Cats have been part of human communities for over 9,500 years. In many civilisations they have been more than ordinary pets.

Ancient Egyptians had the cat goddess Bast (Bastet). She was associated with grace and affection. She was cunning and fearless. She was depicted as a cat, woman with a head of a cat or a lion. Temples dedicated to the goddess had many sacred cats. It was believed that they were the incarnation of Bast. Dead cats were mummified and presented as offerings to the goddess. The sacred graveyard with about 300,000 mummified cats was discovered at the Tell-Basta archaeological site.

On the other side Ancient Eyptians had cats for much more practical reasons. Cats were sometimes depicted as participants in the hunt. Cats also killed mice and rats which had positive effects on local agriculture.

Black cat
Black cat

In the Middle Ages black cats were associated with the devil. Sometimes it was even believed that these cats were the incarnation of witches. Black cat is still part of many folk beliefs. It is believed that a funeral procession who meets a black cat means soon death of another family member. Finding white hair on black cat is considered lucky. But you should not remove it as the good luck can turn bad.

During draught people in Thailand sprinkle little bit of water over grey Korat cats as it is believed that they can bring rain.

Cats are the main topic of some festivals. Good example is the Kattenstoet festival held in the town of Ieper, Belgium. The Japanese have statues of cat called Maneki Neko. It is believed that this statue brings good luck to the person who owns it.