400 Year-Old Mummified Cat Discovered in Home RenovationPublished June 4, 2009
Many years ago, during renovation of my small house, circa 1901, contractors found the inner walls lined with old newspapers published at that time. Most of them were still in relatively excellent condition. Used at that time for primitive insulation, many of the articles were fascinating, and with gentle handling I was able to salvage several pieces, restore and frame them. Many of them were about horse racing, and advertisements for equine "patented" medicines. Some even were offering cats and dogs for sale. So I think that cat loving history buffs and those who are interested in anthropology, will find this fascinating newsworthy item to cover all the bases. Photo credit: APEX Recently, according to an article in the Telegraph.co uk, a 400 year-old mummified cat was discovered in the walls of a cottage under renovation. It is thought that the cat was placed within the walls of the cottage years ago to ward off evil spirits. According to Mr. Richard Parson, a local funeral director and present owner of the cottage, his neighbors told him that the cat was also found behind the walls 20 years ago, but was replaced by the former resident. The cat is still in recognizable condition, with intact claws and teeth. Mr. Parson told Telegraph.co uk, "The builders were stripping one of the bathrooms upstairs and this little fellow came to light. It is quite scary looking and is a lot bigger than a normal domestic cat. I cannot throw it away so we plan to put it back on completion of the building work. "But my wife is not all that keen on it, as she says she will have bad dreams. There has been a local myth, a legend, that there was a cat buried in the house but of course we had no idea where that was. We were also told about a child's boot left in the house because it was once used as a cobblers', and was supposed to bring luck. I am not a superstitious man but the cat is a little bit of village history and adds charm to the property." During an interview, the witchcraft and folklore expert, Marion Gibson, from Exeter University explained, "Cats were often put into walls as some kind of good luck charm. It seems to have been quite a widespread practice across the European continent. They seem to have been designed to keep away witches, the evil eye, bad luck, vermin, or anything that can be seen as a threat to the house." I find it odd then that black cats are still considered to be "bad luck" omens by many people. After all, if cats have the power to ward off anything evil, it seems to me that they are quite precious and need to be worshipped. Do you consider felines to be "good luck" to their owners? Leave a comment and share your thoughts about the article.