There comes a dinosaur in the Chrome browser whenever there is no network. Does that mean that the dinosaur ate the entire network and invading your computer? I thought I would start the article this way so that it becomes interesting. The relation between a dinosaur and a blog about pets is that I’m going to discuss some history of our beloved pets with you. Since dinosaur is a historical creature and Chrome looks funny when there’s no network.
How The Cats came in Our Lives
Dogs were of great use when humans were hunters but then when humans learned farming and storing the crops, that’s when cats came in the picture. Cats became the natural pest control for the crops storage. That’s about 12000 years ago. Cats were domesticated from the Middle Eastern subspecies. They were basically wild cats. People domesticated them for their ability to hunt. Back then cats used to hunt snakes too and not any snakes, they used kill the King Cobras! Killer cats! Those wild cats learned to domesticate themselves as time flew and humans gave them more and more inviting treats. So the cats couldn’t go back to the forest. They sat back in the houses, killed cobras and mice and enjoyed the human company and treats.
In Ancient Egypt the cats were promoted to the status of god for their habit of staying clean and hunting things that are apparently harmful for people. The cat became the symbol of grace and poise and soon the Egyptian cat goddess Bast replaced the previous Lion headed goddess of justice and execution, Mafdet. But with time the image of the cat goddess softened and she became the symbol of protection, fertility and motherhood. For that reason Egyptian used to mummify the cats and offer them to the goddess Bast. I don’t know if they killed the cat and mummify it or they mummified the cat after its death. If it was the former one, I must say, back then Egyptian had style to show gratitude.
But it’s relieving that I am not right because a historian Herodotus wrote that when a pet cat died in an Egyptian household people mourned like they have lost some relative (like modern days) and used to shave their eyebrows to signify their loss. Funny way to signify a loss, I would say. Eventually the cat worshipped got banned in 390 AD but till now cats have remained the favourite pet in Egypt.
In China, Cats were the favourite pets of Song dynasty. They kept pet cats for their long fur and cuteness and the cats killed the mice too, so win-win situation. Cat got food and care and the people got fluffy cute pet and pest control.
In Europe, according to Norse mythology, the cats fought the war with and pulled the chariot of goddess Feyja in order to help the farmers. But the folklore of recent times (1607) tells that a cat might kill a child by putting his nose inside the child’s mouth and sucking the breath from the child, I don’t know why a cat will do such thing! The cats may take over the world but they are not capable of killing like that. Europeans and Americans think a black cat is bad luck and it signifies darkness and death. But white cats are good fortune. Black cats are only lucky to a sailor’s wife to assure the sailor’s return.
In Japan, there is a culture of Lucky Cat or “Maneki Neko” in China. You must have seen a little toy cat waving at you from the window of your favourite Chinese restaurant. That’s Lucky cat. It’s hard to tell how Lucky Cat came in the practice but there are some folktales. The most popular one is that, a starving man, also the owner of an impoverished shop took in a starving cat and share the little food he had. To return the favour the cat sat in his store’s window and attracted the people to shop there, thus the Lucky Cat.
In Russia, cats were believed to bring good fortune for ages. Many cats have guarded the Hermitage museum/ Winter palace from the time of Empress Elizabeth. When the empress was facing the rodent problem, the city of Kazan and Tatarstan gifted their five best mousers to the empress. Those mousers lived a high life and had servants to pamper them.
In Africa, it’s all about eating and being eaten. The Ewe people of West Africa believed that eating a cat’s meat, especially its head would bring good luck to the eater and prevent him from dying in a foreign land. In Ghana, cats are associated with evil and witchcraft. I don’t know why they are so hard on these harmless little fellows.
In modern days, cats were the best subject for a gift item in 1990. Nearly 1000 stores in USA sold nothing but cat related items.