Maneki Neko

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Today, modern society views cats as little fur balls of attention, and evil yet adorable geniuses hell-bent on world domination.

During the course of history though, cats were viewed differently. Mainly tamed for their ability to catch mice, the earliest known feline-human relationship was found in a shallow grave in Cyprus. A human being was found buried with his young cat. Note that cats aren’t native to the island nation at that time, proving that they were being domesticated.

Anyway, cats were highly regarded both in literature and religion.

Ancient Egypt and Cats

Cats in ancient Egyptian society were greatly revered: they even had a cat-goddess called Bast, who is the Egyptian deity for fertility, and motherhood. It is noteworthy that cats were also mummified like humans, and were given as offerings to Bast. Meanwhile, the town of Beni Hasan in Egypt was found
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There are numerous shrines dedicated for cat deities throughout the country, and are the subject of many folk tales and beliefs.

One of the most iconic cat figures originating in Japan is the Maneki Neko. In the form of a small statue or a small figurine, this cat beckons people with its right paw, as if inviting customers in. It is usually seen in shops, restaurants, and various businesses around the world. The story behind it involves a Japanese man who went over to a cat doing the gesture, only to know that the spot he was on earlier was struck by lightning.

There are currently two islands in Japan hosting a sizeable cat population, Tashirojima and Aoshima. Known as “Cat Island”, Tashirojima’s human population is now smaller compared to the cats inhabiting the island. There are no pet dogs in the island, and most of the human inhabitants are classified as elderly people. Fishing is the most common profession, and cats are usually waiting for fisherman to dock at port, as they are most likely given a share of the

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