Egyptian origins

From the Book of Didier Hallépée “Egyptian Mau cat,” Carrefour’s net

The African wild cat was first attracted close to human habitats by the presence of rodents which nourished. This is evidenced in particular by the presence of cats in ossement site of Jericho dating from 9000 BC, at a site in Cyprus dating from 9000 BC, as well as a site of Harappa (Indus Valley) dating back to 4000 BC.

imagedoublefbteteschatsWith the discovery of the site of Cyprus (burial Shillourokambos) we know that the cat was domesticated at that time. His attendance humans probably dates from the beginnings of agriculture, cats were attracted to the village by the mice who took advantage of the cereals.

imagesourisFor cons, the absence of visible morphological changes (decrease in the size and skull) shows that cat domestication is later.

The grain elevator was invented in Egypt, there are about 4000 years to fight against food shortages due to crop failure.

Some argue that the biblical story of Joseph and Pharaoh is the history of this invention. The silo is named after Tarbernacle of Shiloh (biblical character who lived in the time of Pharaoh Shishak, 950-929 BC) which were deposited grains offered in sacrifice (Exodus and Deuteronomy).

The silos have attracted rodents and snakes in their wake. The cat, who was already living near human habitus, found food galore and settled.

imagedoublefbserpentprincessesThe usefulness of the cat was quickly recognized and he was brought to his talents predator and domesticated.

He moved into houses and then became part of the family.Pharaoh himself acknowledged the usefulness of the cat and wanted to be the sole owner of the feline race.

That is why it was built half-god, there are about 3500 years. Thus, it could only belong to god, Pharaoh himself.This is why even today in Egypt, the cats are called Pharaonic maus.

imagedoublefbpharaonanubisNote that the scepter of Pharaoh (“heqa”) presents the elegant curve of the cat’s tail.

He was so revered as the goddess Bastet, sometimes represented as the form of a cat, sometimes as a cat-headed woman holding a sistrum in her right hand and with one or two gold rings.

The main place of worship of Bastet at Bubastis was installed . The annual celebrations in honor of Bastet, celebrated in Bubastis , attracted many pilgrims ( attested by Herodotus ) . Bastet is always celebrated on October 31.


imagedoublefbdeuxbastetBastet, nicknamed the devouring goddess, represents one hand fire, war, pestilence , and disease, on the other hand the home , fertility, sexuality and protection of pregnant women and children.

She is wife and daughter of the god Ra. The name of the cat in Egyptian mau also refers to both the cat ‘s meow and light. This is a goddess in two ways: with the cat’s head , it is Bastet, Lady of the East, associated with the moon ( her son Khensu is the god of the moon ) with the head of a lioness , she is Sekhmet , Lady of the West , combined with sunlight.

She is also goddess of pleasure , music , dance , joy . It is also the instrument of vengeance of Ra. His tantrums are famous.

imagedoublefbdeuxbastethabilleesThe cult of Bastet has reached its highest development period around 950 BC. At that time, Bubastis became the capital of Egypt.

The Egyptian love for their cat was operated by the Persian king Cambyses II during his conquest of Egypt , at the siege of Pelusium ( 525 BC). According to legend, it took a lot of cats hostage and made them stand in front of the shields of his soldiers. Rather than risk the lives of their cats , Egyptian inhabitants of Pelusium surrendered.

Become a divine animal symbolizing fertility and fat years , the cat has received all the benefits to his rank. Kill a cat , even accidentally, was a crime punishable by death .

Diodorus relates ( year 1 BC), a Roman soldier who killed a cat , nothing could prevent the mob fury put it to death , despite the risk of war with the Romans.

imagetriplefbmomieschatsThe Egyptians worshiped their cats and crying death. After the death of their cat , the Egyptians shaved their eyebrows as a sign of mourning.

The dead cats were mummified and brought to the temple of Bastet at Bubastis . This practice was still in force in the early years of our era. The study of these mummies showed the young age of many of these cats and the presence of neck fracture : it seems that many cats were bred in the temples specifically to be mummified and sold as lucky the home or as votive offerings : the offering of a mummified cat goddess Bastet allowed to unleash a formidable enemy rages it.

Hundreds of mummified cats have been found as well. Thus the scientists were able to identify the first domestic cats with lybica felis.

imagedoublefbscenechasseMany mummies retained their fur, we know that these were usually yellow (bronze) and carrying black spots or stripes sometimes.

The cat was often depicted on bas-reliefs and papyri.

In these images, it is usually yellow or red. And decorated with spots or without patterns.

Hunting scenes for supposing that he was trained to hunt birds.

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