The first recorded mention of domesticated cats dates back two centuries before the birth of Christ to ancient Egypt. Indeed, it is from the cat goddess Bastet or Pasht, worshipped by Egyptians that it’s thought our word ‘puss’ derives. An alternative derivation of the name could be from the Latin, pusus – meaning little boy (or pusa, little girl)
|Standing statue representing the Egyptian|
An old Arabian legend does however connect the cat’s creation with the ark. The folk tale reports that the pair of mice taken on board multiplied to plague proportions. With no cat on board and conditions growing intolerable, Noah passed his hand three times over the lioness’s head and she sneezed out a cat.
|Noni, (one of my cats) and her kittens.|
At the moment the world came into existence, the Sun and the Moon competed with each other to create animals. The Sun gave birth to the lion – showy, magnificent and fiery. When the moon saw the admiration of the other planets for the lion, she caused the cat to come forth – cool, elusive and mysterious. However, the Sun, jealous of the Moon’s achievement, belittled the Moon who tried to out-do herself by creating the Monkey. This was met with howls of derision from the stars. In a fit of pique, the Moon avenged herself by swearing an undying enmity between the Cat and the Mouse.
|The Norse goddess, Freya. |
Her chariot was pulled by cats.