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Nom Nom Kitties
The earliest known domestication of cats began in ancient Egypt. They were worshipped and revered to such an extent that if a person even accidentally killed one they would be sentenced to death immediately. It was the embodiment of nurturing and fertility that was seen in mother cats taking care of little kittens that Egyptians loved so much.
Statues of cats and their mummified remains have been discovered by archeologists in many tombs and pyramids. The status of a person within the Egyptian society affected the burial of their cat. The higher their position of power, the more elaborate of a burial their cat received. Cats from high status households were buried with gifts of mummified mice and trinkets to aid them in their afterlife. Other burial sites have shown large cat graveyards where thousands of mummified cats were buried.
Three Egyptian goddesses of the time were depicted as having images of cats. Mafdet, Sekhmet and Bastet were all lion-headed goddesses. Bastet’s image was modified over time to look more like a small house cat. The worship of her continued on for many years and lead to a cult following of women who hoped to be blessed by the goddesses powers of fertility. Many cats were offered as sacrifices to Bastet. The multitudes of kittens which began to overpopulate temples honoring Bastet were killed on occasion and then mummified and sold to worshippers.
Though the worship of cats has been stifled over the years, they are still revered by Egyptians and some Muslims. The cult followers have dissipated, but many agree that though temples honoring the small creatures no long exist, there is still an unspoken quiet appreciation for them remaining.