From love to hatred: the history of difficult relations between people and catsBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/from-love-to-hatred-the-history-of-difficult-relations-between-people-and-cats.html
Cats live next to us more than 9000 years. During this time we had all the relations then deteriorated, it began to develop. Furry animals catch mice and rats, and people fed them and squeezed. But, unlike dogs, cats have always lived with the humans, and in parallel the exercise of our will and independence. In Ancient Egypt, cruel attitude towards cats could cost lives, and in medieval Europe was dangerous to openly show love to them.
The ancient Egyptians worshiped cats as sacred animals and were kept at the temples. Goddess of joy, happiness and love bast was depicted with a cat's head, and in several reliefs in the form of a cat depicted the Supreme God RA. Killing a cat was as serious a crime as the murder of a man and the Egyptians never allowed himself to even claim a sacred animal.
Persian king Kambiz II under the walls of Pelusia
A century later, the anxious attitude of the subjects of the Pharaoh cats mentions the "father of history" Herodotus. He describes how, during a devastating fire in one of the cities, the people carried out of the fire cats, and only then returned for their property.
Phoenician traders brought in their vessels with the cats in Greece, where those once loved passion for hunting rodents. From Greece the cat began its triumphal progress across Europe and then of Eurasia. In ancient times the cat was a valuable beast in Wales in the 10th century for the kitten gave as much as for the lamb, and in Russia until the XV century it was exchanged for an adult ox. In ancient Kiev for killing a cat was put to substantial fine.
Interesting, but in the old Testament cats are mentioned only once in the Epistle of Jeremiah. In this place of the Bible, the prophet debunks the idolatry, citing as reasons the fact that the statues of the gods fearlessly climbing cats and are never punished for it.
The cat in the ancient Egyptian papyrus
Before the start of the fight against heretics and witches to cats in Europe were treated exactly — they were valued for catching mice, cherished as expensive animals, but the cult of love for him was not observed anywhere else. But that all changed in the 13th century, when the Catholic Church first seriously began the servants of the enemy of human living among us.
It is believed that the beginning of cotorobai put Pope Gregory IX, published in the year 1233 a message entitled Vox in Rama. It talked about the fans of Lucifer and their rituals. Violent fantasy of the Pontiff gave birth to a satanic rite in which those kissed under the tail of a black cat. The document also described the phenomenon to the followers of the Prince of Darkness, who appeared as a hybrid of cat and human.
Impressed by the creativity of the Pope, Christians immediately began to drown, hang and burn cats, and under the hot hand got not only the black copies, and all to which it was possible to reach. Even harder began to fight with these animals with the advent of the Inquisition. In the reports of the Jesuit fathers often come across mention that a witch was burned or drowned along with her cat.
The same scene with the worship of Lucifer
In fairness it should be noted that sometimes black cats were justified. This happens if during the "investigation" on the hair found "the mark of the angel," that is white spot. But it happens not everywhere and not always and in most cases suffered even animals with a red or even white hair.
In the first half of the 14th century in France, under king Philip IV the fair, was a series high-profile trials of members of the knights Templar. They were accused of heresy and the worship of Baphomet — a demon who was people with the head of a cat or goat. Knights actively burned, and the property of the order, which was richer than all the Royal courts of Europe, taken together, gradually retreated to the Catholic Church.
The peak of the persecution of the cat coincided with the plague, which is hardly surprising. In deprived cats the towns and villages in huge numbers bred rats and mice, carriers of the deadly infection. In the advent of the "black death" often again blamed the cats and the more inflamed the disease, the greater was the destruction of the "satanic spawn".
Demons with the cat's heads in one of the medieval books
But not all considered cats servants of the evil spirit and the cause of all ills. In the European Jewish communities of cats loved and cherished and maybe that's why the percentage of deaths from the plague of the Jews was much lower. As always, the success of Jews did not please the Christians and soon securenym cities was a rumor that they infect people with a deadly disease.This caused a wave of anti-Jewish pogroms with an impressive human victims. In the spring of 1348 in the French Toulon were killed 40 Jews in Basel, Switzerland — 600, and the German Erfurt — more than 3,000, that is, the entire Jewish community of the city. Kill the Jews even in Strasbourg, where the plague at the time still did not come. There, apparently in order to prevent, cut more than 900 accidents.
In 1344 the French Metz started another epidemic, this time of obvious psychiatric origin. People suddenly started dancing and did not stop until, until falling exhausted or dead. Scientists are still arguing about what could cause such strange symptoms, but then it all was clear. The perpetrators were demons with cat's heads.
The inhabitants of the Mets burn cats
Metz killed the last of the cats and then regularly imported from other cities, with refined cruelty destroy. Over the next 400 years this French city was annually burned on the main square of 13 cats in an iron cage. As a dance it never recurred, it was believed that this ceremony helps.
Metz was not the only place where started the tradition of mock cats. In Pomerania and Bohemia the peasants were killing animals in the fields, as it believed it helped to protect the crop he pests and thieves. In Denmark they were locked in the barrel and hung on trees along the roads. Passing knights can practice punching wooden tanks with spears and arrows, and got through the barrel exactly the cat was rewarded with a comic title "the cat king".
Especially a sophisticated way of killing cats practiced in different parts of medieval Europe builders. It was believed that immured in the Foundation or wall, the animal protects the building from rats and mice. When in our days carried out the restoration of the tower of London, in one of the walls of the fortress found a mummified cat, bricked up in an alcove in the 17th century.
A mummified cat, discovered in the wall on borough high street in London, built in the 16th century
The Enlightenment was slightly decreased the degree of hatred for cute little animals, but the image of the mysterious creatures completely and left. The German zoologist Johann matthäus Bechstein, who lived in the 17th century and reputed to be a person knowledgeable and serious, in his book "Natural history for all" wrote about the fact that cats attract lightning. In this regard pundit strongly recommended during thunderstorms to keep from animals away, and ideally not to expel them outside in the rain.In Islamic countries, cats lived at ease at all times. In Muslim the hadith mentions that the prophet Muhammad himself lived a cat at home named Muezza. Once the prophet was in a hurry to prayer, but his garments slept the cat. Not to worry darling, he gently cut off the part of clothing that was under it.
In another hadith tells that once a cat was saved from a poisonous snake companion of the prophet, who therefore got the name Abu Hurairah — "Father of cats". Muhammad said about these Pets because: "Cats are not impure and do not interfere with prayer. They are like shepherds."
No wonder the cat is the only animal that is allowed to freely enter the mosque when she pleases. Orthodox Christians, based on the fact that the Holy Scriptures do not consider cats unclean creatures, also allow them to enter the temples.