For feline lovers, a cat tattoo is the only way to go.
They say some people are “cat people” and some are “dog people.” When it comes to being “cat people,” the ancient Egyptians win the prize. Cats were worshiped to the point that anyone who killed a cat, either accidentally or on purpose, was sentenced to death! The deceased kitties were mummified (embalmed with spices), and given their own casket and burial in special graveyards.
To the ancients, cats symbolized both the sun (considered to be daughter of Ra, the sun god) and the moon (because of the shape of their eyes). Most revered was the goddess Bast (or Bastet), whose name means “the devouring lady.” The goddess is portrayed with the body of a woman and the head of a cat. (For those planning such a cat tattoo design, keep in mind that Bast’s sacred color was green…may wish to include that in the design.) Keep in mind, there are still active Bast worshippers out there today.
It wasn’t just the Egyptians, however, who had cat fancy. Because of their graceful, fluid, and aloof nature, cats were often associated with the night, and with mystery. Norse legends say that the goddess Freya was transported in a chariot pulled by cats. It was these stories that lead to the belief that cats were somehow magical, and they became the animal most commonly associated with witches.
The black cat, in particular, became the symbol of witchcraft and evil – and eventually the animal of choice for Halloween decorations. From Norse mythology, we get the superstition that a black cat crossing your path is a symbol of bad luck (in fact, the original version was that it was really Satan keeping an eye on you).
Of course, as with many such symbols, it does not mean the same thing to all people. A black cat is viewed as a good omen in places like England and Japan.
To avoid such confusion, you may wish to avoid black cat tattoo designs. Better choices might be cat tattoo designs that depict your favorite breed, e.g. Burmese, Angora, Siamese, Russian Blue, or the ever popular tomcat. On a light note, think about a tattoo of the famous Cheshire cat from the classic “Alice in Wonderland.” Just realize that this one WON’T disappear as it smiles.
For more information on cat and Animal tattoos, see the resources listed on our
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