Cats in Kemet were so sacred to the people that in the Battle of Pelusium (525 BC) against the Achaemenid Empire was lost because the enemy took advantage of how sacred cats were to the Ancient Egyptians. The Achaemenid Empire released cats onto the battle field and the Ancient Egyptians did not fire their arrows in fear of hurting the cats… and when in close battle could not strike upon them because they had also painted the image of Bast on their shields.
-Written according to Herodotus in his Histories.
In the villages, the greatest danger to Egyptian households were the numerous poisonous snakes, rats and mice which attacked food supplies in the home and the village granaries. The wild cat, it is assumed, strayed into the villages and hunted down the vermin, keeping them at bay. It’s easy to imagine the grateful Egyptians leaving out scraps of food to encourage the wild cats on their vigils. A symbiotic relationship occurred between animal and human. Next, the felines found their way into the Egyptian homes, spent some time there, allowed themselves to be tamed and raised their kittens in a human environment. As soon as the Egyptians began supplying the cats with food, thereby significantly changing their diet, and breeding them for certain characteristics, the cats were domesticated. They were perfect pets-playful, intelligent, affectionate and helpful to the farmers who sustained life in ancient Egypt.
Tomb paintings with cats as part of family life began to show up during the New Kingdom-about 500 years after the first attempts at domestication. But the most direct evidence for domestication comes from cemeteries of mummified cats. These appear to be from around 1000 B.C. (the late Pharonic era). And they were most likely domesticated cats from ordinary households or temple catteries; it wouldn’t make sense to go to such trouble for wild animals who died.
As a Kemetic person what does this mean for me? Cats to me are not just my love. But how could you NOT adore this face?
My devotion to cats are a form of devotion and sign of my devotion to Netjer.
Also they give me so much in this life why not return the favor.
I devote my time to the care of a sacred animal and thus I am in turn enacting a sacred duty tending to them, IE: in serving them I am serving Netjer. Not only spending time with my own two that I spoil rotten. But also with the ones that have not found their forever homes, to the ones on the streets, the feral colonies… and saying hi to friends cats.