Thursday, August 24, 2017

Dumbarton Oaks Museum Part 2: The Egyptian Cat

In August we visited the "Dumbarton Oaks Museum."  This is one in a series of blogs to highlight
some artifacts we found interesting at the museum.In this blog we'll explore the Egyptian Cat and you'll learn the importance of cats in Egypt and the 2 cat goddesses.

The cat statues we saw dated back from 944 to 528 BC (during Egypt's 22nd to 26th Dynasties)

DID YOU KNOW? Egyptians Worshipped Cats! 
The ancient Egyptians held cats in the highest esteem, the penalties for injuring or killing a cat were severe. They worshipped a Cat Goddess, often represented as half feline, half woman, whom they called Bastet. The main center for the worship of Bastet was in northern Egypt at the city of Bubastis.

Why did people worship cats?
Thousands of years later, the peoples in what would later be Upper and Lower Egypt had a religion centering on the worship of animals, including cats. Praised for controlling vermin and its ability to kill snakes such as cobras, the domesticated cat became a symbol of grace and poise.

One of the earliest deities of ancient Egypt was the goddess Mafdet, who was highly revered by people seeking protection against venomous animals like snakes and scorpions. She was shown with a variety of fierce, feline forms, most often as a woman with the head of a lion, cheetah, or house-cat (though sometimes she was shown as a cat with a woman's head). Because cats could protect against the tiny monsters that made Egyptian homes unsafe, Mafdet was regarded as the protector of the home-- and of the kingdom itself!
Later in Egyptian history, the goddess Bastet (sometimes just "Bast") replaced Mafdet as the feline goddess of choice. Like Mafdet, she was regarded as a fierce protector of the home (and especially of children and royalty), largely because of cats' renowned ability to kill snakes, scorpions, and other vermin. Her followers called her the "Eye of Ra," the sun god, and believed that she fiercely watched the world and guarded Egypt against invasion.   (Source: 

Image of Bastet

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

I'm a simple guy who enjoys the simple things in life, especially our dogs. I volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy exercising, blogging, politics, helping friends and neighbors, participating in ghost investigations, coffee, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country music,writing books on ghosts and spirits, cooking simply and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.