Sacred and four-legged

Travelers to ancient Egypt got the impression that the Egyptians literally worshipped cats. Did they? Aside from the love they showed to their own pets, they did have an even higher respect for “temple animals,” the animals kept at the temples of the Egyptians’ many gods, one of whom was Bast, the goddess with the woman’s body and cat’s head. The temples of Bast had, naturally, cats on the premises, and they were worshipped—or, more accurately, they were honored as the earthly representatives of Bast herself. Bast herself was far away in heaven, but humans could honor her—and definitely did—in the form of the temple cats.
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