The ancient Egyptians worshiped many animals inhabiting their world and linked them with their pantheon of gods, but none of them had such reverence, like a cat.
They were honored as the earthly incarnation of the goddess Bast, respect for them went so far that the dead animals were buried as human beings - mumifitsiruya and building for them a special tomb.
The role of cats in the life of the ancient Egyptians
Ancient Egypt was an agricultural civilization, therefore,cat, destroy mice and rats, attempt on their reserves, as well as representing a threat to the life of snakes, represented a value that eventually was elevated to the rank of a sacred animal. Only the Pharaoh could be considered the property of their cats, so they were all under his protection and killing any of them was punishable by death. At the same time for the Egyptian legislation, there was no difference in what was the cause of death of the cat - an accident or deliberate action.
According to Herodotus, the Egyptians at the time of fireWe were standing around a burning building to prevent the cat to jump into the fire. It was believed that the animal could run into the house to check whether the kittens there.
Every Egyptian was trying to lure into his housefurry animal, it was thought that the cat lives in the house, it keeps the peace and quiet. Those who failed to win the patronage of deified animal, ordered his statues of wood, bronze or gold. The poorest hung in the house of the papyrus with the image of the graceful animals.
When a cat died, all members of the household as a signdeep mourning were to shave off his eyebrows. The animals were mummified by all the rules, wrapped in precious cloth and linen processed mummy precious oils. Cats bury, put in special containers or decorated with gold and precious stones, sarcophagi, there is piled everything that was supposed to brighten up their afterlife - jugs with milk, dried fish, mice and rats.
Cats and Egyptian gods
Goddess Bast or Bastet - the daughter of the sun god Ra,the wife of the god Ptah and mother of the lion-headed god Maahes depicted as a woman with a cat head. She was the patroness of women, children and all pets. It is also considered the goddess Bast, protects against contagious diseases and evil spirits. It was her Egyptians worshiped as a goddess and fertility. Often portrayed Bast with a rattle, it was due to the fact that cats give birth often long hours, and tenderly caring for the offspring - were symbols of motherhood.
Women who asked the goddess Bast children wore amulets with the image of kittens. Number of kittens on the decoration was equal to how many children they want to have.
Also the ancient Egyptian cats were considered the "eyesgod Ra. " It seems a high rank was given to them in connection with the feature of feline pupils - in the light, they are narrowed, becoming like a month, and in the darkness expanding, becoming round as the sun. It is such imagined the two Egyptian eye Ra - one sun, another moon.