Cats around the world are gloating
because archaeologists have discovered
the remains of a two thousand year old temple
dedicated to the cat goddess Bastet.
Built during the time of Ptolomy
in the royal quarter of Alexandria,
the ruins contain many statues of Bastet
hidden away for twenty centuries
as the new city was built atop the old.

Our cats have always reminded us
that they were worshipped in ancient Egypt,
and insisted that these practices continue
as they honored us with their presence
in our homes.  They do us great favors
by allowing us to prepare their meals,
clean their litterboxes, and buy them toys.
They acknowledge our offerings of catnip
and let us pet them if we show the proper respect.

“I was a god in ancient Egypt,” says the cat,
“and don’t you forget it!”  He is not ours,
but deigns to share our dwelling place
in spite of his innate superiority to us.
We, mere humans, his servants and his staff,
must respect his godhead, and remember
that we are inferior beings who are tolerated
as long as we obey his commands, and observe
the proper protocol for dealing with a deity.

©2010 Dorothy Miller Gutenkauf

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