Egypt’s pyramids already top the list of world wonders — and the country’s premier attraction may have just upped its appeal for cat lovers.
According to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, archaeologists recently discovered dozens of cat mummies while excavating a lesser-known tomb outside Cairo. The 4,500-year-old mausoleum was also stocked with other instances of cat paraphernalia, including 100 wooden cat statues and a bronze likening of Bastet, an Egyptian cat goddess believed to protect the ancient pharaohs.
It’s little secret that Egyptians loved their cats, and punishment for anybody who dared injure the animals was swift. And while this animal-loving brood also assigned lions and cheetahs their own deity, Bastet — who also had a woman’s body — enjoyed the biggest annual festival.
In mummifying cats, Egyptians sought to present offerings to the gods or bring their beloved pets with them into the afterlife.
These days, Bastet is considered a protector of domestic cats worldwide; one San Francisco museum even invites cat lovers to submit their pets’ names for inclusion under the goddess’ protective paw.
Regardless, its a good idea to keep an eye on the Ministry of Antiquities’ Twitter feed. Depending on what archaeologists find in nearby tombs, this beautiful country might have even more to offer cat lovers quite soon!
J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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