Rus Articles Journal

What cats had to endure? Shadowy past of pets

House. Cosiness. What associations cause these words? A warm chair, a carpet, perhaps, even the bright flame blazing in a fireplace... And, of course, the little, curled-up in a ball kitty who is not ceasing to purr with pleasure.

This lovely pet has a reputation for the keeper of the center long ago. However cats had to endure a lot of things before they won general adoration.

For anybody not a secret that the cat was loved also by hundreds, and thousands years ago. In Ancient world it was considered as the main panacea from rodents. Later the cat was esteemed as the animal bringing good luck and was even idolized - it is worth remembering the famous Ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility of Bast.

However the first mention of a cat as about an artful being also belongs to antiquity. Aesop`s legend tells about the cat who changed clothes in the doctor to get to sick hens and to eat them. This history was muffled by myths about cats in due time - benefactors whose cunning emphasized their subtle intellect, but not evil nature, unlike the Aesopian hero.

Everything exchanged with arrival of an era of Godfathers of campaigns and inquisitions. By the beginning of the Middle Ages population of cats was especially widespread in Europe where they were delivered still in the ancient time. They divorced very much that people not always had an opportunity to keep them at itself in the house. So the whole packs of homeless cats, along with the trushchobny rats causing feelings of contempt and fastidiousness in citizens began to appear.

The legend was a prolog of Lenglend`s poem “Vision of Piers Plowman“ which appeared in the middle of the 14th century. The mice tired of attacks of a cat decided to hang up to him on a neck a hand bell to hear its approach. However nobody decided to risk the life and to approach a cat. And one wise mouse told: “Even if we will make it, really his kitten will not be able to approach us?“

When left this poem, heroes of a prolog were associated at people with members of the power: the king of England Edward III ruling then, “kitten“ - his grandson Richard II, and “mice“ - simple people was “cat“. Century later disorders at the Scottish throne were also peculiar reflection of a legend: when mutiny against the king James III and his favourites prepared, the count Agnus told: “I will be that who will hang up to a cat on a neck a hand bell!“ And though events had purely political character, since then the cat won reputation of an evil and artful being.

Communication with hell, a Satanism, black magic - all this began to be attributed to the adored earlier animal. The mention of the very first execution for sorcery says: “Agnes Waterhouse and her daughter Joan were convicted of a charodeystvo together with their cat by nickname the Satan“. And up to the last execution for sorcery which took place 118 years later after trial of Uoterkhausami, a cat, especially black also suffered persecution, tortures and painful executions.

Hanging or burning of a cat - this story as a symbol of victory over evil was used in the pictures by artists of Renaissance (Bruegel Starschi, for example). The wave of hatred and superstitions gave an impetus also to development of literature: the incalculable number of fairy tales and verses on witches and their four-footed assistants was written. The best-known work - Boldvin`s poem “Be careful of a cat“. And, of course, blossoming of “anti-cat`s“ art forced people to forget the vital tale of the 14th century of the poor Dick Vittingtone to whom the cat brought good luck and happiness.

But here to replace centuries of inquisitions, fires and gallows the Modern Times came . People gradually ceased to believe in witches and magicians, and therefore their relation to each other became less cruel. However cats could not brag of it: treated them still cruelly. This time any more not from - for potential communications with a devil, and from - for signs, the belief to which, alas, did not go. For example, very long was considered that the body of a cat immured in the new house are a symbol of security of construction and its inhabitants from rodents, diseases and even robbers. And it was not the only belief...

XIX, 20th and 21st centuries returned returned to a cat respect and love of people. It again symbol of the world, tranquility and family happiness. And not only family: many ships of long voyage take aboard a cat to attract a calm and good weather. Besides this only animal, it is authorized to them to be in Orthodox and Muslim churches.

Having looked at the purring favourite, each of us for certain will be surprised: how it was possible to hate such beautiful animals? “And really signs - it is so important?“ - we will quite reasonably ask. But, having seen the black cat running before us, we will spit through a shoulder. Out of harm`s way.