Egypt isn’t the only civilisation that features cats in their mythology. Bastet was the famous Egyptian cat goddess of warfare was worshiped in the Second Dynasty an around 2890 BCE.
However, the greatness of cats wasn’t only portrayed or venerated by the Egyptians. The world has its fair share of affection towards cat’s enough to include them in their myths. And here are a few.
- Freya’s Cats
Instead of horses, Freya’s chariot was run by 2 blue cats. If you think that’s by choice, think again. According to myth, they were given by Thor, son of Odin. They names were Bygul and Trjegul.
Speculations were formed that the association of cats with Freya is because cats in ancient Egypt were associated with femininity and fertility.
- The Polish protector
Dogs are famous for guarding herds and flocks in the ancient times but Polish myth begged to differ. Oviniik, in a form a black cat, was adored and worshipped by many farmers and their families.
According to the myth, Oviniik would watch over domestic animals and will chase away evil ghosts and fairies. How you ask? It’s by barking like a dog. But whenever the locals fail to offer something to Oviniik, it turns against humans, eats their livestock and burns down the entire farm.
Polish are known for their mythological creatures that cause trickery and mischief to human unless worshipped just like the Leprechaun.
- Ceridwen’s Cats
Ceridwen is the goddess of knowledge and inspiration, transformation and the lunar cycle.
According to myth, she has a lot of white cats that roam the Earth tending to her endeavors. Good question though, why cats? Why not human followers?
- Hectate’s as a cat
Hectate is the goddess of death, darkness, and witches of the Greeks. She is believed to always take form of a cat.
In some parts of Rome, cats were considered bad luck and are always associated to be familiars of witches. The Greek and Rome “relationship” could have inspired the story about Hectate transforming into cats because she is after all the goddess of witches.
Food for thought!
- A Peruvian cat god
Sach’a-sach’apuma if the Peruvian goddess of productive land and the earth that also took another form as a cat. She is believed to be the designer of the foundations of their great city which was designed in a shape of a wild cat. And not just that, her assistant who aided her in the great construction of a city were cats.
A cat god who designed a cat city was helped by her minion cats. Whoever wrote or told this myth back in the old days must really have a thing for cats.
- Li Shou the guardian
Li Shou is famous in the Chinese literature and worshipped by many because he protected crops by eating rats and mice. Ironically, all cats have those instincts and will definitely do what Li-shou just did.
If we hypothesize the creation of this myth, we can say that cat eating mice may be a rare phenomenon by the farmers in China.
These are just a few of the kitties who made their way through ancient literature. May it be as a god, a pet of a god, or just being a house pet, the olden days really have a nick for stories.