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Bast, The Beloved Protector of Cats


She is the protector of cats, women and children. The ancient Egyptians celebrated her feastday on October 31 with convivial merry making, music, dancing in the streets and drinking with friends - the sort of holiday we would recognise instantly.

A great week-long festival was held in the holy city of Bubastis attracting devotees from all over the country to celebrate along the riverbanks and through the city streets. Herodotus tells of crowds swelling to 700,000. Sadly, Bast and her feast day are overlooked in modern times but you could perhaps say that Hallowe'en was originally celebrated as the Feast of Bast

She holds the mysteries of the cat in her power - those magnetic animals with a strong power to fascinate or repel. Let's face it, all of us will admit that we either love cats or we can't stand the sight of them. Historically, the cat was first endowed with archetypal power in Egypt where it came to be regarded as a Sacred animal. For the cat is identified with Bast and she is most recognised for her portrayal as a woman with the head of a cat. When a cat curls up with its head touching its tail, it forms a circle, the symbol of eternity, the symbol of the goddess in whatever form she has chosen

Bast is the Goddess of the rising sun, the moon, truth, enlightenment, sensuality, fertility, bounty, birth, plenty, the home, music and dance. She was the beloved goddess and the protectress of women, small children, and domestic cats.

Bast was the possessor of the Eye of Horus, the sacred utchat. Over time the utchat became more associated with cats and was often cat shaped. Egyptian women used these cat amulets as fertility tokens, praying to have as many children as cats have kittens

Our modern names for the cat are derived from the word utchat: cat, chat, cattus, gatus, gatous, gato, katt, katte, kitte, kitty, etc. One variation of her name was Pasht, and from this we get the remaining Indo-European words for the cat: pasht, past, pushd, pusst, and puss

The Wildcats of Egypt first lived in the swamps and marshes along the Nile. As time progressed, and the people began to grow grains and other foodstuff and keeping it for longer periods of time, rodents and other vermin began to thrive. The wild cat was venerated for its ferocity and rapacity, qualities it used to keep the rocent population under control, qualities which it also shared with the lion. What a boon was the Wildcat to the Egyptians!

The domestic cats we know today are all descended from the felix sylvesteris, the Wildcat of Africa and friend of the Egyptian farmer. And so began the long domestication process. As the cat was identified with Bast, so then Bast gained enormous popularity from 1000 BCE onward. Feline hunting instincts were honoured, but so was the cat's gentler side as a warm and loving mother to her kittens.

The ancient Egyptians must have truly appreciated the beauty of wild creatures, they took the frightening aspects of animals and turned ferocity into beneficial protection. Their gods possessed animal traits like the precision of the hawk and the strength of the bull. So then, we see in Bast the grace and elegance of a cat, the agility, strength, speed, and the deadly claws. She holds the charm, patience and affectionate nature of a domestic cat, as well as the potential for the raw brute strength of a lioness.

She also has the gift, like all cats, of looking deep into your soul.

And it's easy to see why Bast has been associated with pleasure, music and dancing for millennia. Just think of your own comfort-seeking cat who loves to be stroked and petted. Cats also love to play, with their graceful movements and purring as musical accompaniment, luxuriating in coordination of movement.

Today, ruins mark the joyful city of Bubastis, the once-proud temple is nothing but tumbled blocks. However the name of Bast endures. For at least 5000 years there have been many who praised her name. Many still do so today.

Take a moment to honour this ancient Egyptian goddess. Light a green candle, her sacred color, and be affectionate to a cat, her cherished animal. When you address a cat, remember you are speaking to a little divinity, and a creature beloved of Bast.

Susanna Duffy is a Civil Celebrant, grief counsellor and mythologist. She creates ceremonies and Rites of Passage for individual and civic functions, and specialises in celebrations inspired by the divine feminine in A goddess a day


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Thu. July / 18 / 2024

Utah veterinarian under investigation after several pets die in his care - FOX 13 News Utah
Utah veterinarian under investigation after several pets die in his care  FOX 13 News Utah

Philadelphia animal shelter paying people to foster dogs, cats to help with overcrowding - WPVI-TV
Philadelphia animal shelter paying people to foster dogs, cats to help with overcrowding  WPVI-TV

‘This time it was so much worse.’ Belleville animal shelter floods again, rescues step up - Belleville News-Democrat
‘This time it was so much worse.’ Belleville animal shelter floods again, rescues step up  Belleville News-Democrat

PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — July 15 - Gwinnettdailypost.com
PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — July 15  Gwinnettdailypost.com

It's one of the best times of year to buy food and treats for your pets - NBC News
  1. It's one of the best times of year to buy food and treats for your pets  NBC News
  2. Save Up To 53% On Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes, Furbo Cams And More With The Best Prime Day Pet Deals  Forbes
  3. If You Really Love Your Pet, Scoop Up These Prime Day Deals  HuffPost

UK first European country to approve lab-grown meat, starting with pet food - The Guardian
UK first European country to approve lab-grown meat, starting with pet food  The Guardian

Britain Approves Lab-Grown Meat for Pet Food - The New York Times
Britain Approves Lab-Grown Meat for Pet Food  The New York Times

Lab-grown meat in pet food: UK to allow sales of Meatly product - BBC.com
Lab-grown meat in pet food: UK to allow sales of Meatly product  BBC.com

Chief Mouser Larry and the surprising power of political pets - The Conversation
Chief Mouser Larry and the surprising power of political pets  The Conversation

Are pets allowed in Vermont's state parks? It depends. - Burlington Free Press
Are pets allowed in Vermont's state parks? It depends.  Burlington Free Press

'Dusk until dawn' coyote attacks on pets on the rise in Bay Area city - SFGATE
'Dusk until dawn' coyote attacks on pets on the rise in Bay Area city  SFGATE

Maine animal experts advise keeping pets indoors during peak heat times - WGME
Maine animal experts advise keeping pets indoors during peak heat times  WGME

Boulder domestic violence shelter prepares to allow survivors to bring pets: “It’s something we have needed for years” - The Denver Post
Boulder domestic violence shelter prepares to allow survivors to bring pets: “It’s something we have needed for years”  The Denver Post

The travel industry is waking up to pet parents' $259 billion annual budget as hotels, restaurants, and tours cater to our four-legged friends - Fortune
The travel industry is waking up to pet parents' $259 billion annual budget as hotels, restaurants, and tours cater to our four-legged friends  Fortune

Alabama man sentenced after setting father's home on fire, killing family pets - Scripps News
Alabama man sentenced after setting father's home on fire, killing family pets  Scripps News

Pleasant Grove house fire leaves elderly woman, son and pets dead, reports say - Daily Herald
Pleasant Grove house fire leaves elderly woman, son and pets dead, reports say  Daily Herald

Are We Loving Our Pets to Death? - The New York Times
Are We Loving Our Pets to Death?  The New York Times

Paws for Pets: Beya the Dog - NCWLIFE News
Paws for Pets: Beya the Dog  NCWLIFE News

Yes, Pet Chef - General Mills
Yes, Pet Chef  General Mills

Tiny Baby Pig Trying Pumpkin Is the Cutest Messy Eater - Parade Pets
Tiny Baby Pig Trying Pumpkin Is the Cutest Messy Eater  Parade Pets

The 8 best air purifiers for pet owners - National Geographic
The 8 best air purifiers for pet owners  National Geographic

Arizona Humane Society offering free adoptions in Scottsdale for pets older than 6 months - KTAR.com
Arizona Humane Society offering free adoptions in Scottsdale for pets older than 6 months  KTAR.com

Bakersfield Fire Dept. rescue two pets from duplex fire on Pinons Springs Circle - KGET 17
Bakersfield Fire Dept. rescue two pets from duplex fire on Pinons Springs Circle  KGET 17

Dog dumping: Why are people abandoning their pets? - WFMYNews2.com
Dog dumping: Why are people abandoning their pets?  WFMYNews2.com

5 pets die, 2 firefighters injured in 3 Burlington fires in 24 hours - WHBF - OurQuadCities.com
5 pets die, 2 firefighters injured in 3 Burlington fires in 24 hours  WHBF - OurQuadCities.com

Pleasant Grove house fire kills mother, son, and pets - ABC4.com
Pleasant Grove house fire kills mother, son, and pets  ABC4.com

Pet of the Week: Meet Rosey - WMTV
Pet of the Week: Meet Rosey  WMTV

New Report: Pets vs. Plastics - Truth about Pet Food
New Report: Pets vs. Plastics  Truth about Pet Food

Pets on Set: Frogtown Fosters - wmar2news.com
Pets on Set: Frogtown Fosters  wmar2news.com

Firefighters rescue homeless, pets from fast-moving grass fire - Taft Midway Driller
Firefighters rescue homeless, pets from fast-moving grass fire  Taft Midway Driller

The UK will start feeding lab-grown meat to pets this year - The Verge
The UK will start feeding lab-grown meat to pets this year  The Verge

I'm a professional dog trainer, and I found the best Prime Day pet deals - Mashable
I'm a professional dog trainer, and I found the best Prime Day pet deals  Mashable

Maine animal experts advise keeping pets indoors during peak heat times - fox23maine.com
Maine animal experts advise keeping pets indoors during peak heat times  fox23maine.com

Dogs and barbecues: A potentially dangerous mix - DVM 360
Dogs and barbecues: A potentially dangerous mix  DVM 360

Keep your pets safe in the heat: Tips for checking pavement temperature - WCTI12.com
Keep your pets safe in the heat: Tips for checking pavement temperature  WCTI12.com

Pets and their People - Mountain News
Pets and their People  Mountain News

Hundreds volunteer to help keep pets keep cool after Nashville Humane Association A/C brakes - News Channel 5 Nashville
Hundreds volunteer to help keep pets keep cool after Nashville Humane Association A/C brakes  News Channel 5 Nashville

Kato Living - Loving Exotic Pets with One Love Tarantulas - KEYC
Kato Living - Loving Exotic Pets with One Love Tarantulas  KEYC

Pets of the Week - The Mountaineer Echo
Pets of the Week  The Mountaineer Echo

Dog dumping: Why are people abandoning their pets? - WFMYNews2.com
Dog dumping: Why are people abandoning their pets?  WFMYNews2.com

Lab-Grown Meat for Pets Was Just Approved in the UK - WIRED
Lab-Grown Meat for Pets Was Just Approved in the UK  WIRED

For Pet's Sake: Signs of lymphoma in dogs - KUTV 2News
For Pet's Sake: Signs of lymphoma in dogs  KUTV 2News

Woman shares experience with her dog on OBX to raise awareness about pet safety - News 3 WTKR Norfolk
Woman shares experience with her dog on OBX to raise awareness about pet safety  News 3 WTKR Norfolk

MN pet sanctuary set to open for domestic abuse survivors - KARE11.com
MN pet sanctuary set to open for domestic abuse survivors  KARE11.com

You can help Maine pets in need! Donate to CBS13 & Fox23's Pet Food Drive on Aug. 2 - fox23maine.com
You can help Maine pets in need! Donate to CBS13 & Fox23's Pet Food Drive on Aug. 2  fox23maine.com

Summer heat tips for pets and their owners - Daily Independent
Summer heat tips for pets and their owners  Daily Independent

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Leaving Pets In Parked Cars During Summer Months Can Be Deadly  WGRT Local News

The 86 Best Prime Day Pet Deals On Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes, Dog Beds And More - Forbes
The 86 Best Prime Day Pet Deals On Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes, Dog Beds And More  Forbes

Amy Attas offers funny, heartwarming stories of New York City's cats and dogs. - Psychology Today
Amy Attas offers funny, heartwarming stories of New York City's cats and dogs.  Psychology Today

Avoid All Pet Food Brands Except These 4 - 24/7 Wall St.
Avoid All Pet Food Brands Except These 4  24/7 Wall St.

Pleasanton police advise cat owners to keep pets inside amid coyote attacks - Pleasanton Weekly
Pleasanton police advise cat owners to keep pets inside amid coyote attacks  Pleasanton Weekly

Expert Levy Keeps Pets Laughing - Atlanta Jewish Times
Expert Levy Keeps Pets Laughing  Atlanta Jewish Times

Help ‘empty the shelters’ — adopt a pet - pvtimes.com
Help ‘empty the shelters’ — adopt a pet  pvtimes.com

Augusta pet shelter presents its plan to cut kill rate - WRDW
Augusta pet shelter presents its plan to cut kill rate  WRDW

WALB Hosts Operation Santa Paws to raise donations for South Georgia animals - WALB
WALB Hosts Operation Santa Paws to raise donations for South Georgia animals  WALB

Convenient care for the modern pet owner - DVM 360
Convenient care for the modern pet owner  DVM 360

Caring for sick pets is an unaddressed burden, Kent State researchers say - The Portager
Caring for sick pets is an unaddressed burden, Kent State researchers say  The Portager

Ani.VC Launches a Fund for Pets and First Investment in DOG PPL - Business Wire
Ani.VC Launches a Fund for Pets and First Investment in DOG PPL  Business Wire

PHOTOS: 20 pets up for adoption now in the Valley - ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix
PHOTOS: 20 pets up for adoption now in the Valley  ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix

Alabama man sentenced for setting fire to Connersville home, killing pets - Indiana Lawyer
Alabama man sentenced for setting fire to Connersville home, killing pets  Indiana Lawyer

Opinion | Caring for Pet Companions - The New York Times
Opinion | Caring for Pet Companions  The New York Times

Europe’s First Approved Lab-Grown Meat Is Actually for Pets - Energy Connects
Europe’s First Approved Lab-Grown Meat Is Actually for Pets  Energy Connects

Athens Area Humane Society offers free vaccines to 200 pets - Online Athens
Athens Area Humane Society offers free vaccines to 200 pets  Online Athens

Amazing Summer Hack to Help Your Pets Stay Cool in the Hudson Valley - WRRV
Amazing Summer Hack to Help Your Pets Stay Cool in the Hudson Valley  WRRV

Pet Talk: Finding the right pet for you - WDBJ
Pet Talk: Finding the right pet for you  WDBJ

PAWS reminds pet owners to protect animals from heat - Buckrail
PAWS reminds pet owners to protect animals from heat  Buckrail

City considers pet mini pigs; opponents say they 'oink, grunt' - Missoula Current
City considers pet mini pigs; opponents say they 'oink, grunt'  Missoula Current

The pet I’ll never forget: Misty the cat, who died in my arms and drained all the colour from the world - The Guardian
The pet I’ll never forget: Misty the cat, who died in my arms and drained all the colour from the world  The Guardian

Man, elderly mother and pets killed in Pleasant Grove house fire - FOX 13 News Utah
Man, elderly mother and pets killed in Pleasant Grove house fire  FOX 13 News Utah

Animal Medical Clinic donates pet oxygen masks to GIFD - 1340 KGFW
Animal Medical Clinic donates pet oxygen masks to GIFD  1340 KGFW

Laber of Love offering pet memorial plaques - sidneydailynews.com
Laber of Love offering pet memorial plaques  sidneydailynews.com

Pet of the Week: Meet Rosey - WMTV
Pet of the Week: Meet Rosey  WMTV

Woman injured in Pleasant Grove house fire dies hours after son, family pets - KUTV 2News
Woman injured in Pleasant Grove house fire dies hours after son, family pets  KUTV 2News

Keeping your pets safe while exercising - 9News.com KUSA
Keeping your pets safe while exercising  9News.com KUSA

GR8 Pet of the Week - KLAS - 8 News Now
GR8 Pet of the Week  KLAS - 8 News Now

Operation Healthy Pets 2nd Annual Food Truck Rodeo - Finger Lakes Times
Operation Healthy Pets 2nd Annual Food Truck Rodeo  Finger Lakes Times

First-of-its-kind pet sanctuary set to open for domestic abuse survivors - KARE11.com
First-of-its-kind pet sanctuary set to open for domestic abuse survivors  KARE11.com

Jewish Atlanta Pets of 2024 - Atlanta Jewish Times
Jewish Atlanta Pets of 2024  Atlanta Jewish Times

Mendocino County Featured Pet: Bob Marley - The Mendocino Voice
Mendocino County Featured Pet: Bob Marley  The Mendocino Voice

Pet food distribution set for Thursday - The Republic
Pet food distribution set for Thursday  The Republic

AJT Staff Jewish Pets of Atlanta 2024 - Atlanta Jewish Times
AJT Staff Jewish Pets of Atlanta 2024  Atlanta Jewish Times

Gordon County Adoptable Pets - Northwest Georgia News
Gordon County Adoptable Pets  Northwest Georgia News

Featured pets: barn buddies - Vermont Journal
Featured pets: barn buddies  Vermont Journal

Augusta pet shelter presents its plan to cut kill rate - WRDW
Augusta pet shelter presents its plan to cut kill rate  WRDW

Give an animal a forever home at the Simsbury Tractor Supply Pet Adoption Event July 28 - FOX61 Hartford
Give an animal a forever home at the Simsbury Tractor Supply Pet Adoption Event July 28  FOX61 Hartford

As Someone With Multiple Cats, Here Are The Prime Day Pet Deals I Think Are Worth It - BuzzFeed
As Someone With Multiple Cats, Here Are The Prime Day Pet Deals I Think Are Worth It  BuzzFeed

Humane Society seeks relief in 'Clear the Shelter' event - Kingsport Times News
Humane Society seeks relief in 'Clear the Shelter' event  Kingsport Times News

Pet Talk: Finding the Right Pet for You - WDBJ
Pet Talk: Finding the Right Pet for You  WDBJ

The 11 Best Prime Day Pet Deals on Dog Beds, Cat Water Fountains, and More - WIRED
The 11 Best Prime Day Pet Deals on Dog Beds, Cat Water Fountains, and More  WIRED

Loving Their Pets to Debt - The New York Times
Loving Their Pets to Debt  The New York Times

Meet the A.R.K. Pets of the Week 🐾 - The Pantagraph
Meet the A.R.K. Pets of the Week 🐾  The Pantagraph

Animal-Loving Siblings’ Bracelet Sales Benefit Shelter Pets and Terrapins - The SandPaper
Animal-Loving Siblings’ Bracelet Sales Benefit Shelter Pets and Terrapins  The SandPaper

Black Dog Animal Rescue Adoptable Pets - July 17, 2024 - The Cheyenne Post
Black Dog Animal Rescue Adoptable Pets - July 17, 2024  The Cheyenne Post

Unattended hot cars are deadly for children and pets yearly - KXII
Unattended hot cars are deadly for children and pets yearly  KXII

Free dog, cat vaccination clinic coming to Cleveland Thursday, July 18 - Bluebonnet News
Free dog, cat vaccination clinic coming to Cleveland Thursday, July 18  Bluebonnet News

15+ stray kittens were found in a West Palm Beach building. Now these three need homes - Palm Beach Post
15+ stray kittens were found in a West Palm Beach building. Now these three need homes  Palm Beach Post

Save Big On The Best Selling Pet Tech for This Amazon Prime Day! - The Inventory
Save Big On The Best Selling Pet Tech for This Amazon Prime Day!  The Inventory

KRDO’s Tuesday Afternoon Pet of the Week - KRDO
KRDO’s Tuesday Afternoon Pet of the Week  KRDO

Pets | Shuggie: I'm Curious and Enjoy Meeting New People - Out South Florida
Pets | Shuggie: I'm Curious and Enjoy Meeting New People  Out South Florida

LETTER: Costumed pets added to fun of celebrating summer patriotism - Ozaukee Press
LETTER: Costumed pets added to fun of celebrating summer patriotism  Ozaukee Press

Summer can be hard on pets: here are some tips to keep them safe - PelhamToday.ca
Summer can be hard on pets: here are some tips to keep them safe  PelhamToday.ca

New law could legalize mini pigs in Missoula - Missoulian
New law could legalize mini pigs in Missoula  Missoulian

Veterinarians recommend owners keep an eye on their pets during hot weather - KOLN
Veterinarians recommend owners keep an eye on their pets during hot weather  KOLN

The Best Pet Insurance That Covers Neutering (2024) - MarketWatch
The Best Pet Insurance That Covers Neutering (2024)  MarketWatch

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