(αἴλουρος, so called, according to Phavorinus, from moving its tail), an animal mentioned only in Baruch 6:22, as among those which defile the gods of the heathen with impunity (see below). They are alluded to, however, in the Targum (at Isa 13:22; Ho 9:6) under the name chathul´ חָתוּל, Arabic chaytal. Martial (13:69) makes the only mention of catta in classical writers. Bochart (Hieroz. 2:206 sq.) thinks that by the word צִיִּים, tsiyin´, in Isa 34:14; Jer 1; Jer 39, and Ps 74:14, some species of cats are meant; but this is very doubtful (Michaelis, Suppl. p. 2086). SEE BEAST. The Greek αἰλουρος, as used by Aristotle, has more particular reference to the wild cat (Felis catus, etc.). Herodotus (2:66) uses αἴλουρος to denote the domestic animal; similarly, Cicero (Tusc. v. 27, 78) employs felis; but both Greek and Latin words are used to denote other animals, apparently some kinds of marten

(Martes). The context of the passage in Baruch appears to point to the domesticated animal. Perhaps the people of Babylon originally procured the cat from Egypt, where it was a capital offense to kill one (Diod. Sic. 1:83). — Smith, s.v. SEE ANIMAL WORSHIP. The Egyptians treated it as a divinity, under the denomination of Pasht, the Lunar Goddess, or Diana, holding every domesticated individual sacred, embalming it after death, and often sending it for interment to Bubastis (see Jablonski, Panth. E1g. 2:66). Yet we find the cat nowhere mentioned in the canonical books as a domestic animal. In Baruch it is noticed only as a tenant of pagan temples, where, no doubt, the fragments of sacrificed animals and vegetables attracted vermin, and rendered the presence of cats necessary. With regard to the neighboring nations, they all had domestic cats, derived, it is presumed, from a wild species found in Nubia, and first described by Ruppel under the name of Felis maniculata. Two specimens are here given from these panlings: one clearly a cat; the other, in the original, wured as catching birds, acting like a retriever for his master, who is fowling in a boat (Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. abridgm. 1:236, 237). It is not apparently a cat, but a species of gennet or paradoxurus, one of the genera before hinted at. Both are nearly allied to the celebrated ichneumon, the herpestes of authors, the modern nems, which is even now occasionally domesticated; it differs in manners, for the herpestes pharaonis does not frequent the uplands, but willingly takes the water. SEE EGYPT.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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