Cats in ancient Rome

The Romans respected the vermin-catching abilities of the domestic cat, but also saw them as exotic pets and sacred animals. They associated the cat with liberty and divinity, so the cat was the only animal allowed to walk freely around their temples. Libertas (the goddess of liberty) was often depicted with a cat at her… Continue reading Cats in ancient Rome

Cats in Norse mythology

The Norse goddess Freya (Freyja) had a chariot drawn by two large grey or blue cats (possibly Norwegian Forest Cats) called “Gib-cats” in the Prose Edda (a collection of Norse tales compiled in 1220 A.D. by Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson). They were given to her by Thor and used by Freya to travel to the… Continue reading Cats in Norse mythology

Categorised as Mythology

Cats in ancient Greece

Gata is Greek for cat, but ancient Greek words such as ailurophobia (fear of cats) are derived from the name Ailuros which was the Greek name for the ancient Egyptian goddess Bast. The ancient Greeks saw Bast as a version of their lunar goddess Artemis. In one legend (recounted in Metamorphosis by Antoninus Liberalis) Artemis… Continue reading Cats in ancient Greece

Cats in Finnish mythology

In Finland it was believed that cats led the souls of the dead on the dangerous journey through the underworld to heaven (or hell). “The Kalevala” is an epic Finnish poem arranged by Finn Elias Lonnrot and compiled from Finnish and Karelian folklore. In one story, a witch decided to invite herself into a house… Continue reading Cats in Finnish mythology

Categorised as Mythology

Cats in Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians were without a doubt the most cat friendly society. The cat was central to their religion and was considered to be sacred. Many animals in Egypt were linked to gods and goddesses, but only the cat was considered to be semi-divine in its own right. As a demi-god, a cat could not… Continue reading Cats in Ancient Egypt