Cats and Crusaders

It’s worth remembering that the Crusades, the medieval wars between the Muslims and the Christians, resulted in Christians learning about Muslim culture, including becoming aware of the Muslims’ love for cats. You might say that the Crusades planted the seeds of the idea that cats were associated with a “bad” religion (Islam).

That, coupled with the fact that the old pagan religions associated cats with goddesses like Bast, Isis and Artemis, shows you why the Christian Church sometimes took a dim view of cats. To the Christians of the Middle Ages, the cat appeared to be the mascot of the old religion (paganism, which was always threatening to resurface) and of the new rival religion (Islam).
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