Picture of a domestic cat outside an Egyptian temple

This is a lovely photograph as the cat looks like an ancient Egyptian statue. All the ancient Egyptian statues depict elegant, rather slender, shorthaired cats. They remind me of today’s Abyssinian cat and there may be a connection there but there is no evidence.

This cat has a grey coat and steely, golden eyes that match the colour of the sandstone. The cat is very regal and princely. 😻

Picture of an Egyptian domestic cat outside a temple in which the cat looks like an ancient Egyptian statue
Picture of an Egyptian domestic cat outside a temple in which the cat looks like an ancient Egyptian statue. Believed that the photograph is by Mathew Cromer. Message to him: if publishing your photo here upsets you, please tell me in a comment and I will remedy the situation. You can see the original by clicking on the image.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Here is a picture of the kind of cat I am talking about:

Brooklyn museum. Egyptian cat. Hollow cast bronze.
Brooklyn museum. Egyptian cat. Hollow cast bronze. Image: Wiki Commons. More info: Cat, ca. 664-342 B.C.E. Bronze, hollow-cast. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Alice Heeramaneck, 78.243.

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Ancient Egyptian cat statues, often found in museums, hold a fascinating history. Here are two notable examples:

The Gayer-Anderson Cat:

  • Material: Bronze
  • Depiction: One form of the goddess Bastet. Bastet was usually shown as a cat-headed woman or in the form of a cat.
  • Origin: Late Period (around 600 BC) in ancient Egypt.
  • Named after Major Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson, who donated it to the British Museum in 1939.
  • Adorned with precious metals, including a silver protective pectoral and golden earrings.
  • Symbolism: The scarab beetle on its head and chest represents rebirth, while the silver wedjat-eye invokes protection and healing.
  • Where to see it: British Museum.

Other Cat Statuettes:

  • Materials: Bronze, wood, or faience (a glazed ceramic material).
  • Purpose: These small statuettes were dedicated as offerings to temples or placed alongside cat mummies in catacombs, such as those at Bubastis and Saqqara.
  • Some larger hollow examples even held a cat mummy inside.
  • These cat figurines reflect the reverence Egyptians had for feline companions.

    RELATED: Cats in Ancient Egypt – not what you think it was like

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