There is no doubt that cats are magical. Anyone who has ever shared a home with a cat will tell you how they magical shrink to fit into the tiniest box.
Cats believe that they should be worshipped and indeed in ancient Egypt they were worshipped. The goddess Bast was the cat headed deity of Egypt. In Egypt killing a cat was a crime and for a good reason. Cats kill mice and mice eat precious grain, without cats Egyptians would struggle to survive the winter. Cat amulets, mummies and sarcophagi were common. It is even said that cats were kept in sanctuaries in Egypt and waited on hand and foot by priests….and this appears to something that cats have never forgotten.
Yet Egyptians were not the only people to consider cats as sacred creatures. King Charles I of England owned a black cat that he adored so much that guards protected it 24 hours so the king’s luck would remain. You may believe that his cat was nothing more than a cat, but the day after the cat died the king was arrested.
Cats also feature in mythology. The Roman hunter goddess Diana once morphed into a cat and cats were thought to be under her protection. The Norse goddess Freya; goddess of love, beauty and war managed to train her cats to pull her chariot. Whilst the Welsh goddess Ceridwen was attended to by white cats and they carried out her orders whilst they walked the earth.
Cats of course are also associated with witches especially black cats. It was believed that witches could shape shift into the form of a cat. Cats were also the familiar or magical companion to many witches. In Britain and Australia black cats are considered lucky especially if they cross your path, whilst in America they are considered unlucky and as a result often struggle to find a home. Sadly it is this reputation that means that black cats often spend months waiting for a loving home at your nearby rescue centre.
In Britain it was common for mummified cats to be built into buildings. It is thought that they offered protection from mice and rats and possibly even evil spirits. They are often posed with mummified rats. Most mummified cats had died before they were mummified; sadly there is also evidence that some were alive when they were buried. These cats became spiritual guardians of the house or building in which they were buried.
Cat paw prints were also used to protect buildings. There are many places in England where cat paw prints are imported onto walls in order to offer a magical protection.
Cat hair and bones were often used in magical charms. Yet black cats were sometimes thought to be possessed by demons. Cats are also associated with fertility and are thought to be able to bless people so that they may become parents.