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The Historic Cat: Cherished and Honored for 9,500 Years


Staff member

A Long and Loving History: Cats as Companions and Deities

Cats have captivated humans for millennia, holding a special place in our hearts and cultures. Their history stretches back over 9,500 years, with evidence suggesting a deep bond even in ancient times.

Early Evidence of a Shared Journey

Archaeological discoveries on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus paint a fascinating picture. A 9,500-year-old grave site unearthed human remains buried alongside a cat, predating known Egyptian depictions of cats by thousands of years. This hints at a potential origin story for cat domestication even earlier than previously thought.

Egyptian Veneration: Cats as Gods and Guardians

Ancient Egypt stands out for its reverence of cats. Egyptians saw them as more than just pest control – they were sacred companions. Cats were often mummified and placed in tombs alongside their owners, a privilege usually reserved for the wealthy. Killing a cat was considered a serious crime.

The goddess Bastet, depicted as a woman with a cat’s head, embodied this veneration. Cats were seen as protectors against rodents and even snakes, further solidifying their importance.

A Continuing Legacy

The deep connection between humans and cats persists today. The vast number of domestic cats in the United States – estimated at over 90 million – is a testament to their enduring popularity.

The grief felt at the loss of a beloved feline companion is real. Pet owners seek ways to honor their furry friends, with companies offering handcrafted memorials and cremation urns.

A Shared Future

As the world continues its fascination with cats, the historical bond between these intriguing creatures and humans serves as a reminder of the deep affection and respect we share.

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