Year: 747-525 a.C.
Dimension: Higth 30,5 cm; Lenght 18 cm
Late Period, XXV-XXVI Dynasty 747-525 B.C. A wooden sarcophagus in the form of a cat well modelled, depicted seated on its haunches in alert position, with the straight forelegs tapering, the tail wrapped around the right side of the body, the erect head frontal on the thick cylindrical neck, with strong shoulders and rounded breast, the triangular ears rounded at their peaks, the almond eyes incised.
Cat’s cemeteries, always found in the immediate area of a temple dedicated to one of Egypt’s feline goddesses (such as Pahket at Beni Hasan, Bast at Bubastis, and numerous other sites as well), were filled with the mummies of cats purchased by pilgrims and given as votive gifts to the goddess. In Egypt the people believed that if they bought a mummified cat and presented it to the temple of a goddess, the cat’s spirit would join the goddess in the afterlife, where it would continually urge her to bless the giver and answer their prayer, whatever it might be. We do know that cats were treasured pets among the ancient Egyptians, and were frequently depicted in their owners’ tombs, as well as being buried with them. They were grieved by their humans as family members when they died. Perhaps the best known of all Egyptian pet cats is Tai Miuwette, “Little Mewer,” the cat beloved of crown prince Thutmose, brother of Akhenaten, whose stone sarcophagus has come down to us. We also know that sometimes these treasured pets were brought to the temples to be embalmed, and sometimes left as votive offerings–but only after natural deaths following long and pampered lives.