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History of Cats

BERCARU ELENA-LAVINIA
BOSNEA MARIA ELISABETA
DAN ALINA
LUPU OCTAV

Cats in European history


In the Middle Ages, cats
were persecuted after being
sentenced by more than one
Pope. They were associated
with witches, who were also
persecuted
for
their
connection with them. After
the seventeenth century, the
history of cats changed once
again. Breeding and having
domestic cats turned into a
fashion at the end of the
nineteenth century.

Pope Gregory IX declared that cats were diabolical


creatures in the early thirteenth century, and it is
said that this resulted in a massacre of cats in the
whole of Europe. During the Spanish Inquisition, one
century later, Pope Innocent VII sentenced cats as a
representation of evil, and thousands of cats were
burned.

Cats turned into subjects of superstition and they were


associated with evil. It was believed that cats had black
magic powers, were companions of witches and possibly
the reincarnation of the devil.People, especially single
women who had cats, were suspected of witchcraft and
some were sentenced to death together with their cats.
Cats themselves were also hunted, tortured and sacrificed.

During religious festivities, as


it is recorded, a large number
of cats were burned alive as
part of some celebrations.
Some cats were even immured
alive in houses or other
buildings when these were
built, believing that this would
bring them good luck, and even
nowadays their remnants can
be seen in the walls of some
old houses.

Some of the superstitions of


those days regarding cats have
survived until today, such as
that a black cat crossing in front
of you brings bad luck. The
results of this persecution were
detrimental both for cats and
also for people. With a decrease
in the cat population, the rat
population who carried illnesses
increased, a factor that
contributed to the spread of
subsequent plagues and other
epidemics throughout Europe.

As the Modern Age approached, around the seventeenth


century, cats had already begun to recover their old place
as companions and respected controllers of rodents.The
popularity of cats has continued to increase during the last
century. The number of cat owners has increased more than
that of dog owners, a fact that may show the relative ease
of having a cat as a pet in our modern lifestyle.

Cats in Ancient Egypt


In this area, the cat does
not
end
up
being
just
appreciated
for
hunting
rodents , but even deified.
Cats were mummified after
death and buried in sacred
pits , often with supplies of
mummified mice . Such a mass
grave
may
contain
the
mummies of 300000 cats.
In the Egyptian theocratic
conception , an ordinary man
could not hold a divine being ,

As mourning the
death of the cat , the
whole family shaved
their eyebrows , the
man beat his chest
with his hands , the
woman cried , so a
ritual practiced fully.
In Egyptian mythology
the cat is considered
to have a direct
influence on marriage

Cat goddess Bastet


Bastet was the name
which ancient egyptian
gave it to the goddess
with head of a cat.It
seems, however , that in a
more distant past and this
was also represented by a
woman with a lion's head
or a lioness . At first
feline symbolize
protection and fertility.
Bastet was worshiped
on the occasion of New
Year's, people wishing to
obtain her welfare and

Mummification cats a common place ay


Egyptians.
The animals were worshiped in Egypt both
during life and after death. Dead animals are
mourn for ,embalmed and buried as wealthy
people. Those who had taken care of them cry ,
grief displayed by waxing eyebrows . Usually
their mummification was as natural as
possible . Mummification technique did not
differ from man to animal.

A little storie of cats in


ancient Egypt

In lifetime cats they were


groomed receiving quality
food , bathed, oiled and
were even dressed . If you
were in a unfortunate
circumstance
through
guilty of the death of such
sacred animal , you risk a
horrific death . That's why
the one who met a dead
venerated
animal,
is

Domestication of cats

It is unclear when and how was the cat


domesticated, but most sources speak of
Egyptians who tamed the cat .

Cats were loved and respected not only


because they were sympathetic, but because
they were extremely intelligent and clever .

Among others , the ancient Egyptians


believed that if the cat comes in their dream,
they will have rich harvest . They also thought
cats were magical creatures , able to bring
good luck to those who shelter them .

Cats were worshiped for their mysterious


qualities . There is a myth that tells how the
Egyptians won a battle because of cats .
Struggling with a foreign army in time of the

Cats of Japan
In Japanese folklore, cats have protective
powers and symbolize good fortune.
Today, business owners put "maneki neko"
(beckoning cat) statues in front of their
shops, in hope that the moving paw will
bring in customers.
At Japanese cat cafes, cat lovers can spend
time petting and playing with their
favourite animals, all while enjoying a cup
of coffee.

The cats you see at both


shrines
are called maneki neko, or
"beckoningcats," and they've
occupied a huge place of cultural
importance in Japan.
Maneki neko are found all over
the world, and you probably can
recognize them.

There are a couple of popular legends about


the origins of the Lucky Cat.
The first tells of a wealthy man who took
shelter from a rainstorm under a tree next to a
temple. He noticed a cat that seemed to be
beckoning to him, so he followed it inside the
temple. Shortly thereafter, lightning struck the
tree he had been standing under. Because the
cat had saved his life, the man was so grateful,
he became a benefactor of the temple and
brought it much prosperity. When he passed
away, a statue of the cat was made in is honor.

Another common legend is a really peculiar


one.
A geisha had a pet cat that she adored. One
day, it was tugging at her kimono and the
owner of the brothel thought the cat was
possessed, so he sliced off its head with a
sword.The flying cat head landed on a snake
about to strike and the fangs killed the snake
and saved the woman. The geisha was so
distraught by the loss of her cat that one of her
customers made a statue of the cat to cheer her
up.
It is no wonder that cats have been culturally
significant for many nations. Their

Japans history indicates that cats have played an important role in


Japanese culture and society, hence the number of shrines and
temples dedicated to cats in the country. Here are some of them.
Nambujinja located in Nagaoka,
is a mythical cat-like creature known in
Japanese folktales is revered at this
temple. Local residents are confident
that cats will always keep harmful
rodents away.

d.

Konoshimajinja in Kyotango City,


Kyoto, a statue of a cat with its paw
protectively on its kittens head greets
people who enter the city. Kyoto, Japans
former capital, originally was the center
of high culture and aristocracy. The city
was home to prominent silk producers
who believed that cats kept the number
of rats to a minimum and enabled them to
work continuously to produce the finest
silk possible.

Nekojinja means Cat Shrine. Fishermen


are said to be able to predict how big a
catch they would get from observing the
behavior of the many cats on the island.

Cats of China
In some parts ofChina, especially in the southern part,
cats are said to have the ability to see stuff that people
can't see -ghostsorspirits. People sometimes keep cats
to keep these "dirty/bad stuff" out of their home.

On the other hand, the idea of


"Zhao Cai Mao" (meaning cats
that bring fortune, originally
from Japan: theManeki Neko)
became popular in China in
the last few decades. Store
owner keeps a cat, or
sometimes just a cat
sculpture at the front desk
hoping to get more

In Chinese culture, the


cat was viewed as the
animal
that
never
made it to thezodiac.
It is said the day before
the race, the cat went
to take a nap and
asked the rat to wake
him up before the race.
Thinking the cat would
beat him for sure, the
rat never woke his
friend the cat and left
for the race. The cat

Chinese

Guo Wei:
We feed the leftovers of our meals
to the cat, but not too many, as the
cat is expected to hunt rats in the
house
if ittimes
is hungry.
For many
I've seen the
cat gave birth
to kittens
under my
grandparents'
bed. Many
years later it
died a natural
cause, and
since then we
no longer keep

- Insouth-easternChina, someespecially olderpeople


consider cat flesh a good warming food during winter
months. However, in northern China eating cat is
considered unacceptable. It is estimated that around 4
million cats are eaten in China each year, and that the
number is rising. However, overseas visitors are unlikely to
downtown restaurants serving cat, which is
-come
The across
cat's stomach
and
intestinesout
may
only common
of town and in the city outskirts.
be eaten, as well as
meat
from
the
thighs,
which
are
turned into meatballs
served
withsoup,
with the head and
the rest of the animal
then thrown away. In
Guangdong, cat meat
is a main ingredient
in the traditional dish