The goddess Mafdet is worshiped for protection from the venom of desert snakes and scorpions. These are all species that cats can hunt and eat. In Lower Egypt, the goddess Bastet has a similar meaning. This goddess is said to embody the sun, in the form of a cat’s head.Legend has it that both the goddess Mafdet and Bastet originated from Mau – a wild cat that protects the sacred trees in the forest from cobra by catching and biting the snake’s head.
Another goddess is Sekhmet – goddess of war, whose identity is the lioness head. The name of Sekhmet means “Strong man” or “Goddess of fear”. Sekhmet is said to be the embodiment of Hathor, the daughter of Ra. In ancient times, cats were considered to be the best defense against rats and poisonous snakes that often appeared around inhabited areas. Residents began to leave food around their homes for cats to frequent. Gradually, feral cats began to be purebred and became domestic cats in Egypt.
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