Everyone knows cats were once worshipped in ancient Egypt. Today, in Spokane, cats are highly respected and admired, and most cat owners, though they don’t see them as deity, truly do understand why they were held in such high esteem, centuries and centuries ago...
Cats’ eyes have a reflective layer that makes them reflect
Felis silvestris catus, (cats,) were called mau in ancient Egypt. They were extremely essential beings in their society. Based on fresh DNA comparisons of living genus, it has been established that cats were first domesticated from the Middle Eastern subspecies of the wildcat thousands and thousands of years ago. Thousands of years later, the civilization in what would later be Upper and Lower Egypt formed a religion centering on the worship of animals, including cats.
Honored for controlling vermin and their skill to kill snakes such as cobras, the cultivated house cat soon became a figure of polish and carriage. The goddess Mafdet, was the deification of execution and justice was a lion-headed goddess. The cat goddess Bastet also known as Bast, in due course replaced the faction of Mafdet, and Bast's image softened ultimately and she became the deity representing fertility, protection, and motherhood.
As a venerated animal and one important to Egyptian religion and society, some cats were given the same mummification following death as humans did. Mummified cats were given in offering to Bast or Bastet. Back in 1888, an Egyptian farmer discovered a large tomb with mummified cats and kittens. This finding, outside the town of Beni Haran, exposed eighty thousand feline mummies, dating back to 200-100 BC.
That tapetum lucidum, a reflective mirror-like layer behind the cat’s large-large eyes, between the optic nerve and the retina, makes them glow in the dark, when exposed to the slightest flash of light, often a light human’s cannot see. This mysterious luminosity is also said to be a reason why the Egyptians held the cat in such high esteem.