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Thursday, 9 June 2011

Purring History

I thought I’d start a bit of feline writing. This shall be a slight history lesson for the cat lovers out there as to what our beloved felines went through before becoming a true household pet. Now let’s go back in time…

Delving into some cat history takes us back to the Egyptian times when they were considered sacred & if anyone was caught killing these special felines then the punishment was death. If however a cat was to die naturally then the whole household had to go into mourning. Before burial the felines were embalmed & a full ceremony was given where they were bound in cloth of different colours & a wooden mask was placed on its face.

Bast (where the cat goddess ‘Bastet’ comes from meaning She-of-Bast) was the city in which the main feline temple was situated & where millions flocked for the sacred festival every spring. It not only provided a place for thousands of mummified cats to be buried but also showed how special & worshipped cats were to ancient Egypt.

The Egyptians prohibited their export yet that didn’t stop attempts to smuggle them out of the county. Due to their appreciation & devotion to felines they actually classified them as high-status that in turn made them a much sought after household pet. Catnapping became a challenge & soon high priced felines were being shipped to the rich in other countries. Because of the high status felines held around the Mediterranean & Europe they became precious & were well treated.

Unfortunately during the Middle Ages the beloved feline experienced torture, torment & death by Christians who believed cats were evil & linked to Satan & witches. People were urged to inflict pain & suffering upon felines as they were classed as enemies of Christ.

Its obviously a long drawn out battle of history surrounding felines but to see how they have survived through the centuries must mean that luck & care were definitely on their side.

Perhaps this is where superstitions come into play towards the black cat & its connection with luck. However this luck can change depending on where you are & what country you are in. For example in Britain it signifies good luck yet in America & continental Europe it can usually mean bad luck.

Felines now though are back again as a much loved & well cared for household pet. They have devotion put upon them instead of torment & torture. They may no longer be worshipped & sacred but they are still much sought after & are widely bred by pedigree breeders so that owners can now regularly ‘show them off’ at cat shows.

Even though the world may be full of a huge variety of breeds, our felines are still cats at the end of the day with their ancient inheritance deeply rooted within their bloodline & characteristics, which of course makes them very special & unique to the individual owners.

Lets celebrate the magic of the felines who through a difficult & turbulent history survived & came back fighting for human affection & attention. We should therefore bow down to their loving demands…


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