Here we are in Saqqara, Egypt in the midst of discovering a new tomb.
OK. We are not in Egypt, but if we were we would have found an undiscovered tomb filled with dozens of mummified cats – and Scarab beetles – that are thousands of years old and would, as the owners of the tomb hoped, accompany us into the Afterlife. Engraved on the tomb’s door were the names Subek Sekt and Mafy and among the treasures found around their mummies were gilded statues of Lion, Cow, and Falcon and of course, Bastet, the cat goddess. In all there were (at the time of this posting) seven tombs found, three contained mummified cats. And though we do not truly know what went through the minds of these ancient peoples we can be sure that at the least, animals were important in their lives just as they are today in our own.
It makes me wonder what future people will think of our community, the animal/human connection that is a large piece of my life, as it is with many of my readers. Will we be a mystery to those who find our little doggy costumes and will they think we were not able to have children and so then we dressed our pups to take their place? How about all those organ meats, turkey necks, and deer legs in our freezers? Will the discoverers think these were traditional delicacies of our society? What might they deduce from birthday party pictures with sausage cakes? Puppy gates in doorways? Would they think we were the ones restricted in the household - the living room belonged to them? Kitty and doggie beds strewn about the living quarters? Homes with more toys than furniture? Urns and paw print memorabilia in honored places?
We think we know why this particular society of Subek Sekt and Mafy mummified their companions. We believe that they believed that only those things preserved in some way would make it to the next life, so they took steps to insure that process. We hypothesize they worshipped their companions in some way different from us, but if we look around our homes, are we any different? If someone just stepped into a house in an unearthing discovery thousands of years from now what deductions might be made of our society?
It is possible that Subek Sekt and Mafy motivation was simpler than we suspect and they adored their animal companions and couldn’t bear the thought of being apart from them, physically or spiritually. They want to be as near as possible to them for as long as possible, even to the Afterlife.
Maybe our science guys have it wrong and we are more alike than we think.