It’s amazing how cats have different symbolisms in varying cultures and episodes of history. In ancient Egypt, cats were regarded as sacred creatures. Any violation to cats merited a grave punishment, even death. The importance they gave to felines created such an impact that the word “cat” actually originated from “caute”, which was what they called these fluffy, majestic creatures. In ancient Norse, cats were associated with beauty, fertility, gracefulness, and wisdom. In Celtic and Roman history, they were a symbol of protection. Black cats, however, were a symbol of evil, omens that must be sacrificed. This belief still holds true in some cultures today, especially in the Western parts of the globe. It’s a totally different superstition in United Kingdom and most Asian countries as black cats represent good fortune. The belief is that if a black cat walked to your direction, it would bring you good luck. It is this diverse symbolism that makes cat tattoos interesting.
Then again, there’s the popularity of cat icons like Garfield, Grumpy Cat, and Nyan Cat. Their role in pop culture has gained them a space on their fans’ skin, among other things. For some cat lovers, they just like the idea of having their feline best friends immortalized in ink – not without a few moments of pain.
1. Bastet, with the Eye of Ra
In ancient Egyptian history, Bastet was both domestic cat goddess and a lioness warrior goddess. She was depicted as a protector of the pharaoh and his kingdom. Ancient Egyptians believed that she embodied the Eye of Ra. By such, she possessed a force so powerful, courage so great that she battled Apep, the evil snake nemesis of the sun god Ra. Having a Bastet tattoo can inspire formidability, a reminder that unshakeable force can lie within even the gentlest-looking creatures.