HISTORY AND LEGENDS

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Cats, often appears in the history of numerous nations, some of superstitions and a legends have one's origin in cats, and represent one of the favourite subjects for artists and writers.

 

Cats were worshipped in Egypt because of their talents of mouse hunters, the rodents being considered as a real plague for agricultural productions in the  Nile valley.  "Bast" who was the goddess of Love and Fecundity had a head of  a cat. Egyptians also used cats for the hunting. Kept  in leading-strings, they chased away birds. Using a boomerang, the bird was shot down and the cat, then released, brought back it. Because they had a reason for being economic and because they symbolized fertility within a family, cats were so worshipped that some were even mummified and buried with their owners or in specific cemeteries.

In spite of the prohibition of the Egyptian law on the sacred cats, the Phoenicians sailors clandestinely took cats outside the country. Cats were exchanged in the same way as other treasures of the Middle East. During Antiquity, one met it on all the Mediterranean circumference. Searches brought the proof that cats were introduced into the British islands by Romans.

Predator's talents of cats were recognized and appreciated in the middle of the XIV Century when an epidemic of plague conveyed by rats, called the black plague, decimated Europe. However, in the Middle Age, cats were often dreaded and hated. Because of their nocturnal habits, their were accused of  relationships with the Devil. Their association with the witches involved numerous cruelties during several centuries.

The Renaissance was, on the other hand , a splendour period  for cats. Everybody had a cat, Royal family members and the farmers court had one.

  • In India, cats  held an important place in the religious or occult ceremonies

  • In South America, Incas worshipped cats. One finds there besides representations in the pre-Columbian Peruvian art

  • In China and in Thailand, cats were liked as divinities