Category: Wild cats

Worship Us, Oh Puny Humans!

Dear Buddy,

Did you hear the news about the cat mummies and the big trove of cat statues found by archaeologists in Egypt? My dad says Egypt is a special place ‘cause that’s where humans used to worship us a long time ago. Is that true? Why did they stop?

Kitten in Kentucky


Dear KiK,

Your dad is right! Egypt is a magical land, a place where humans were once keenly aware of our status as the most awesome species on Earth.

Egypt is where you’ll find the biggest litter box on the planet. It stretches for miles and miles until finally the horizon reveals a huge weather-worn statue of a cat and three stone pyramids jutting out of the litter.

The Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza
The Great Sphinx of Giza keeps watch over the world’s most sacred litter box.

It is said that by pooping in front of the Great Sphinx and reverently burying the poop in the great litter dunes, one can gain the wisdom of the Sphinx and power over the red dot.

This new discovery solidifies our special status in Egypt and gives us insight into how humans worshiped our ancestors. As you can see, the bodies of the kitties are wrapped up. Those are called funerary blankets, nice and soft for kneading and sleeping.

The discovery was made when archaeologists opened the tomb of a royal priest in service to a pharaoh who ruled long ago, when humans knew their place and cats were viewed as da bomb. Inside the tomb, the archaeologists found two mummified lion cubs and the mummies of several kitties, as well as lesser animals like crocodiles.

Also among the treasures were 75 boxes of cat statues which were venerated by the ancient Egyptians.

Archaeologists are calling the find “unprecedented”:

In a rare discovery announced at a press conference by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on Nov. 23, this dusty duo of long-deceased baby lions was found in a Saqqaran tomb filled to the brim with gold-decorated wood, stone, and bronze cat statues, and a cache of cat mummies.

The tomb was found near Giza’s Saqqara necropolis, which archaeologists believe was associated with the cat goddess Bastet and Miysis, who was her son and a lion god himself. Egyptians also worshiped another cat goddess, Sekhmet, who like Bastet had the body of a human woman and the head of a lion.

sphinxtoplist16
The hieroglyphics read: “Hark, for there will come a handsome cat prince named Buddy, and ye shall worship him by presenting only the tastiest turkey.”
Statues-of-Lioness-Goddess-Sekhmet-Unearthed
This relief sculpture portrays the cat goddess Sekhmet.

But there’s one thing you should know, Kitten in Kentucky: Humans never stopped venerating us. They just need to be reminded once in a while with a good hard smack.

This is why, my dear kitten, humans work all day whilst we lounge, and it’s why they often spend more money on our food than they do on their own.

Rejoice, little one, for you are descended from deities!

Your friend,
Buddy

Bastet-the-Egyptian-
A statue of Bastet guards the eastern litter box region of Abydos.
sekhmet
This statue depicts Sekhmet, a lion goddess worshiped in ancient Egypt.

Amazing Cats: The Puma

What would domestic cats be like if they were the same size as big cats?

It’s a question that seems to pop up often on cat-centric and Q&A sites and the answer is complex, but it turns out nature has given us a pretty good idea with the puma.

Also known as the cougar, mountain lion and the more generic panther (which can be a name for jaguars and leopards as well), the puma is big, but genetically it’s related to small cats and it shares some physical features with our familiar domestic kitties.

It’s capable of the intimidating wild cat scream often heard from the largest felines, but the puma can’t roar like big cats. Instead, it purrs like its smaller relatives, and it can even meow with the best of them!

Visually, the puma is a striking animal — it’s muscular with a shiny tan coat and facial features reminiscent of both panthera and felis. While its ears more closely resemble those of small cats (felis), the puma’s eyes have circular irises like its larger cousins.

The Majestic Puma
Pumas, also known as mountain lions and cougars, are the widest-ranging cats in the world.

It’s also remarkably adaptive. The puma boasts the largest range of any cat, and is found all throughout South and North America. Here in good ol’ ‘Merica, the cat ranges from the coastal mountains of California to the forests of New England, and a subspecies — the famous Florida Panther — occupies swampland and dense jungle habitats.

After the jaguar, it’s the second-largest cat in the Western Hemisphere.

The puma is a wild animal, meaning its place is out in the world fending for itself, protecting its territory, hunting, mating, grooming and sleeping a lot, like all cats do. Pumas are emphatically not pets.

Yet pumas have a disposition closer to house cats than big cats, meaning they’re not hostile to humans by default, and much like feral cats, they’ll go out of their way to avoid humans.

Again — and it cannot be emphasized enough — pumas are wild animals who belong in the wild, but there have been rare cases where the big-little cats have lived with humans when circumstances make it impossible to return them to their natural habitat.

In some cases it’s because the puma is maimed and can no longer hunt for itself, while others remain under human care because they were born into zoos or circuses and literally do not know how to live like wild cats. Those animals are better off in sanctuaries than left to fend for themselves, which they’re unable to do, but should only be cared for by professionals.

Puma leaping
While they aren’t hostile to humans by default, pumas can tip the scales at 220 pounds and are capable of rendering serious damage.

While pumas don’t have any interest in hunting or harming humans, that doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous. Males can tip the scales at up to 220 pounds, while females can weigh as much as 140.

That’s a LOT of cat: Most of us know the kind of damage 10-pound domestic felines are capable of rendering, especially with sharp claws and teeth that can shred delicate human skin. A 220-pound puma, while not as lethal as a tiger pushing 600-plus pounds, can fatally injure a human being.

Thankfully, these animals are famously elusive and confrontations with humans are exceedingly rare.

buddy_september2019_alt
That’s 10 pounds of pure muscle to you, mister! Everyone knows Buddy is ripped!