Wednesday 25 February 2009

Cats, Mosques and Temples

Cats, mosques and temples (and religion) go together in some unexpected and conflicting ways. There are temple cats in Thailand. This website funds an entire colony of cats at one such temple, for example. Then there are the famous temple cats of Burma and the legend of the Birman cat.

And in the video above we can see the Sandali mosque cats being treated in a way that is not seen throughout India. Quite the contrary, in fact. What is astonishing (actually it's normal human behavior) is that we can see Hindu mendicants, swamis in India who flout animal welfare by decorating themselves with animal parts including domestic cat skulls etc. Then there is the gradual destruction of he tiger in India. The complete range of peoples' treatment of animals from abuse to worship is seen in relation to cats. Not forgetting the worship of cats in ancient Egypt (see Egyptian cat art). But in worshiping the cat goddess Bastet, pilgrims would come from afar and purchase recently killed feral cats that had been mummified as an offering to the goddess. People were and still are cruel and kind at the same time; typically bizarre human behavior.

The cats of the Sandali mosque are treated well, fed etc. as a kind of appeasement, an offering as in ancient Egypt to help make the prayers of worshipers come true. In one way it is nice and in another it is terribly sad. It shows a confused state of mind and a desperation. In the end, the bottom line, it is all about survival. People will do what they need to do to survive and the cat even in this instance is being used for that purpose. Cats, Mosques and Temples are a fairly common combination.

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