Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur

One of the top Internet trends is undoubtedly cats. Pictures of felines wearing absurd clothes or doing funny stunts run rampant in the virtual world.

Becoming the crazy cat-lady was everyone single girl’s worst nightmare, but owning cats is now the cool thing? I mean, if you don’t instagram a photo of your cat wearing tights, do you even exist? If fifty people don’t like the video you posted of your cat chasing its tail, does that mean your Facebook friends aren’t actually your friends?

Cat Wearing Tights (I’m sure this counts as animal cruelty)
Cat Wearing Tights (I’m sure this counts as animal cruelty)

It seems that people have to validate their existence by constantly posting pictures and videos online. And for some reason cats are the best subject.

But before becoming popular on Instagram and Facebook, felines prevailed in ancient Egyptian culture. Feline imagery can be found in numerous ancient Egyptian artifacts, as cats were considered divine creatures. The deep reverence bestowed onto cats during ancient times is widely disparate to the facetiousness found in modern feline imagery.

Cat with Kittens (detail), reportedly from Saqqara, Egypt, Dynasty 26 or later, c. 664–30 B.C.E. Bronze, solid-cast and wood, 6.1 x 8.8 x 5 cm. Brooklyn Museum, New York.
Cat with Kittens (detail), reportedly from Saqqara, Egypt, Dynasty 26 or later, c. 664–30 B.C.E.
Bronze, solid-cast and wood, 6.1 x 8.8 x 5 cm. Brooklyn Museum, New York.
Cat’s Head, 30 BCE – third century CE. Bronze, gold, 6 x 4.4 x 4.6 cm. Brooklyn Museum, New York.
Cat’s Head, 30 BCE – third century CE.
Bronze, gold, 6 x 4.4 x 4.6 cm. Brooklyn Museum, New York.

Cats are probably great subjects because, unlike other livelier animals, such as dogs, they aren’t pleased when they’re showered with attention or when they’re paraded around in ridiculous attire. Their aloof demeanor and their angry faces make them ideal for comical situations.

Happy dog just isn’t as funny as grumpy cat.

Grumpy Cat
Grumpy Cat

To learn more about the cat cult of ancient Egypt, visit the Brooklyn Museum’s long-term exhibition entitled Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt. Or if you’ve had enough with cats, you can grab a copy of Parkstone International’s Beauty of the Beast, which celebrates the presence of animals in art.

-D.R.

Author: Parkstone International

Parkstone International is an international publishing house specializing in art books. Our books are published in 23 languages and distributed worldwide. In addition to printed material, Parkstone has started distributing its titles in digital format through e-book platforms all over the world as well as through applications for iOS and Android. Our titles include a large range of subjects such as: Religion in Art Architecture Asian Art Fine Arts Erotic Art Famous Artists Fashion Photography Art Movements Art for Children