Cats have been on the human scene for 9,000 years. We came out of the caves, and they were there with us. Ever since, cats have been immortalized in art. They have been painted in fresco, sculpted in stone, carved in wood, cast in silver, and plated in gold and warped in words.
One might ask, why do cats have such grand cultural coverage? After all, we’re talking about a small, unobtrusive animal with four legs and a slender tail.
The Dark Side
With all of these reverential, cultural thoughts about cats, one must also acknowledge the dark side of their mythology. As creatures of duality —from the very first wink of human cat-fascination— there has been this not-so-cute, noir-side of cats.
Saint Patrick, as we know, banned the cat from Ireland but he was not the first to do this. During the Inquisition cats were anything but popular. They were burned along with their familiars, witches. The poor animal and the hapless Wiccan went the way of fire.
“The Love Potion” by Evelyn De Morgan: a witch with a black cat familiar at her feet. (Public Domain)
So what did cat fanciers do during the next three hundred years? They re-created the cat, using their overactive imagination.
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