History of cat & Mythology
Cats have been close to humans as domestic animals since ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians worshiped the cat as the goddess of the house. Domestic cats protected the fields and the homes from infections caused by various pests, such as mice, and sometimes considered them to be female war lions.
Most likely, the first domesticated cats saved the Egyptians from infections due to the presence of rodents, and the goddess cat “Bast” as a protector, aroused admiration for the other cats. Bast was the daughter of the “Ra” (the God of Sun) and played a very important role in the ancient Egyptian religion. There are speculations that cats that lived on the Kenyan islands (Lamu Archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean)are probably the last direct descendants of ancient Egypt cats.
According to many religions of ancient times, cats are ecstatic souls, companions, or guides for humans and that is omniscient but cannot influence people’s decisions because they do not have a voice. In Japan, “Maneki Neko” is a cat that symbolizes good luck. While not a sacred animal for Islam, some writers say that the Prophet Muhammad had a beloved cat named “Muza”. It is said that his love for these animals was so great that Muhammad awoke one day to the sounds of the adhan. Preparing to attend prayer, he began to dress; however, he soon discovered his cat Muezza was sleeping on the sleeve of his prayer robe. Rather than wake her, he used a pair of scissors to cut the sleeve off, leaving the cat undisturbed.
In the Middle Ages, it was believed that cats were witches and had magical powers and abilities. For this reason, during medieval times, many cats were systematically killed. Their extermination led to the proliferation of rats and subsequent mass killings from the plague epidemic (Black Death).
There are also prejudices in many cultures about cats, such as, that if someone sees a black cat passing in front of him, then he/ she will have bad luck. In 2007 animal welfare organizations in Italy declared November 17 as “Black Cat Day”, trying to put an end to this prejudice.
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