You might already know that Ra is the name of the Egyptian sun god. (Or, at least, one of the sun gods, since the Egyptians had so many gods that their mythology was hopelessly confused.) In a myth dating around 1500 B.C., Ra journeyed to the underworld at night in the form of a cat. There he battled the serpent Apophis, whom he slayed with a large knife, ensuring that Ra could return as the sun the following morning. Numerous paintings have been found showing Ra, the “Great Tomcat,” using a knife to slay Apophis.