A Selection of Cats From Ancient Art to Present Day

Examining how cats have been historically represented since the ancient world. Introduction Furry friends can be comforting companions while many around the world are working from home. Anyone who has wondered what their cat does all day while they’re gone may have found out (answer: mostly sleeping). Artists have always used cats as subjects, whether[…]

The Odyssey of an Ancient Egyptian Cat Sculpture

Analysis of a bronze cat reveals clues about its ancient past. By Jeffrey Maish, Judith Barr, and Almoatzbellah Elshahawi Introduction Ancient Egyptians revered cats, and worshiped the goddess Bastet, who could appear in human form with a feline head, or as a cat. Bronze and wood cat statuettes were placed as votive offerings at temples,[…]

Cats in the Middle Ages

The cat lost its regal position through the efforts of the medieval Church which encouraged the association of the cat with devils and darkness. Introduction The life of a cat in the Middle Ages (c. 476-1500 CE) differed significantly from that of a dog owing primarily to its association with witchcraft, darkness, and the devil.[…]

Cambyses II of Persia and the Battle of Pelusium: A Victory Won by Cats

The battle was won through a very unusual strategy on Cambyses II’s part: the use of animals as hostages and, especially, cats. Introduction The ancient Egyptians had a great reverence for life in all its forms. Life had been given by the gods and reverence for it extended beyond human beings to all living things.[…]