scenes began to show cats in everyday life during the 'New Kingdom' period in Egypt from 1540-1069 BC. They also would take their cats on
hunting excursions with them, usually to marsh lands where the cats were trained to hunt fowl and fish.. The Ancient Egyptians name for felines big
and small, was Miut or Miu (meaning he or she that muews) and they often used the term Miut or Mit as an endearment towards, usually, girl rather than
Throughout histories and folk lores world wide, cats are depicted and spoke of in writings/texts of old as being held in high regards..and by some,
outright worshipped. The earliest known feline cat Goddesses recorded, started with Mafdet, spoken of in the Pyramid Texts as a Serpent killer
Then came the very popular and well known of Bastet (Ubasti) en.wikipedia.org...
counterpart, Lion Headed (some believe, her evil counterpart) Sekhmet en.wikipedia.org...
Due to the Ancient Egyptians love for Bastet, she became their household Goddess..watching over and protecting the home, women and childbirth.
My main point to this thread, is that throughout decades upon decades, felines have been highly revered by some, extremely feared by others, and by
yet others, held in high esteem for their grace, beauty and mysteriousness..and that last part is where my curiousity is presently.. there is no doubt
that cats are peculiar beings in themselves, each with their own persona and traits, but an over all mystery of cats lingers to this day. I would be
interested in anyones thoughts on these gorgeous and delightful (in my opinion anyway)! companions..as well as stories.. 'oddities', happenings and
experiences of your own with cats, spiritually, in a paranormal sense, or whatever you wish to share..a number of people accept that animals in
general are able to see and understand things that humans can not see or grasp, often cats are seen as spiritual guardians, and in some mythologies
appear as gate guardians for alternate realms and the underworld.. The topic of the known Alien race of Felines-The Lion People, is a whole other
thread of its own, but feel free to speak of them here
Thanks for reading! I will check back when i can