All hail the cats! Seems like people have been under the spell of these cute little felines ever since ancient times. The obsession still persists today, and it can be seen in the form of the internet now.
Garfield, Tom from Tom & Jerry, and Salem from Sabrina are some famous cats in fiction. And then remember Nyan Cat? That video from years ago that the internet became obsessed with, was made into a meme, and no one was safe from being exposed to it? How about the recent video game, Stray, which was a hit with Youtube gamers played when it was released?
Real-life examples, those considered famous at least, that I could think of would be Grumpy Cat, Larry (who’s got an official title as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office given to him by the UK government
– yup, it’s real), and all the other insta-famous supercats, a group that’s probably too long to list. Honestly, Larry’s got to be my top cat for now.
You might be interested to know that Larry The Cat does actually have an official title – Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office.
This is a role that dates back to the 16th century.
Larry’s salary consists of catnip and Dreamies privately funded by Downing Street staff. pic.twitter.com/npdfSD5KiF
— Charlie Proctor (@MonarchyUK) October 25, 2022
Alright, I’m getting sidetracked… I just wanted to emphasize the point that cats are adorable creatures, and we have no control over being mesmerized by them, and they have always been adored by people ever since the olden times. Here are 4 ancient civilizations that are considered cat people!
No surprise here, I assume? Ancient Egypt is probably the most known civilization that gives importance to cats. Egyptians were said to believe that cats were magical creatures, divine creatures that bring good luck to those who housed them. And, of course, there’s always the companionship and the convenient pest control owning a cat brings.
Wealthy families even dressed their feline companions in jewels and fed them with fit-for-royalty food as well. Cats served a purpose even in the afterlife; they were mummified alongside their humans, as Egyptians believed that placing a mummified cat inside their human’s tomb could result in the possibility of the deceased person inhabiting the body of the mummified cat in the afterlife.
Cats were domesticated in Ancient China about 5,300 years ago, according to researchers. In an agricultural village somewhere in northwest China, cat bones were dug up at an archeological dig site in the area. Originally, it was thought that cats were introduced in China 2,000-3,000 years ago after Egyptians exported them to other parts of the world. But the research proved it untrue with their discovery of the cat bones.
Based on the analysis made on the bones, researchers found out that the cats there were not eating a carnivorous diet, which was the typical diet of wild cats. Analysis showed that there was a cat who had a high vegetable-based diet, which supports the claim that they may have been domesticated in the village. The cat could have been eating human food waste, or they may have been intentionally fed by humans.
Cats were a prominent figure in Ancient Indian culture. Cats were even mentioned in two of the greatest literary epics of ancient India, The Mahabharata and The Ramayana. In literature, cats are referred to as “one who protects from the rats,” and they were seen as clean animals since they have a habit of constantly cleaning themselves. The expiation for killing a cat is 10 times that of killing a rat.
According to a study, “the cat is rarely referred by the Vedic literature but the later literature considers the cat as an important domesticated animal. After being domesticated, it is referred to quite a number of times compared to the other animals like lion and tigers and is an important animal that has become a part of the Indian belief system.”
Not much is really known about the domestication of cats in India, but it is believed that it is dated back to the Harappan period (2600–1900 BCE), the only proof being a brick having the paw prints of both cat and dog imprinted on it.
Finally, we have Ancient Rome. As mentioned previously, cats were exported from Ancient Egypt to other parts of the world, Rome being one of them. But the Romans preferred to keep caged birds and dogs as pets. They had pet weasels, some choosing pet snakes, for pest control at first.
Since the Romans saw cats as independent and free creatures, unlike other civilizations, the Romans didn’t use cats for pest control; those who chose keep a cat only got them for companionship, and they were highly regarded.
There are other ancient civilizations that revered cats. Japan also viewed cats as magnificent creatures, sometimes seen as gods, and they were often the subjects of legends. Something that came from a Japanese legend that still persists to this day is the image of The Beckoning Cat, or the maneki-neko, which is believed to bring good luck to its owner.
If you think you’re a crazy cat person, you can’t hold a candle to these ancient civilizations! Cats must be thinking that it’s not easy being so purr-fect all the time… Check out the short video below!