Categories: mummified cats

Great find in Egypt of cat mummies. How did the cats die?

At the date of this post, Egyptian egyptologists are ecstatic at the recent discovery of a cache of 75 wooden and bronze statues and five lion cub mummies at the Saqqara necropolis near the famous Giza pyramids in Cairo. They were found at the foot of the Bastet Temple where cats were worshipped in Ancient Egypt. The mummies have been dated to the 7th century BC.

Sad anxious face of cat mummy. Photo: AFP

There are also mummified cobras and crocodiles. The lion cubs interest me. We are told over and over again how Ancient Egyptians worshipped the cat and treated the domestic cat with great reverence. If you harmed a cat in those days you were in trouble. That is the internet mantra from all sources except from me because I’ll speculate and say that these lion cubs were killed as an offering to the god Bastet.

An offering to appease the god and seek a favour. You know: superstitious mumbo jumbo. I know it was thousand of years ago so we have to make allowances but deliberately killing lion cubs (which is likely to have happened) is the opposite to a reverence for the cat. It’s more like cat abuse and cruelty.

And if I am right they’ll have to rewrite the history books and stop lying about this golden era of the cat. It was not. Hundreds of thousands of cats, often domestic or semi-feral kittens and wildcats, were deliberately killed and offered to these damnable gods to appease them to ease the burden of living on humans. It must have been hard for humans in those days. Anything to make it easier. Kill a few hundred thousand kittens. No problem.

They probably bred many of the cats for the purpose or rounded them up from the streets. Street life to early death. The harsh truth is that cat welfare has improved over the centuries because humans are more enlightened.

There is still a long way to go before we can say that humans universally treat cats well. There is still a pile of agony caused to cats by humans, negligently or deliberately so let’s not fool ourselves. Most of it takes place in developing countries.

Ancient Egyptians fooled themselves. They didn’t see the ironic madness of killing cats to make offerings to a god while pretending that cats were to be treated well when alive. I guess when you mix cat welfare with religious mumbo-jumbo you get madness.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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