An Expansion on Medieval Cats

Greetings, Age Community!

It’s always A pleasure to interact with you again. As promised last week, I am beginning to bring new information on civilizations and cultures I have yet to prEsent to you. You may be familiar with them through the games, but I think it is time for us to dive deep and ExpanD our knowledge of their culture. What will that look like? Only the flip of a page will tell.

In previous weeks, you met Gyb and Carlisle, my trusty feline friends. I addition, I briefly mentioned the existence of some myths behind the origin of cats in medieval Europe. Even though cats were often thought to be evil often associated with witches, demonic creatures, and the devil, throughout Europe, this was not the case for some religions and cultures outside of this area. In fact, they were often held in high regards and loved by people as much as many of you do today.

Islam

In the Islamic world, cats are respected, loved, and welcomed by all members Islamic society no matter their status. The love for these sweet and furry animals dates back to the stories and teachings of the prophet Muhammad, who had a feline companion. Abu Hurairah, which translates to ‘father of the kitten’ became a well known figure in Muhammad’s journey which helped cats establish a positive notoriety within the Muslim community. It is said that he fed and cared for the cats who surrounded him, ensuring they had a shelter to reside in. Unlike dogs and other pets, cats were allowed to enter sacred places like mosques because of their consistent cleanliness.

China

Cats are also held in high regard throughout medieval China. Their role within household began as pest control, much like in medieval Europe, but later during the Song Dynasty, they became common household pets. Breeding cats specifically for their appearance and to enhance certain characteristics became a more common practice, specially with lion-cats, notorious for their silky long hair.

Japan

The notoriety of cats in Japan has been tied to symbols of good luck throughout one’s life. Cats were often welcomed into the home of silk makers to control pests. Rats would often eat the silkworms found in the home which could cause a significant loss of raw material available to make silk products. These furry friends are also seen as a symbols of good luck and warding off evil, specially if the cat was black. Single women would often surround themselves with black cats as they were known for helping them find a life long partner.


Overall, cats had a positive reputation outside of the European landscape.

I recognize that this week’s blog has been a bit…short… compared to previous blogs, but I promise I will make it up to you in the coming weeks with some truly fascinating content. I must flip this page now, I hear Gyb’s little bell collar ringing in the distance.

Until next time,

Sage

As told by Grace