Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

I’m don’t intend to delve into the types of feminism, the history or the politics, surges and repressions. I’m going to the heart, speaking from the heart without wanting to use cultural extras or the need for validation. I can’t do that without giving observations and experience but I’m going to try not to give specific data on this one and tangent into sub-topics that would need posts all of their own. I’ll likely start and finish with two cultural premises but other than that I really just want to talk about the feeling of feminism here.

To me feminism is innate, a powerful protective wide-sweeping feeling but acknowledging that in time as we know it being born female in many places/times has and is a social disadvantage whether human or non-human, like a group punishment. Some say we’re born into lives we deserve but when I look at societies that says to me ‘if you’ve been bad, then you’re more likely to reborn into this group, that’s where those ones ended up’ – it’s organized which I karma on principle is, but I don’t like it and I think that’s unfair when we’re born without memory and not formed enough i.e. unable to do basic things like walk, run, feed ourselves – things many other animals can very quickly do, not all, but many. Of course animals are included in karma and not all of them are below us in that hierarchy but most are so it’s not fair on any of us in my opinion. I always found karma confusing – if we sinned (and for the sake of argument I’ve used the word sin as if it were something we all or mostly agreed on such as treating others the way we’d like to be treated and actually meaning it rather than ‘one rule for me and mine and it doesn’t matter about you’) in one group why be punished in another group? How can one group be kept as superior to another if its own members are sinning and then are taken to another group to be punished, that looks like fiddling the stats to me and distracting from the causes and ideas behind what would make them superior/inferior. Who/whatever’s in charge of that one could easily say ‘that so and so pissed me off so I’ll make them into one of those to punish them and make it look like the group they came from is clean.’ Ok ok so I know that the response to that is if they hurt somebody in another group they should be a member of that group to find out how it feels, I get that and I can understand the feeling that needs to make them know what they’ve done to others but what it results in is a punishment group, a principle some religions/systems don’t deny although seek to enforce with tales from supposed common ancestor(s) and negates the question ‘what if they weren’t from that common ancestor but ended up in that punishment group?’ That makes it look like they’re at fault because of the common ancestor rather than their own past behaviour – again glossing over the non-punishment group(s). Another thing it doesn’t account for are all the sins people commit to those within their own group/ings. Somehow I don’t think that a universal or Earth bound system of punishment and reward would be so hugely remiss, that sounds more like person thinking to me, not the amazingly intricate yet works style of nature that somehow doesn’t include humans to many people – a sort of disconnection.

I am a feminist and the other ‘ists’/anti-prejudices when it comes to social inequality. The term has always been taboo, even I feel awkward saying it sometimes which I think is a shame, and unlike the other anti-prejudice titles has up until recently carried an expectation that only females can really be called feminists even though everyone can subscribe to other titles whether they apply to them or not. There are of course exceptions but I’m talking generally. Another recent change seems to be a backlash to that decrease in expectation; usually the women against it just say they’re against feminism but now there’s a collective called ‘womenagainstfeminism’ and dismissing all feminism/feminists as ‘feminazis’ which I think is a totally ungrateful term, a slap in the face of all that’s been done for us when push comes to shove, reminding me of the use of a certain racial terms that later generations use comfortably but deeply upsets those who remember what it was like and those who still suffer.

Being a feminist doesn’t mean I have an ‘us vs them’ agenda. There’s always a ton of that going around in society as it is. It means I care whether I want to or not, whether it’s personal or not, I care and I care a lot.

It is my composition, my nature. It’s not just a philosophical issue that can be debated back and forth on its uses, merits, place in society like a tool. Others use and see it that way, I don’t. To me it’s a real, raw, for lack of a better word ‘thing’. The battles and wars we face are still going.

Like many people I’ve come across open enough to admit it or where it’s obvious, I don’t like most people, men or women. I care for them fiercely but I don’t like most that I’ve met or learned about. Heck the same applies to non-human animals as I’ve said before who I marginally prefer to people in that they’re more vulnerable as a group even though they include so many more species with so many differences but are compared in a lump against humans, but I’m still vegan. Many people see veganism as a humungous lifestyle change (though it’s not hard once we accept its mostly about mental barriers) so why would I do it when I didn’t know it would be so easy for me if I didn’t care. I didn’t do it for personal gain, other than personal health there’s little direct personal benefit from it other than knowing the Earth/animals have suffered a little less and that counts but it’s not directly personal. It’s something that needs masses to participate in for communal benefit to make a noticeable impact that we in general as beings on Earth can see and directly feel better for. I’m enough of a realist to say that won’t happen but it doesn’t stop me.

Not liking a lot or most people isn’t uncommon (except the caring deeply part) for most people I’ve met who just want to get along with ‘business of life’. Most of their person-to-person connections don’t make their personal bubble and they either dislike many around them greatly or ignore/try not to make opinions with weight about them because they don’t really matter to their personal circle, they can publicly tolerate them and that’s what matters. That or be ‘frenemies’. I’ve said for a long time that I think many women are just men dressed as women/in women’s skin. That’s phraseology and not necessarily literal, it doesn’t mean that men/women are different in terms of personality. It does have a number of reasons e.g. having to conform to character types to succeed in types of occupation and of course that implies an acceptance of cultural constructs on gender based on sex, which I don’t. It’s hard to explain as it also involves a sort of difference in feminism, physical and metaphysical where physically on the outside if you’re female there’s likelihood of disadvantage in society or at the very least social perceptions/bias whether they manifest into prejudice or not they still hold underlying influence. As a collective that hasn’t changed much over time as we acknowledge it, and change hasn’t happened fast or easily. Metaphysically there’s a sort or division between being female and being feminine, something more to do with how I consider original/natural being rather than but including the cultural constructs of gender based on sex. Put it this way even though I can see groups are treated according to likenesses and differences I wouldn’t say I trust a woman over a man because she’s a woman. I would call that just as dismissive and distracting as calling feminism ‘man bashing’. Just like because I’m never been racist doesn’t mean I support Obama or the use of a Black police figurehead in the tactical change over at Ferguson Missouri recently which distracts from what the protestors (not including the vandals/looters whose origin and motivations are ambiguous) are protesting about, how they’ve been treated and the ‘weirdness’ of choosing who gets arrested and why. Anyway going off topic and specific, trying to write about the feeling of feminism or anything without examples and sidetracking whilst trying to stay on track/remember the point is difficult.

I get on better with women and older men but find I get used for my strength/energy/vitality and when I feel fatigued they scorn/get bored. When in groups rather than one-on-one I find we can get along very well once they get comfortable they then ‘tolerate’ me and start concocting caricatures of themselves based on what I had/gave to the group. Each time it turns out that they whilst I was very interested in their stories/life experience they never really shared my ideals or wanted to be the best people we could be (which is pretty much what has motivated my life so my interests revolve around that quite a bit) which involves consistent evaluation/improvement until as original/ideal as possible or at least anywhere near in the circumstances. They do however see and like my drive and work standards and for that purpose can be nice. Each time they wanted me for my know-how to change a system so they could be successful and once successful they didn’t need me any more (let alone think about sharing the success). Most actually wanted to be on a level which whilst not on it would criticize it but were really admiring and inspired by the glamour/wealth/prosperity and would sound nice or make token gestures but it’s mainly PR. Whereas I would be earning the least, still paying out everything necessary, looking after those close to me and giving ¼ to charity (an old Hindu way of thinking that I took to heart though I’m not Hindu). I have nothing of value to those except when they need me to get them out of/through a situation they’ve made or exacerbated. Yet before mixing with others and I say ‘others’ rather than ‘them’ because it happens to me so often. When more of a reserved person I flourish and when mixing it’s like they do magic and reduce me or just end up better off perhaps saying ‘Sorry Dolly’ if I’m lucky and then they continue with the ‘business of living’. I don’t usually talk about about negative personal experience, listeners/readers tend to find it offputting, self-focused and pretentious but I thought it necessary to show that I could easily look at experience and stop being feminist. But it’s about more than my experience, it’s about everybody/’thing’s’ experience and ultimate Earth, even beyond.

Unfortunately I don’t tend to get on as well with people closer to my age because we don’t often share the same/similar interests, even if we do it’s usually limited and I find myself being accessible to their schedules and ideas but if I want to try something/go somewhere I always have to schedule long in advance if they’re interested at all. I become ‘good old Dolly’ who they know they can depend on and will contact if other more interesting things/people are lacking or they want a change from routine. (I’m sure a lot of people have reasons to blame me for that but chivalrous and polite in general even to people I dislike much of the time – a characteristic I don’t like. I figure it’s best to be good to people not necessarily nice but good though as soon as I see others I smile at them and as soon as my mouth opens I’m being self-deprecating and courteous. It takes time and reminding myself to push certain people away.) I know many people say ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’ but at least I’m not the one who orchestrates relationships. All of us, no matter how intellectual or intelligent or both can be fooled even to chain like and massive degrees. I’m a feminist but that doesn’t mean I’m oblivious to the point that in so bloody long the ongoing oppression and degradation of such a massive and inclusive group (i.e. women and men are two very groupings made up of members of all the other groups including other species) who hence as a whole know what inequality feels from many group prejudices, can’t happen without sell-outs, enough internal/external support and a degree of acceptance/complacency (many reasons for but not all sympathetic).

As I’ve said on my ‘About little ol’ me?’ page the arguments are similar for the major socially disadvantaged groups just the faces/names change but to have managed to degrade half the planet is insane. Then to keep it so and have so little and such painfully slow progress if any (there is much more the world than the ‘modern’ parts) is almost inconceivable if it weren’t true. Even in the so-called modern parts women are still paid less for the same jobs, a scary percentage of people in national surveys (even in more ‘open’ and sexually inhibited places) blame the victim (made up of mainly women and children) in sex abuse. I heard about one judge recently claiming a young girl was to blame, making the man rape her and then people think we’re so advanced yet there’s MPs and other professionals in authoritative positions such as psychiatrists wanting the age of consent lowered to 12. Although if they go further to claim the onset of puberty it could be approx 9 years old with menstruation. Not so far off from what many think of as barbarians a bit more in the East eh? (Heck a can of worms opened with the Jimmy Saville case and so-called pillars and beloved faces of society on a rampant, institutionalised scale and that is just looking at a tiny timeframe in the not so distant past!)

So no I’m not likely to be an anti-feminist, sit on the fence or not be concerned, feminism was the first ‘ism’ I ever felt/got into and yet at the same time I was arguing about why donating, trying to help individual people (children and adults) in impoverished, warn torn, disease ridden places was not a question of ‘why bother? Why save only 1? They’ll likely die anyway’. (Obviously now I’m older I realize that if donating you have to look into the financial/political actions of charities.) I was 8-9, my counter/opposition was 30-something. If I’d had that conversation today I’d add things I hadn’t realized or been able to fully comprehend and they are obvious feminist points:

“When you see the masses and masses of impoverished people in ‘developing/third world countries’ do you think all those girls and young women want to be like the older women they see making children they can’t feed, seeing and suffering with them listening to the cries or their quiet hunger and sickness? Let alone continually risking their lives/health and watching many children and peers die?”

“Endless amounts of street children trying to survive and/or waiting to ‘til they die? Thinking ‘this is life’ or ‘this is all there is.’ They think they have to have sex, to go along with many males think is their right. All are suffering, children are both male and female but ‘shit travels downhill’ and frustration of one group is put upon/done the same to the next group down the ladder. E.g. the middle to the lower classes, working to not working, getting angry at work and taking on those at home or vice versa if one is the boss, men to women, hetero to other orientations, adults to children, child bullies to weaker or quieter kids, humans to animals/the environment. Pretty soon it turns into or reduces to predator/prey/victimiser/victim/master/slave and that is not right or healthy.”

“Females have always had a harder time achieving the respect of NO whether it’s said or not, obviously thought or not. When they think it’s duty, even if they’re not sure or enthusiastic they mainly go along and try their best. The onus and responsibility for sex and ‘getting pregnant’ as if they did it asexually is mostly on them. It is they who have to take action one way or another because once at that stage they have no choice to ignore it. If/when they can as an individual or group communicate that they should have a choice or ‘no’, it’s a long hard struggle to take affect; so many give up and others fall further to/into religion telling them it’s part of life/expected. Where can they turn for support when they can’t depend on each other or the superimposed God(s) over their local deities which included strong, wild, freer female spirits and Goddess(es) as well as the nurturing, gentle and playful characteristics.”

“The modern interpretation of ‘emancipation’ has made or pushes women into being ‘goddesses’ when they’re not but are confronted with superwomen in the media and even more pressure to be everything and not just to cope but excel in every sphere of modern life; education, family, work, social, personal time, relationships and look great, be fit, youthful and sexy at the same time. All whilst keeping such women accessible to the male audience of whom nowhere near as many are metrosexual or have any desire to be and as such are trained to have higher/more expectations. There are of course superficial women but how often do you notice ‘nice personality’, ‘funny’ or ‘listens’ on guy’s ‘want/babe lists’ of women.”

“What does it matter in the end? What difference will it make? How can you help 1/few if not all you ask? Well I ask: no matter how poor we’ve been or hard we’ve had it, when it never lets up, everytime you’ve had a full bowl or eaten too much because of stress/upset and felt sick, wouldn’t you have preferred or liked to share it with them? With those who need it? A character from the TV show ‘Friends’ called Phoebe once said something about giving/helping being a selfish action, because it makes you feel good. It was popular at the time when I first heard it in a class as an argument. I was blank for a moment, ‘huh?’ ‘What does she mean?’ I thought to myself. “That’s not true” I said, “there’s helping out of duty, obligation or simply because it’s the right thing to do.” The teacher looked at me like he finally figured something out about me. I’ve rarely felt self-satisfaction or pleasure from just being me in that regard, it’s natural to want to and actually try to/help, it’s not an extra producing an extra emotion on top of what’s normal. What is happening to them could easily happen to me, we’re not entirely separate, we are bonded and our thoughts and actions effect each other. Whether someone or myself has needed help I’ve rarely felt a thrill from assistance/assistance. Only really ever quiet meaning and/or profound sadness because the situation happened and what they/we went through. Some people are of the opinion that we shouldn’t feel guilt or shame on behalf of others or our ancestors “we didn’t do what they did”, “we didn’t cause this” – didn’t we. Even if not, they’re all too willing to praise, share in the credit/glory of, live vicariously through and encourage familial bond/feeling with positive culture and achievement of others and ancestors.

However, many including those who need help (an ever growing amount locally and afar) don’t feel personal duty let alone theirs/everyone’s social duty so in that case take the scriptwriter’s words for Phoebe. Wouldn’t you like to feel better about yourself, to help yourself, to know you’ve helped someone even a little bit, to brighten their day? Aren’t you nicer to others around you at least when you feel good about yourself? To me that’s not enough, I can’t stop thinking about one act of helping to/for an individual not stopping or fixing our suffering. But in the meantime, whatever it takes within ethical boundaries to make things better at least. Walking past, not seeing and criminalizing the homeless, mutilated pigeons and those generally thought of as ‘vermin’ doesn’t make things better for example. Just carrying around granola or being aware of local shelters/places to sleep does make a difference. What does it matter? It matters to the person who doesn’t have to be as cold/wet or the bird who was dazed that you moved out of the way of traffic. (Many think no one’s watching, to care about what we think/don’t think, do/don’t do yet we’re all watching/feeling. We have a collective memory that can’t be erased, up to the very last blade of grass every experience is ingrained in us.)”

“Who am I to judge? Someone who takes responsibility. I don’t agree with destiny, karma; there’s plenty of people who feel the same but acting for bad (plutocracy, conquering, personal wealth off the backs of others), in recorded history that we have there’s never been enough acting for good.”

You could say I was already disposed to it but feminism allowed me to voice and act/demonstrate my care for everybody/’thing’. It was my source/well of ability to make my branches strong enough to try and support everybody who needed it and to keep doing it because I’m only one person and there’s so many, me included. That said had I started out vegan I think I would have been a lot stronger and more effective help for those who deserved it much faster. It is the whole in one, for Earth, animals (non-human and human) and the self.

Interestingly enough when I was ‘old enough to choose a god for myself’ lol what an idea, some family members – Hindu – walked me through the major ones mainly via depiction but with quick description. I was already aware of the ‘ultimate’ ones to the extent of name & prominence – of course not the back history. But there was only one I was interested in. (One though given acknowledgement, widely treated as a ‘rare rarity’ to the point of myth. Though a myth those who still pray to usually do so out of a desperate need for help or desire to ‘keep appeased, just in case’.) She – and Lalita and Bala two hardly known – predate Hinduism but were absorbed in probably to keep the natives happy as they were from the maa-root culture of Mother/Child (Maid/Daughter)/Dark Mother (Crone).

“Who is that?”
“Kali”

Oh yes, I am a feminist.

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Art from https://www.facebook.com/KaliTheDarkGoddess

To end on a passing thought; according to a modern translation of a version of the ‘Fall of man’ (initially Fall of the Daughter/Maid), if one woman got so intelligent or wise to scare/upset/shake the foundations of that place/society of such powerful beings and their overlord and be condemned to eternal punishment and all her female descendents and other females regardless of fatherhood would suffer the same fate. And all children in general would thereafter have to be cleaned of the sin of being born of a woman who did ‘such a thing’ and then of women in general, all by getting too clever, who/what the heck was she really? We should be grateful she gave us some smarts at least since the God/s of modern and classical religion are notoriously cruel, fickle, vengeful (different from retribution) and have a taste for raping (including rape through deception/trickery or just telling them that’s the way it is/honour) and impregnating children and women (how old was Mary supposed to be, a young teen.) No wonder having sex with minors and ‘adults’ who were children a few days ago was the ‘in-thing’ and/or normal for so long and still going.

She should have eaten as many as she could. I would have taken the lot or as much as I could and fed them to everybody/all the animals and the tree would probably have dropped them on me to give me the idea in the first place ;-) I like trees with personality.

Today is World Humanitarian Day and Savior of the Apple Feast Day.

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TIP 6 – Mushroom Ketchup! Break some large mushrooms, throw over them a good quantity of salt, and let them stand two nights. Strain and press out the liquor, and put into a stewpan with black pepper bruised, sliced ginger, shalots, and horse-radish. Boil it an hour, strain it, and bottle it up quite close […]

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When I visited Silver Dollar City (SDC) in 2008 I wasn’t sure what I was expecting; just another fun filled theme park with fast rides, junk food and long waiting lines I surmise but I was in for a big surprise. SDC was nothing like I’d imagined and exceeded all expectations filled with wonder, awe, […]

So continuing from yesterday’s World Cat Day post here is the post dedicated to our own cat goddess. “Meow” ^_^

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Beast in the bushes.

Top Ten Facts

1. 10 years old, or 10 years young I should say since she’s still like a kitten to us at least.

2. She likes plants and if you move any of her plants or they change in any way, she will know.

3. She is great at football, she can control and move the (tennis) ball perfectly even when balancing e.g. on the beams between chair legs.

4. She’s generally ‘nicely’ tempered, shy with strangers but then my animal companions always know how to act well behaved in front of strangers, aside from normal bad moods, the odd scratch and bite without any heart in it but just doing it to make a point you wouldn’t think that… She’s a brawler. She can go for ages with you thinking she’s all nice and cute and then Bam! Another cat comes along and it’s trash talking and fighting time with the other cat then realizing how stupid it was and trying its best to back out. There’s currently a stupid or sadistic cat next door that knows she doesn’t like it but winds her up in the evenings and sometimes calls her in the day outside, tried to pop in a window once. She got face to face with it once and it look like it regretted it and grateful when I got in between yet it still comes around. Seriously they’re just like annoying people that act tough behind a barrier and think they can get away with it.

5. She loves Mum, totally devoted; follows her around everywhere, loves to lay down/sit next to her and just stare, the closer to eye level the better. They have their own mini-language. They’re a bit of a comedy duo as Mum hates to be touched, doesn’t like touching others, doesn’t like things near her feet etc but loves kitty as much as possible and they are obviously best friends. They argue all the time and are quite similar; though Kitty barely listens to anything she’s told and pushy but whenever she’s in a bad mood with Mum it doesn’t last. She harasses Mum and wants to be centre of attention but they really are best friends as only they can be. For example, when we wake up she’ll totally bypass me if Mum is awake to greet Her. She tells Mum off for the slightest things like singing, blowing a kiss or sneezing – she acts like she’s been insulted when Mum sneezes lol – things that she’ll mostly ignore me doing but she wants to be near Mum and will even stay near quite a bit when in a bad mood but will let her tail do the talking “talk to the tail ‘coz the face ain’t listening”.

Satirical version of Kitty, Mum and Me.

Satirical version of Kitty, Mum and Me.

6. As you may have noticed we don’t have a ‘proper’ name for her, and that’s because we just couldn’t think of one that suited. So she’s called Kitty which to my mind is like calling a lion ‘Leo’ or a reptile ‘Draco’ and not really a name but Mum says it’s fine; plus she has a multitude of terms of endearment for Kitty anyway.

7. She used to be one of those cats that jumps on anything that moves but has learned to leave insects alone.

8. Is a typical cat in that she has to sit on the top layer of anything, as soon as you put something down she’s on it.

Seriously, why? How is that position comfy?

Seriously, why? How is that position comfy?

I realize these pics make her look like a layabout, t's hard getting ones when she's moving around.

I realize these pics make her look like a layabout, it’s hard getting ones when she’s moving around.

9. She doesn’t like her sides or stomach rubbed.

10. She went through major changes when she was chipped (done to her before she came to us); not only did it leave a bald patch but prior she was a regular outdoors cat and ate anything people ate. After being chipped she got scared of going out by herself without a chaperone, preferred to stay in and would get lost easily outside if not regularly checked on. She became extremely picky about what she ate – no longer eating the same food as humans but only ‘cat food’ and then only in partial amounts before leaving it and if she left it even for a few moments before going back to the plate wouldn’t touch it again. If you tried to show it to her or get her to eat more/finish it she’d just ignore you and act like the plate’s empty – ignoring you altogether or have some biscuits and walk away. Food that she’d seemed to like one day would then go off it, even when alternating ‘flavours’, types and brands. She also stopped drinking from a bowl and would only have running water, not swirling water like in a cat/dog electronic bowl but running water like from a fountain. She was like that for years but after having been with just us she has improved, likes going out and has got her sense of location back. The food issue is still difficult and she’d be better off eating more of what we eat as reading the ingredients on most highstreet brand cat food is sickening enough being animal based but it’s also extremely low quality, filler junk food. I don’t care what the adverts say most of their ingredients lists are very similar and there’s only a couple of store brands that don’t add artificial anything and everything to recipes without buying specialist brands let alone ‘cleaner’ less-gm and so-called less cruel brands. I’ve known a lot of people who feed cats dry food only, many of which also have little to no meat/fish in them and/or just added taurine though still called ‘whole/complete food’. People go on about cats being carnivorous; needing this, that and the other and that it’s neglect/abuse to feed them different diets/’food groups’ but most brands I’ve seen have approx 4% meat/fish and derivatives in them so they’re eating less of it than their ‘owners’. That said kitty knows how to be a yogi when it comes to refusing food, and becoming immune to weather.

An excellent backscratcher for persons of fur and humans?

This is a review I wrote a while back for a ball launcher we bought:

WHY I BOUGHT THIS:

In another time and/or place a bunch of tennis balls have found their way and I hope are living a contented and peaceful life.

However in this dimension my lack of tennis balls equals an annoyed feline which many of us know does not make a happy or uneventful home. It means more running around, shouting, despairing at scratched fabrics and noticing other things going missing, perhaps out of vengeance or spite? I know that the weeble that went missing years ago never turned up again even after determined hunting and a residential move. But then again I think that disappearance was the result of conspiracy between the furry and feathery members of the family/household and so the plan was so cunning and hiding place so clever that a mere foolish human such as myself was unable to find it ever again… not even the cold, wobbly remains of it.

So fast forwarding to the almost present, I couldn’t afford to get another set of 16 tennis balls and despite my search on the local highstreet there was no sight of one. Eventually I found a Poundland and asked an assistant who in dismay said sorry we don’t stock those. Damn I thought, how hard is it to find a ball! Even a bouncy ball! Then at the checkout that same assistant said she saw some of these launchers and that we (Mother and I) could use the ball from that. The price of being free of the kitty equivalent of dirty looks is well worth more than a pound and oh well if it meant storage space being taken up with the unnecessary bit (the launcher).

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The product photo pretty much says it all but in short it’s a two piece item; the launcher is a long, smooth plastic stick with curves in all the right places to act as an extended arm, it’s medium Blue in colour and lightweight for ease of use and aim without your arm shaking. It’s like having the arm of a rounders pitcher without the hours of practice. One end is thicker and ridged with finger sized indentations for better grip and the other side is the ball holder which is scalloped to hold it firmly enough until launched. The side with the hand grip is almost hollow, making it really light to hold.

The ball is a simple rubber ball of slightly lighter weight than a conventional tennis ball and coloured in matching Blue and bright lime Green – not quite fluorescent but not far off. The ‘fur’ is very thin and close cut to the ball, so not furry… to start with anyway.

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The whole toy came in a clear plastic bag with cardboard label on top.

MULTIPLE AND IMAGINATIVE USES

1. First and foremost this toy is used as a masseur. Yep, we thought we were going to give her the ball and that would be it but to our surprise, as I removed it from the bag she immediately went up to it and stroked her face against the ball, whilst it was still in the launcher. She enjoyed it so much that she lay on her back and used her paws to manoeuvre the ball around her face, on her head and under her chin. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

2. The ball is removable so it becomes the choice of the furry person as to whether they want it in the launcher or by itself. When the human holding the ball becomes a burden and unable to serve their purpose as expected the furry person can easily remove the ball from the holder, with their paws if they’re classy or with their teeth if they’re eager, and massage themselves. Good for them, the overworked underpaid human doesn’t mind the extra break.

3. The stick itself next came under inspection and was not found wanting. It could be used as a massager too! The contours make it perfect for stroking curves all over at the same time and its smooth texture means that it can be used for stroking with and against the fur. For a more vigorous massage the head can be used as the perfect head massager. Of course it takes a human to do this, so be prepared when the person of fur gets tired of massaging themselves with the ball. We’ve also found that the launcher removes loose/malting hair really well and in thin filmy layers so it’s all in one place and easy to clean up afterwards.

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4. Safety first! An excellent advantage of using this toy for grooming is that you have reach and that it’s not part of your body, that way when the furry ‘bundle of joy’ has had enough and rather than move away, puts up with the stroking whilst getting annoyed at you as if you’re psychically/telepathically supposed to know when to stop, instead of being mauled this handy modern stick and ball will protect you and act as a chew toy.

5. Other than acting as a pampering tool for the furry menace, this toy is pretty damned good at reaching things in high and awkward places like on top of cupboards and under beds so step ladders/standing on chairs and swearing after pulling your shoulder to reach something becomes a thing of the past. Also being superior than just using something long or a regular stick, the head on this makes a substitute light grip for holding and retrieving said out of reach objects.

6. If you’re a fan of Laurel and Hardy – you can do a really weird impression of Stan scratching his head by using the launcher instead…

7. You can actually scratch, well rub your own back with this for particularly difficult to reach places – you have to hold the stick backwards though so that the main arch/curve faces away from you otherwise the head won’t reach your back. It’s not exactly a replacement back scratcher and I’ve only just tried it now to see if it works but it’s quite soothing (lame I know).

ITS ORIGINAL PURPOSE

OK in regards to the actual intent of this playful tool – it’s really designed as a dog toy and for humans to play in harmony with their furry friends of the canine persuasion in the classic game of ‘Catch’. For that purpose this is an immensely helpful toy as not only will it increase the velocity of your ball throwing, it barely takes any effort and could help the reach of those with limited mobility. Your furry friend will get good exercise from this, but it’s best not to get carried away and throw it too hard and fast so that they will lose the ball before they get to the destination especially if you have the ‘fortune’ of living with the one with a thorough and compulsive personality where they have to complete a task no matter how long it takes or how arduous. For example, you don’t want to throw the ball at the beginning of a picnic, finish eating and then wonder where the dog got to…

Also bear in mind that the increased strength, distance and speed that this launcher will give you and the ball means that more items can or will be likely to get damaged in the process; use with caution indoors or in small gardens and the best place to witness the full extent of this simple but effective tool is in a wide open space like a park or field.

CONCLUSION

I’ve found this stick to be very durable, even with all the scratches and rough and tumble. The curve allows it to bend a fair bit which has decreased the possibility of it breaking but then again I’ve never used it much with rigour or for its original purpose so I don’t know how much strain it can take though it’s pretty hardy.

As aforementioned the ball is removable and hence replaceable. I’ve started debating whether to replace the ball as it could really do with a professional hairdresser. When I originally bought this I actually commented “at least it’s not as furry as a tennis ball, she won’t be able to bite it and get bits in her mouth” – oh how wrong I was. I never would have thought that this clean shaven crew cut ball would end up looking like a troll doll on a really bad hair day. It has so much fur on it that I’m almost incredulous as to how it was so tightly packed down to the surface/rubber in the first place, it’s furrier than any regular tennis ball we had. We find bits of it everywhere but the sticking point is she really likes it and likes playing with the ball of fur, likes biting bits off and playing football with it that way and it makes it easier for her to hold. So I guess for now it stays.

All in all it’s give high value for money with many hours of contented play and other practical and not-so-practical purposes. It has form and function – what more could you ask?

Note of caution (mean but funny) – Be careful to put this away if there’s anyone in your household of a jumpy disposition, because in the dark this really looks like a rearing snake. The similarity is visibly noticeable in the day so at night in that split second before rationalizing what the unrecognized character could possibly be the image of a snake isn’t so implausible and a scream could be uttered or choked before the lights are turned on. Ahem.

———————————————————————————————————-

(Note – Since the above was written we’ve found that she actually prefers a wooden spoon as a ‘back scratcher’ and it’s much better for a thorough massage, removing loose hair, not poking or being too rough if not brushed gently like many brushes, go figure.)

cat

‘Meow’ to you underlings. (Though the general cat-call is more like ‘Mau’ and so whenever our Kitty calls Mum it sounds like ‘Ma’).

As you can tell from that greeting today’s post has a cat connection; today being World Cat Day :-) Well it was, we started this post yesterday and now it’s the 9th but hey it’s still the 8th across the ocean.

I could open by saying cats are a strange species, but then aren’t we all? It’s just easy to associate mystery and capriciousness with cats isn’t it? As far as known human history goes the little furry menaces have been associated with divinity, other-worldliness, regality, nobility, detachment, cunning, independence yet loving and affectionate – a creature to be treated with respect, awe and the usual ‘awww SO cute!/beautiful!‘ factor. I guess it could be said that they have an x-factor ;-) and as a predator rank higher up in the human psyche.

Big cats and small cats generally share the same reputations and both have also been associated with femininity; for good and bad reasons. From poetic descriptions of their grace and elegance to a lioness’ fierce protectiveness over cubs (well they have to with male lions attacking/killing cubs that aren’t theirs) to the notion that ‘women are like cats, and men are like dogs‘ similar to the assertion that ‘women are from Venus and men are from Mars‘ both trying to distinguish and separate the two main human sexes. Of course that has no bearing on favourites with many men liking/preferring cats and women liking/preferring dogs or those who like both.

Their importance to us being emphasized with the terms we’ve attributed to them such as a female cat being called a ‘Queen‘ and male who is a progenitor a ‘sire‘ though otherwise a ‘tom/tomcat‘. In a tongue-in-cheek fashion humans aren’t said to own/have cats, but are tolerated by the furry felines and graced by their presence – again though if you’ve ever shared a domicile with other dominant personalities (*thinks of Harry the parrot, one of my bff’s*) you may have found that mutual tolerance, a sense of humour and mutual adoration is necessary to co-exist peacefully, that or subservience after a bitter war (though the ‘winning’ side can go either way, it can be a close call, perhaps with follow-up coup-de-tats and the ‘winner’ may find they’ve given in a lot in concessions).

That said like any other animal they are also subject to use and abuse such as many ‘faux fur’ items being made of cat, dog and the fur of other ‘small’ creatures not needing to be labelled as real fur. Then remembering the question – where did little cats come from?

Although it has been commonly accepted that cats were first domesticated in Egypt 4000 years ago, their history among human beings goes back much further. Wild cats are now known to have lived among the people of Mesopotamia over 100,000 years ago and to have been domesticated there approximately 12,000 BCE at about the same time as dogs, sheep, and goats. Archaeological excavations in the past ten years have provided evidence that the Near Eastern Wildcat is the closest relative of the modern-day domestic cat and was bred by Mesopotamian farmers, most probably as a means of controlling pests, such as mice, which were attracted by grain supplies.

http://www.ancient.eu.com/article/466/

I hate human breeding practises/farms/mills etc. Like dogs small cats and humans share a special relationship. More noticeably than dogs though kitty history is abit murky and changeable like with most ‘divine beings’ in culture/religion.

French=Chat
Welsh=Cath
Arabic=Kitt
Polish=Kot
Syrian=Kato
Sanskrit=Puccha
Persia=Pushak
Italian=Gatto
Spanish=Gato
Lithuanian=Puize
German=Katze
Russian=Kots
Irish=Pus

http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/names/history.htm

More countries are listed here http://user.xmission.com/~emailbox/say_cat.htm The Cantonese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese have the easiest ones imo *(o_o)*

Cats, Reptiles and Witches, oh my!

Cat reverence reminds me somewhat of the reptile position in olde worlde culture; seen as both transport/chairs/beds/pets/companions for the deities as well as deities themselves. There seems a distinction between our big/small cat, snake/lizard populations and ‘more sentient’ beings that resemble them (meaning we’ve attributed more sentience to a supernatural sort rather than the mundane versions); like a ‘people(s)’/dominant race(s) of their own. For example reptilians and cat people (catlings?) commonly found in ancient cultures to references in modern literature usually deemed as fiction/fantasy – but is there more to it than our imaginations anthropomorphizing?

Early on cats and reptiles/dragons were seen like people or super people, having both good and bad members mostly until early Christianity when ‘serpents’ and women were wholesale vilified, and later along with their cats in witch hunts. Yep having a cat was seen as a justifiable reason to accuse/brand (wasn’t much different between being called and condemned really was there, you were doomed either way) women and some men a witch since ‘of course’ cats, Black ones in particular, were a sign of evil and magic – an ability no one other than the chosen one and prophets were allowed to utilize but they of course weren’t doing magic they were performing miracles by the ‘grace of god’ – a familiar and perhaps even the witch herself after transformation. Perhaps the only way to ‘guarantee’ not being ‘ousted as a witch’ was probably by pretending/or being the most pious church goer and doing whatever/succumbing to the desires of the local elites priests included and not getting on their bad side, though heck what if they got tired of you and wanted another snoop/mistress?

The above is an interesting cartoon depicting a magical group of girls who due to the first letter or their names call themselves WITCH and later on features a Black cat that imo isn’t altogether trustworthy, a bit like Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Even that killing spree couldn’t eliminate human love for cats though, who are back in ‘pride of place‘ as one of the most popular human companions. Snakes and reptiles are more of an acquired taste (and harder to house properly outside of their wild homes) but other than scaring people witless (like mice do even though they’re prey to many slithery ones) they’ve always been associated with knowledge/intelligence (and the hiding of it) much like the craft of various magicks being kept to initiates. The woman-snake-cat link still prevails in people’s minds and in modern religions it’s often not complimentary unless looking at them further and realizing that earlier woman/en (not the first according to the same literature) were blamed for seeing beyond a deception by ‘higher’ beings and/or having access to their innate ‘magical’ kundalini energy which others were jealous of. One of the phrases associated with ‘witch’ was intelligent woman hence a potential risk/defiant, it has been portrayed to us that it is a crime/sin to be an intelligent woman even when helping others. Amazing how Prometheus who stole fire from the ‘gods’ is deemed a hero by people (obviously not said-‘gods’ who in their usual way came up with cruel, unusual and sustained punishment) and there’s hardly mention of wizards/warlocks/magicians being inherently evil as a group.

That said reptiles and cats don’t often get along in the old stories with cats tending to be associated with the primordial goddesses and their later replacements, and only a few reptile aspects & characters being associated with the primordial goddesses. Reptile and reptilian popularity in general are more common with the male deities and their consorts/later goddesses (the replacements of the primordial/demoted ones).

On a sidenote – cats have been thought as being able to give the ‘evil eye‘ (perhaps partially because they’re so adept at staring and a group of them can be called a ‘glaring;-) ), perhaps some of that is due to them having very reptile-like eyes and their tails reminding people of snakes, tails which seem to communicate and move of their own volition (like goddesses, deities and ‘higher beings’ then turned into demonized women in history whose hair was likened to snakes or the winners of said history just went the whole way and said such women consorted with reptiles or were reptiles – although I won’t totally overlook such claims with alien abductions, mind control et al ;-)). Birds tend to remind me of reptiles too but with feathers and beaks, birds (and people claiming links with pterosaurs) are another commonly featured animal and ‘race’ in religion/culture but not quite of the ranking of reptiles/reptilians and cats/cat people.

 

CAT GODS AND DEITIES

I’ll start with the most famous/commonly known:

(Get your eyeliner ready there is much crossover with the Egyptian and Hindu – and Norse pantheons. Hinduism later morphing into Buddism – polytheistic originally – and being the basis of modern monotheistic religions though previously fusing with Indo-Med-European ones to make a myriad of other amalgamations such as the Graeco-Roman pantheons. Not to mention the likenesses with Meso-Southern Americans. Yeah those ‘gods’ got upto everything, everywhere particularly covering up via adopting and demoting the ‘Mother cult‘/maa root culture of Earth peoples before them who later also lost it in degrees adopting more general animism/shaman systems.)

ANCIENT EGYPT

Tables from: http://www.landofpyramids.org/cat-goddesses.htm

 

Names of Egyptian Cat Goddesses

(not chronological or order of importance)

Bastet: Bast or Bastet giver of blessings to the good and a deliverer of wrath to the evil. Protector of the domestic, or household, cats.
Mihos: Mihos was the name of the lion-headed son of Bastet.
Sekhmet: Sekhmet, the warrior lioness goddess, the “Powerful One”. Her son, Nefertem, god of perfumes, also had a warlike aspect and could be depicted as a lion
Tefnut: Tefnut and her twin Shu were also worshipped as a pair of lions at Leontopolis
Mafdet: Mafdet, the first of the cat goddesses. She was ancient Egyptian lynx, lion or cheetah shaped war goddess, a cat goddess of protection, spitting fire at cobras. She was the original cat deity who killed the enemy of Ra, the monstrous serpent Apep. She was called the “Runner”
Mau: Mau, the ancient Egyptian word for cat, a personification of the sun god Ra, as a cat who killed Apep
Mekal: Mekal was the “fierce devourer” and a goddess of pestilence adopted from Canaan
Pakhet: Pakhet, “She Who Scratches”, was a big cat goddess who protected the living and the dead from evil
Menhit: Menhit was an Egyptian war goddess, depicted in the form of a lioness who sometimes wore the red crown of Lower Egypt
Matit: Matit was a funerary cat goddess who had a cult center at Thinis
Mut: Mut the great Mother Goddess was merged with Wadjet, Bastet, Menhit and Sekhmet, who were all warrior lioness goddesses.
Mut: Sesmu, the lion god of slaughter and execution
Wadjet: Wadjet was primarily a cobra goddess, similar in some respects to Meretseger, but she was also depicted in her aspect of a lion-headed goddess

 

 

 

History, Mythology and Facts about Cat Goddesses

 

Fact 1 about Cat Goddesses: Egyptians believed that the journey through the Underworld brought them from the “Jaws of the lion in the West” to the “Jaws of the lion in the East”.
Fact 2 about Cat Goddesses: Cats represented the soothing power of sleep and their beds and headrests were decorated with the heads of big cats
Fact 3 about Cat Goddesses: Pet lions and big cats were kept by the kings and pharaohs of Egypt as symbols of the sun god Ra for their powers of protection who also symbolized fierce combatants
Fact 4 about Cat Goddesses: The lioness was seen as a destroyer who annihilated the enemies of Egypt
Fact 5 about Cat Goddesses: The lion devoured the enemies of the gods and spat them out
Fact 6 about Cat Goddesses: Male big cats were depicted, in their protective role, crouching on the roofs of temples
Fact 7 about Cat Goddesses: The cat was a sacred animal and any person who killed a cat in ancient Egypt, either intentionally or unintentionally, was sentenced to death.
Fact 8 about Cat Goddesses: The earliest cat goddess recorded was Mafdet and described in the Pyramid Texts as killing a serpent with her claws
Fact 9 about Cat Goddesses: Every home in Bubastis would have a small shrine to the goddess Bastet as a protector of the household.
Fact 10 about Cat Goddesses: The domestication of cats in ancient Egypt is believed to date as far back as 3000BC. The first domesticated Egyptian cats were used for warding off snakes and rodents.

An extremely important Goddess not mentioned above was:

Neith or Net or Neit – A Mother Goddess (aka Mother of gods and creation), and as such described in many forms varying from a woman with the head of a lion, a cow to a snake. Her name also means ‘water’ and later ‘weaving’; seen as a warrior and wisdom goddess.

Sidenote – Ra was originally a feminine term and it’s interesting to note the cartoon ‘She-Ra: Princess of Power’ in which AdoRa/She-Ra is the good ‘Ra’ and ‘CatRa’ is the bad ‘Ra’; She-Ra’s enemy and part of the evil Horde. (Also interesting that she’s ‘paired’ as a twin, the one who was stolen/hidden/duped, the other being male who pales in comparison in his lazy attitude as Adam and abilities as He-Man, and his feline friend the frightened ‘Cringer’ who changes into ‘Battle Cat’.) In ancient Egypt male cats were seen as the personification of Ra (masculanized) and The Book of the Dead references the Great Cat-Ra killing a python. (Oh these cartoons and films include everything under the Sun – pardon the pun – I won’t even go into the Dark Mother references in the Sorceress in GreySkull who can’t Herself reach Adora/She-Ra and the proxy/false Dark Mother Shadow Weaver.)

WESTERN ASIA

Egypt didn’t have a monopoly on cat goddesses and associations from the areas around it, other parts of Africa had lion-goddesses though they were more noted in Western Asia particularly in the form of thrones, winged lionesses later becoming winged women and child-like people and of course sphinx like guardians at the doors of important architecture. The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge comes more into play in Western Asia too.

From: http://www.sourcememory.net/veleda/?p=278

The Goddess on a Lion Throne is abundantly attested in the archaeology of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Canaan/Israel. First we’ll look at some Phoenician scarabs showing lion thrones, often winged. Then, actual stone thrones from ancient Lebanon, Canaanite ivories with the winged sphinxes, and an alabaster effigy of ‘Ashtart enthroned with winged lionesses. This leads to commentary on some strong biblical parallels. And we’ll look at some late hellenized forms of the Anatolian Lion-Throned Goddess.

SCARABS

Phoenician scarab

Phoenician scarab

Goddess offers benediction to a supplicant, under a winged sun and the planet Venus.

Many of these Phoenician scarabs show a brazier for offering incense.

Scarab from Syracuse, Sicily

Scarab from Syracuse, Sicily

The many Phoenician finds in Sicily exhibit strong Egyptian influence. The Goddess wears the crown of Upper Egypt, with a very snaky uraeus, and holds a lotus sceptre, an attribute of Kemetic goddesses.

THE THRONES

Throne of ‘Ashtart, in her Phoenician chapel inside the Eshmun temple, Sidon, Lebanon.

Throne of ‘Ashtart, in her Phoenician chapel inside the Eshmun temple, Sidon, Lebanon.

The lion thrones in the scarabs depict actual thrones in Goddess temples. Besides this one, examples are known at ‘Ain Dara, near Aleppo, Syria; Dura Europos, on the Euphrates, Syria; and Khirbet et-Tannur, Jordan. Besides these, Inanna, Ishtar, and Kybele are depicted on lion thrones; while Isthtar, QDSU/Qadashah, ‘Ashtart, Asherah (in Tree form), Anahita, and the Hurrian goddess Hebat are among the goddesses shown standing on lions. (This is in no way an exhaustive list.)

THE IVORIES

Goddess thrones with lions or sphinxes have direct parallels in Canaanite ivories:

Ivory from Megiddo

Ivory from Megiddo

The winged sphinxes also appear in ivory furniture ornaments of Canaanite and early Hebrew palaces. She appears to hold a Double Feather crown of Egypt. Note her multiple lioness breasts.

Phoenician platter, circa 700 bce

Phoenician platter, circa 700 bce

The winged beings here flank the Tree of Life, a Goddess form. This is not speculation (see next image, and recall the exampless from the thrones of ‘Ashtart above).

Further south, early Israelite iconography shows the goddess Asherah as this palmate Tree, flanked by ibexes, and standing on a lion, just like Ishtar and Ashtart and Hebat.

flanked by ibexes, and standing on a lion, just like Ishtar and Ashtart and Hebat.

Asherah as Tree, pithos from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud

Asherah as Tree, pithos from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud

This discovery in the Sinai, along with another Asherah inscription at Khirbet el-Qom, finally broke through the long doctrinal insistence on Hebrew monotheism in the early kingdom period. The image combined with the inscription naming this goddess is quite powerful. Some scholars contend that the Asheratw of the inscription, and the asheroth/asherim of the Bible, allude only to a ritual pillar, not to the goddess. But since the pillar is named for the goddess and various prophets inveighed against both, this minimalist interpretation has little to recommend it, except to uphold the dogma that the Hebrews had nothing to do with any Goddess. And this claim conflicts with the testimony of Kings and Chronicles.

The archaeological record, too, shows overlap of Goddess/Tree flanked by rampant ibexes or goats. And more: the Lachish Ewer, found in a Canaanite temple circa 1500 bce, places a vulva in this central position. A goblet from the same sanctuary ties it all together even more dramatically with a menorah between the horned animals, and clinches the Goddess connection with an inscription that labels the goblet “an offering poured out to Elat.” As Joanna Stuckey points out, “the word for goddess, Elat, is positioned right over one of the stylized trees.” [See link above for more.] Descriptions of menorahs in the Bible leave no room for doubt that they represent the sacred Tree.

THE CHERUBIM AND THE MERCY SEAT

Now let’s look at this from another angle that relates directly to the Lion-Throned Goddess. We’ve seen goddesses depicted on the lion- or sphinx-flanked thrones; also represented by betyls on those thrones, and some empty thrones where the divine Presence is not depicted iconically. This last became the primary direction developed in monotheism, with its insistence on no direct representations of deity, now being understood in near-exclusively masculine terms. (There are a few references in the Hebrew Bible to godly motherhood.) Still, monotheism developed against a cultural background of preponderant Goddess iconography, and retained the archaic lion- or sphinx-throne. There are also some images of kings seated on such thrones: a stone relief of Ahiram and an incised ivory of an unnamed Canaanite ruler at Megiddo. But no gods on lion-thrones, only on thrones flanked by bulls, as discussed in previous posts.)

The Torah, however, continues to present the lion-throne as a divine seat, flanked by the cherubim.

Cherubim was the plural of kerūv in Hebrew:ּרוּב, ּרוּבִים, which was latinized as cherubim. It had a special dual form kərūvāyim (a common form in Semitic, but as we’ve seen, these beings typically appeared in pairs). Hebrew keruv has cognates in other Semitic languages: Assyrian karabu, Akkadian kuribu, and Babylonian karabu. The Assyrian name means “great, mighty,” but the Akkadian and Babylonian forms mean “propitious, blessed”. They saw these beings as guardians of the Sacred. In Genesis, cherubim stood with revolving swords of flame at the East of Eden, “to keep the way of the tree of life.” [Gen. 3:24] So when I look at the ‘Ashtart of Galera, I see her, the female Divine in all her Glory, between the same winged guardians:

Lady of Galera, Tutugí, Granada, southern Spain 450bce

Lady of Galera, Tutugí, Granada, southern Spain 450bce

The ‘Ashtart of Galera, Granada, was placed in a Spanish burial circa 450 bce but produced by Syrian or Lebanese artists near 200 years earlier. She is an alabaster vessel designed for libation rituals; the liquid poured in through her head flowed out from her breasts into the basin she holds.

Kybele, Hellenistic era, Ashdod

Kybele, Hellenistic era, Ashdod

A hellenistic Kybele from Ashdod, with her drum and a mural crown borrowed from the Syrian goddess Tyche.

Mater Deum, "Mother of the Gods"

Mater Deum, “Mother of the Gods”

Kybele on a Roman coin, title Mater Deum, “Mother of the Gods. She sits on the lion throne with sceptre and mural crown.

SOUTH AND EASTERN ASIA

Goddesses and deities portrayed as sitting on/with big cats is nothing new, it’s a widespread depiction/description as well as utilizing other animals/vimanas (flying machines that look like animals) but one with a lion head/body is:

Bhadra-Kali

SriMahaPratyangiraDevi

Directly connected to the Divine Mother/Devi Lalita (Lalita TripuraSundari RajaRajeshvari and Her many, many names and then the many names of her direct forms/workers). The name Bhadrakali shows that She is a form of Kali, the Dark Mother – one of the sacred trinity from Lalita, that is Lalita-Kali-Bala (Mother, Dark Mother/crone, Daughter/child). Therefore She is an ancient, primordial Goddess pre-dating the later and current ruling triad and their consorts who’ve taken the liberty of calling themselves the creators though they reluctantly admit they come from a greater force/Mother (who they then repeatedly deceive).

Being a Kali she shares many of the warrior/protector/destroyer characteristics and to the Kerala and Tamil people She is seen as a patron of martial arts.

She is mostly shown having a lion’s face with reddened eyes and riding a lion, entirely nude or wearing Black garments wearing a garland of human skulls; big hair and She holds a trident, a serpent in the form of a noose, a hand-drum and a skull. She is also known by the name Narasimhi, Pratyangira.

33-pratyangira-devi

Technically She is a known as a Matrika, one of the Mother Goddess’ administrators so to speak entrusted and carrying out high-level work/having very high position and is possibly connected to the Bhairavi, essential parts of the Goddess’ home. The Matrika and Bhairavi have later been degraded with claims of being made by and connected to the usurper triad/consorts but they and She pre-dates and incomprehensibly outranks them.

In later depictions wings were added to the lion throne/transport as well as a consort.

By the time She was known as Pratyangira She had been inter-mixed with the ruling patriarchy so her lineage was made murky though Her figure was still mighty (well it would have to be since they invoke primordial goddesses or the Divine Mother Herself to save them whilst they pretend to be innocent) – having 1008 heads, 2000 eyes, 2000 arms, 1000 weapons or thereabouts… Praying to Her was in the hope of countering doshams/evil forces such as Black magic, curses, enemies, disease, accidents and obstacles.

Of course another Kali, an even more secret Kali is Guyha/Ugra Kali whose heads include countless animals.

Indo-China

Simamukha

simhamukha

By the time we get to Buddhism things were further clouded and confused.

Simamukha is related to Guyha Kali though in this system is called Guhyajnana Dakini. As such She is a Matrika but by this time Matikas were seen as negative, in the usual tradition of demonizing earlier goddesses or characters. The contradiction shows in that people prayed to Her for the usual counter against doshams/evil forces but also against the Matrikas who were seen as negative female forces.

At this point the original Divine Devi Lalita had been usurped by the modern Durga who’d taken over the Shakti title and with two cohorts the title of ‘tri-devi’ hence Simamukha was seen as underneath her but the contradictions and truth are there mixed in and Simamukha’s connection to Vajravarahi/Varahi, the Tara’s (other forms of Kali) and her placement in the centre of the mandala shows her eminence over Durga. Durga is nothing but a wannabe who even claims to have created Kali/change into her but she’s so outdated by Kali it’s not funny, well of course it’s not funny.

In the Tibetan Book of the Dead She is associated with either other animal headed goddesses known as witches/sorceresses or gauris, again this group is a copy and twist of an earlier group aka The Mahavidyas belonging to yet again Lalita. They are not the so-called nine forms of Durga. *Tch*

East Asia

This was also true in China where the goddess Li Shou was depicted in cat form and petitions and sacrifices made to her for pest control and fertility. She too, was a very popular goddess who was thought to embody the importance of cats in the early days of creation. An ancient Chinese myth relates that, in the beginning of the world, the gods appointed cats to oversee the running of their new creation and, in order for communication to be clear, granted cats the power of speech. Cats, however, were more interested in sleeping beneath the cherry trees and playing with the falling blossoms than with the mundane task of having to pay attention to the operation of the world. Three times the gods came to check on how well the cats were doing their job and all three times were disappointed to find their feline overseers asleep or at play. On the god’s third visit, the cats explained they had no interest in running the world and nominated human beings for the position. The power of speech was then taken from the cats and given to humans but, as humans seemed incapable of understanding the words of the gods, cats remained entrusted with the important task of keeping time and so maintaining order. It was thought that one could tell the time of day by looking into a cat’s eyes and this belief is still maintained in China.

In Japan, the famous image of the `Beckoning Cat’ (the maneki neko figure of the cat with one raised paw) represents the goddess of mercy. The legend goes that a cat, sitting outside of the temple of Gotoku-ji, raised her paw in acknowledgement of the emperor who was passing by. Attracted by the cat’s gesture, the emperor entered the temple and, moments later, lightning struck the very spot where he had been standing. The cat, therefore, saved his life and was accorded great honours. The Beckoning Cat image is thought to bring good luck when given as a gift and remains a very popular present in Japan. The cat was regularly considered a guardian of the home and was thought to be the special protector of valuable books. Cats were often housed in private pagodas in Japan and were considered so valuable that, by the 10th century CE, only the nobility could afford to own one.

http://www.ancient.eu.com/article/466/

There are many tales competing for the origins of Maneki Neko and remember that Japanese deities were often local spirits, the above one is just interesting as it related to the ‘goddess of mercy’ – the sex and divinity of the cat in the tales tends to be left out. That said I see this cat example as tenuous, more on the random folk tale side rather than historic but interesting nonetheless in its massive popularity/tradition.

450px-Maneki_neko_Germersheim_2

EUROPE

The widespread Greeks and Romans pretty much copied everyone before them and are easily associated with the Egyptians. That said they weren’t too taken with cats due to their connection with Hecate – a major goddess and version relating back to the root Mother in particular the Dark Mother Kali. They knew her as the goddess of Death, darkness and the triple-face. In that way She continued to represent everything patriarchal people were scared of, the One who’d punish them for their evil thoughts and actions. Additionally the cat being representative of a big cat hidden in the terrain ready to leap, is a primal fear for those who forget that She is also the carer/protector of Mother and child but if you come against Her it’s because you have received judgement (of course villains never want to be accountable and only ever appear to be sorry or act less guilty when they’re about to meet their Maker.)

Before that was Freyja of the Norse peoples whose chariot was attached to two lions or two big cats and sometimes surrounded by child-like people/cherubs similar to the depictions of the ‘mercy seat’ in Western Asia.

Freya_rode_in_a_chariot_pulled_by_two_cats

Celts

In Celtic lore it’s harder to differentiate how they felt about cats; on one hand Brighid had a cat companion and another of her triple persona Ceridwen gave birth to a kitten (Palug Cat) and the lunar goddess triad of which they are a part are associated with prophecy and divination. Yet cats generally seem to be seen as unlucky and unholy due to their very ‘otherworldliness’ and association with magic and it may be partly from this system that Black cats in particular became a link for witches and evil in Christianity. The character Cat Sìth/Sidhe was seen as a trouble making Black cat/fairy and possibly rather than a mythical creature it was a witch that could transform nine times. Perhaps it was their hidden nature and unknown abilities that made them scary/untrustworthy.

Talking cats feature in many of the above systems including this one, they particularly talked to deities or as deities, perhaps a reason many Celts didn’t like them and used them. For example, feline body parts were used in spells/rituals and even:

In Scottish tradition there is a giant demonic cat, named Big Ears, who can be summoned by roasting cats alive in succession, in bags or on spits for four days and nights. According to the story, he shows up and grants wishes.

http://www.truethomas.com/articles/cats.htm

The above link also mentions the Kellas cats which are small cats but commonly thought to be related to the big, dark ‘beasts’ that are sometimes reported even nowadays around Britain but treated as legend and thought to be related to former wildcats in the Scottish highlands.

MESO-SOUTH AMERICA

The jaguar and puma were generally revered and worshipped in the cultures of these lands.

Cocoa

A Peruvian cat god. Despite the nice chocolaty sounding name was generally bad tempered, had control over lightening and hail – wasn’t very helpful for crops.

Ngurvilu

A Chilean water-god. Said to be a wild cat (this part of the world had many to choose from) with a claw on the end of its tail. Not shy about attacking humans.

Some cat references in modern popular culture

From http://www.quizmasters.biz/DB/Pic/Famous_Cats/Famous_Cats.html

Famous_Cats_01_QuizlFamous_Cats_02_QuizlFamous_Cats_03_Quiz

How many do you recognize? :-)

And one of the more niche popular culture references (way funny to Brits anyway) here’s a Smeeta/Smita Smitten clip from the show Goodness Gracious Me

and on that lighter note I’d like to finish with saying apparently out of the myriad of calls/sounds cats make from wanting food, attention, to be left alone to actually purring when in pain the last one is said to be a healing frequency more than just soothing but actually healing. So along those lines they can try to limit or heal injuries and illness in themselves and those around them or at least try to improve the overall condition. Unfortunately I still don’t understand cat language after years of talking to one though I’m pretty sure I understand the tail… I started this post with the intent of writing about our very own cat goddess or princess as I call her but Mum wanted it this way and now we’re too tired so the Princess Kitty post is next ;-)

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I was honoured enough to receive this award twice, first from Camila of TheGeekChickBlog and then from HuiMin from HuiMinxoxo; I don’t usually do more than one post on the occasion I receive an award more than once but since I’m a ‘slow poke’ I hadn’t got round to writing the reciprocation post to Camila […]

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G’day all :-D Wow it’s August, seriously time is a weird thing, how it passes so quickly overall yet feels so slow in the moments of the days before you get to a milestone and then think – it’s that time already!? But the days, weeks, months and years can seem like forever in the […]

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