Guest Author - Lisa Shea
If your cat ever starts to act uppity, it's easy to understand why. In the Egyptian culture, cats were worshipped as gods!
Egypt was a land of agriculture, and one of the worst foes of a farmer is the rat population that can eat up stores of grain. It was very natural that cats became a critical part of any household - to keep away the mice and rats which would pillage precious food.
Starting in around 1,000 BC, this friendly relationship between owner and pet became even more powerful, as cats were seen to be deities in their own rights. Bast was the most powerful of these cat gods - helping protect a home and keep it safe from harm. She could take two forms - Bast as the girl with a cat head, and Bastet when in her smaller, feline form.
Laws were set up to protect cats - a person who killed a cat could be punished with death. Cats would be mummified and reverently laid to rest, often with food and drink to help them survive the afterlife in style.