Cat Goddess Bast As is the case with numerous other domestic animals, Cats have played their role as Human companions for thousands of years. Domestic Cats are thought to have originated from the African Wild Cats, with the oldest breed widely believed to be the Abyssinian which was traded on the banks of the River Nile in Ancient Egyptian times.
The Egyptians believed that domestic Cats were protected by Bast, the daughter of Ra, who was either represented as a woman with a Cat's head or as a Cat. Many thought that Cat's depicted the epitome of beauty, with woman often wearing make-up (particularly around their eyes) to give them a mysterious cat-like appearance.
The Birman is one of the most popular breeds of domestic Cat today, but they did not appear in Europe until the late 1800s. Found living with priests that had hidden in the mountains to escape persecution, Birmans were kept in large numbers and made perfect companions - they were treated with the highest respect and so are commonly known as Sacred Temple Cats.