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Cat-origins

A cat in Egypt

The domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus), often referred simply as cat, is a domesticated species of felids.

History

Alongside dogs, cats are one of the most commonly kept pets of humans around the world and have been for much of the history of human civilization.[1][2][3]

In particular, Egyptian culture, prior to the Roman conquest, revered cats; their exalted status was evoked in their mummification and burial alongside Egyptians in their tombs. Since the Middle Kingdom cats were found almost everywhere, being the most common pet in Egypt, as they were highly skilled in killing rodents and snakes.[4]

Tai Miuwette, honored as the Great Cat of Siwa, was interred alongside dozens of other cats in the Mountain of the Dead, receiving a blessing that its journey to the Field of Reeds be abundant with rats to enjoy.[5] Common people could purchase cat mummies in town markets as religious icons, for among the Egyptian pantheon was the cat-headed goddess Bastet, protector of cats and goddess of war in Lower Egypt. In 48 BCE, during the Festival of Sekhmet in Yamu, the village ran out of dead cats and thus genuine cat mummies to sell for the festival-goers, resulting in some merchants selling fake cat mummies, made of mostly straw.[6]

Trivia

  • In Assassin's Creed: Origins, killing cats will result in desychronization, just as killing civilians would. Two warnings preceded desynchronization: "Cats are sacred beings, a Medjay must respect them" and "Cats (sic) casualties will result in desynchronization." With the third killing: "Desynchronized. Excessive offense to the sacred cats."[5]
  • Cats are likely to swarm Bayek for attention, and crouching before a cat will allow Bayek to pet them.

Appearances

References