Cats are a story of life along with people
- 06 Nov 23:15
- Animal Care
Friendship between cat and man is much older than it was supposed to be. It arose not 3600 years ago in Ancient Egypt, but about 11 thousand years ago in the Middle East. For many centuries, the cat was a desirable hunter. Then it's time to hunt witches.
Cats join people
Found in 2004 by French archaeologists in Cyprus, the tomb of a cats, numbering approximately 9,500 years, broke the previous theory. It was located next to a human burial site, which testified to the domestic wild cats.
Since Cyprus did not have cats before, it's likely that people brought with them from the nearby continent - today's Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Palestine.
Cats, more precisely, Nubian wild cats, joined people in the Middle East about 11,000 years ago when they began to live settled and engage in farming. They caught mice, destroyed food supplies, which very pleased people.
Ascension to the divinity of
But truly domestic cats became, probably, only about 3600 years ago in ancient Egypt. By this time, there are images of cats in collars sitting on chairs or eating from bowls.
Egyptians not only were grateful to new allies for getting rid of mice, but also admired the elegance and beauty of these animals.
Thanksgiving Egyptians to the elegant hunters of mice quickly turned into love. They were so passionate about the cats that this enthusiasm gradually grew into a real cult. Goddess Bastet, daughter of the sun god of Ra, who embodied joy, love, feminine beauty, fertility and heat of a home hearth, was depicted in the form of a cat.
The cat's divine career began in 2000 before our era reached its peak for about 500 years. This is confirmed by the numerous images of the cat - statues and drawings on the papyrus. The temple of the cat goddess was in Bubastys.
The depiction of a cat was punishable by death. If the cat was dying, the residents of the house dressed in mourning clothes and shaved eyebrows.
Many dead cats were brought to Bubastys, embalmed and buried in the mausoleum. Archaeological excavations revealed a huge number of mummies of cats.
Contraband of cats in Europe
For a long time in Egypt it was strictly forbidden to export cats from the country. However, in other countries, the pupils were very popular. Consequently, smuggling, which was practiced mainly by Phoenician sailors, flourished.
So the Egyptian wild cat got to Europe. There has already been a popular European wild breed, which, however, was not so tame. To protect food from mice, Europeans often used ferrets as long as there were no Egyptian "liquidators" of mice in Europe.
The Greeks were equally fascinated by cats, as did the Egyptians - as evidenced by frescoes and mosaics. The Romans treated them less emotionally. For them, the cats were only a living rodent fighter. For this purpose, they even took animals with them in military campaigns.
From one to the scapegoat
For many centuries, the cats were good friends of Europeans. But only before the beginning of the witch hunt period. People were looking for daggers and devilish characters - and the choice fell among cats. They were persecuted as accomplices of the alleged witches and assistants of the devil, the animals were tortured and burned at the fire on a par with people. It was believed that the witch's soul lives in a cat's body, and it is capable, for example, of slipping into hives and stables and destroying domestic livestock.
One can only guess about the reasons for this attitude to unfortunate animals: according to legends, the cat was in close contact with the moon and hell.
Improving the situation of the cat
In the XVIII century, the terrible time of persecution on witches and cats was finally over. But distrust of animals and prejudices remain for a long time. So still there is a supposition that a black cat brings misfortune if it crosses the road to the left.
Today, the cat is probably the most popular pet. Many people appreciate the independent nature and duality of cats: they can be affectionate and evil, friendly and wild. But when the silky wool of a spitty pet is felt at hand, a feeling of comfort and comfort appears.