Hello, our names are Andrew and Andrew and we are the proud parents of three adorable, intelligent, and precocious…
We have a boy and two girls who are the light of our lives and the twinkle in our eyes. The boy is a black shorthaired named Apollo and his sister is a tortoise shelled shorthaired named Artemis. They were named after the ancient Greek deities who were twins of the hunt, a play on their littermate lineage and innate abilities to hunt down even the most ferocious of cat toys. Their sister, a one eyed orange shorthaired discovered in the parking lot of the school where we both teach, was given the name Aradia. She was named after the obscure Italian goddess of witches, which we saw fitting due to how she managed to charm her way into our home and then proceeds to eat all of the cat food and then regurgitate that food onto all of our rugs.
The joys of parenthood are without limits.
We are shameless in our obsessive love for our cats and treat them as if there were our children, which is a cliché sentiment that is overtly true in our case. They have us trained as to when they would like to be fed, scratched, and provided with treats even though we like to pretend it’s the other way around. We even decided to forgo a guest bed in our second bedroom in order to make room for cat towers and a cat bed. There may have also been a security camera purchased so that we could check up on their wellbeing when not at home. No matter the amount of scratches in our furniture or times that they attempt to trip us (we know its intentional and you can’t convince us otherwise) they are the rulers of our bank accounts, home, and hearts.
First they rule our bank accounts, then they take over our guest bedroom?! What’s next, letting them take over the master suite?
This falling down the “crazy cat dads” rabbit hole really got us wondering where this whole idea of inviting these furry little monarchs into human homes began? It really didn’t come as a surprise for us to discover that the domestication of our feline friends began in the land of pyramids, pharaohs, and the mummies, ancient Egypt. After researching the history of cats within the culture of ancient Egypt, it became all too clear where our own little pharaohs attained their royal demeanors. Within the culture of ancient Egypt, cats were viewed as demi-gods on Earth and only the Pharaoh, who was also viewed as a god on Earth, could claim ownership over them. Therefore, the Pharaoh owned all of the cats within ancient Egypt and no one else possessed the esteemed privilege of having their own little fuzzy demi-god. Cats were thought to possess magical powers and provided good luck to those who cared for them. If a family was charged with the care of one of ancient Egypt’s bringers of luck and they unfortunately time came for the feline companion to pass into the afterlife, then that family was required to shave off their eyebrows in order to mourn the loss of the cat, which was not to cease until their eyebrows had grown back.
First our cats control what we do in life, and then they have us controlled after they move on to the afterlife? It seems like their scheming never ends…
Cats who had passed to the afterlife were of course, mummified. Cats were also adorned with extravagant jewelry, even more extravagant treats, and if anyone dared to harm one of these sacred creatures then they would receive the death penalty.
The ancient Egyptian goddess, Bast, was depicted as a personified cat and was a favorite among the many gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. She was seen as a protector due to how cats were able to ride the fields of mice and vermin who carried disease and were capable of destroying crops. Bast was also viewed as a warrior goddess and it was thought that she could provide those in battle with the cunning reflexes possessed by cats.
Cunning reflexes? All we see is napping all day long…
Once the ancient Greeks began to interact with ancient Egypt, Bast was associated with Artemis due to their similar prowess for hunting. Due to this association, the Egyptian god Horus was thought to be the twin brother of Bast due to his association with Apollo. Thus, our own Artemis and Apollo were given the names Bast and Horus as middle names because… well.. duh!
This over the top care for cats really puts our own tendencies towards spoiling our fancy felines into perspective. We really would have fit right in during ancient Egyptian times. All we have to do to compete is take them on a trip to Tiffany’s to see how we can adorn our lovely “children”. Apollo could really use a bejeweled collar and perhaps a fancy pinky ring. Not to mention the girls could live out our childhood fantasies of wearing tiaras and precious gems.
Ok… maybe that last one was just pertained to one of us.
Yup, just one of us!
Co-Author: Andrew P. Beffel
Here are some great sources to check out: