Why Ancient Egyptians Loved Cats.

via Wikimedia Commons
by: James MacDonald
At the ancient site of Saqqara, just outside Cairo, a 4,500-year-old tomb has yielded an unexpected bounty: dozens of mummified cats and cat statues.
The ancient Egyptians’ affinity for animals is well documented. Archaeologists have discovered pampered pet dogs and even private zoos.
Cats, however, occupied a special space in Ancient Egypt.
According to James Allen Baldwin, cats are present in Egypt’s archaeological record as far back as the predynastic period, almost 5,000 years ago.
Cats likely became so entwined with Egyptian life for practical reasons: Agriculture attracted rodents, which attracted wild cats.
Humans learned to protect and value the creatures that kept their fields and granaries rodent-free.
Cats’ fondness for napping in the sun led to early associations between the cat and the sun god, Ra. There is abundant archaeological evidence, however, of cats serving multiple roles.
Cats were depicted protecting households against rodents and venomous snakes, but also as helpers for bird hunters and as pampered pets.
Cats have been found buried in human graves, although the exact relationship between cat and human isn’t always clear.
Some cats were buried with offerings, indicating that someone was planning for the animals’ afterlives.
The recent discovery is one of the oldest examples to date of a cat burial.
Starting around 1000 B.C.E., gigantic cemeteries full of tens of thousands of cats became fairly widespread.
The cats were elaborately wrapped and decorated, possibly by temple attendants.
Roman travelers to Egypt described how regular Egyptians revered cats, sometimes travelling long distances to bury a deceased cat in a cemetery.
Killing a cat may have even been a capital offense.
Source: Why Ancient Egyptians Loved Cats So Much | JSTOR Daily

Siberian Farm Cats take Over .

Russian farmer Lebedeva has turned her farm into a self-proclaimed ‘Catland,’ and has gone viral with the incredible photographs and videos she takes of her many glorious Siberian cats.

Stationed in Prigorodny, just outside Barnaul, Siberia, Lebedeva and her husband Sergey have been raising cats for over a decade. “How many do we have now? To such a question I usually answer ‘a million, maybe more,'” Lebedeva tells DesignYouTrust. “They live in the henhouse… They have three ‘little bedrooms’ there where can they sleep according to how they feel. Our cats protect the chickens and rabbits from rats and mice.

Alla’s photo and video diary of her feline family’s daily adventures now have a following of over 2 thousand on YouTube, yet they continued to be circulated around the Internet without permission and passed off as ‘Norwegians.’
Though the Siberian cat is closely related to the famous Norwegian Forest Cat, please remember that they are separate species – and always remember to credit anything you share if possible. It’s good for your health.
See more Images via Siberian Farm Cats Have Absolutely Taken Over This Farmer’s Land, And They’re Absolutely Majestic | Bored Panda

Why Dogs and Humans Love Each Other So Much.

This is an excerpt from TIME magazine and the recently released book How Dogs Think: Inside the Canine Mind.
You speak dog better than you think you do.
You may not be fluent; that would require actually being a dog. But if you went to live in a dogs-only world, you’d be pretty good at understanding what they’re saying.
You can tell a nervous yip from a menacing growl, a bark that says hello from a bark that says get lost.
You can read the body language that says happy, that says sad, that says tired, that says scared, that says Please, please, please play with me right now!
Think that’s not a big deal? Then answer this: What does a happy bird look like? A sad lion? You don’t know, but dog talk you get.
And as with your first human language, you didn’t even have to try to learn it. You grew up in a world in which dogs are everywhere and simply came to understand them.
That, by itself, says something about the bond that humans and dogs share.
We live with cats, we work with horses, we hire cows for their milk and chickens for their eggs and pay them with food—unless we kill them and eat them instead.
Our lives are entangled with those of other species, but we could disentangle if we wanted.
With dogs, things are different. Our world and their world swirled together long ago like two different shades of paint. Once you’ve achieved a commingled orange, you’re never going back to red and yellow.
But why is that? It’s not enough to say that the relationship is symbiotic—that dogs hunt for us and herd for us and we keep them warm and fed in return.
Sharks and remora fish struck a similarly symbiotic deal, with the remora cleaning parasites from the shark’s skin and getting to help itself to scraps from the shark’s kills as its pay.
That underwater deal is entirely transactional; love plays no part. Humans and dogs, by contrast, adore each other.
Read on via Source: Why Dogs and Humans Love Each Other So Much | Time

Underwater Dogs, photos from below.

Lithuanian photographer Andrius Burba sees animals in a different way – from underneath.
He has photographed a range of animals standing above him on glass, including rabbits, cats and horses.
His latest series focuses on dogs, coinciding with a book featuring the project.

Story by Sarah Gilbert.
Image Credit: Photographs by Andrius Burba.
See more dogs via Under-Dog: hounds photographed from underneath – in pictures | Life and style | The Guardian