The first appearance of the domesticated cat according to original reports goes back as far as 8,000 years ago. According to findings, during that era, bones of mice, humans and cats were buried mutually on the isle of Cyprus. Apparently, people then brought together with them the mice, which were unwanted, and the cats to Cyprus.
Domestication Of Cats:
Agriculture was not only the main occupation of the Egyptians, but also of the southwestern Asian primitives and folks of Africa, where cats appeared afterwards. Since harvesting crops was possible only once or twice every year, it became difficult to store the food-eating grains. The entry of mice, rats and other pests only added to the difficulty.
Soon people observed that the cat population ate the rodents that destroy the food grains.
People invited cats into their daily lives very courteously after observing cats hunting rodents. Farmers used fish-heads, milk and bread and additional food scraps to attract and sway cats to hover around their homes. As a result, cats merely discovered an environmental place for themselves, a stable source of love, affection and food from human beings.
People remember cats for their illustrious position in history. Cats and Egyptians shared a unique relationship. Egyptians possessed different varieties of animals like pigs, sheep, cattle, fowls and monkeys in ancient times. Cats, however unreservedly roamed the area according to its will.
Protection of Cats:
Egypt established laws to protect and safeguard cats, since people had a very high regard about them. A sacred order of cat reverence developed due to its high status that lasted for about 2,000 years. People in Egypt used to revere Bastet the cat goddess. Bastet had the head of a cat and the body of a female. Bastet was related with motherliness, elegance, beauty and fertility. In olden Egypt, people used to call a cat as a "Mau" resembling "meow" a common cat word.
There was a severe punishment for people who harmed or killed cats during the sovereignty of the Pharaohs. If a house was ablaze, it was imperative for the humans to think first about the cats. If the death of a cat was due to natural factors, then it was mandatory for the entire family to go into detailed mourning with beating of chests and recitation of slogans as an indication of pain.
It was necessary to wrap the cat's body in linen, and inspection was compulsory to ascertain that the cat's death was natural. Tombs of cats also had mouse mummies to ensure enough food for their next journey. Soon cats sailed to countries like India, Japan, China, Italy and Greece.
Other Historical Facts:
People used to torture and sacrifice cats in sacred rituals during the medieval ages. People regarded and scorned cats as Satan's members. Individuals considered black cats as a bad omen.
Due to the persecution of cats the number of rodents increased, plague arose and devastated life. It was then that cats received appreciation and they once again gained popularity by the eighteenth century.
Cats became extremely popular in the nineteenth century and cat exhibitions of various pedigrees began towards the ending of nineteenth century.
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