2010-02-06

Child & Cat-Like Soul : A legend from upper Egypt

People of Upper Egypt have a distinctiveness culture which is dominated by certain beliefs and customs that some people still believe in them , one of those beliefs is described as " Cat-Like Child" as they believe that the souls of twin children come out of them at night and they wander in the houses and the surrounding places and eat all what they like and destroy the rest, and in some cases they maybe planning to take revenge of any person who has insulted them during the day as they destroy the his/her food or steal it , and some people believe also that the cats-like child dies (loses his/ her soul) if anybody wakes him/her up while his/her soul still wandering and materializing as a cat.


Story 1
It is said that one of some twins was called "The Cat", as a belief prevailed that his soul comes out in the night as a figure of a cat and once one of the female neighbors was preparing a fish meal, then the cat who was still a child asked her to give him some fish but she refused, in that period the refrigerators were not spread too much in using by people and therefore the female neighbor put the fish vessel (bowl) under the washing basin and put some heavy things on it to install it , in the next morning the female neighbor was surprised when she saw that the washing basin is moved of its place and the half of fish was eaten and the rest was lying on the ground and trodden in the dust, then the female neighbor came out looking for "The Cat" and he told her that he was the one who has eaten fish at night and he has destroyed the rest of it because she refused to give him some of it !, and it is worth mentioning here that it was common in Upper Egypt calling the one of the twins as "The Cat" in reference to the destiny which is waiting for him/her!


Story 2
Mrs. (P. A) is a teacher in a school and she had given birth to a Twins in the second giving birth of her after giving birth to her eldest daughter "Noha" , but one of the twins died immediately after birth and the other one "Muhammad" remained who is in first grade now, the girl "Noha" was the first one who knew that the soul of her brother "Muhammad" is coming out in the night as a figure of a cat, as her mother said that her daughter "Noha" heard in one night the voice of her grandmother from downstairs as she was chasing a cat and trying to hit it , then "Noha" left her mother side and went downstairs to her grandmother and said to her: " grandma! if you see a cat , do not hit it please" and when the grandmother asked her about the reason , she said to her:" Because my brother Mohammed appear at night as a cat", and the mother did not believe that of course though she stayed awake all the night time to verify the subject by herself , as she noted in the middle of the night that the body of (Muhammad) has been cooled suddenly and she tried to wake him up as he was behaving in a strange way (twitching the lower lip or bite it as a sign of distress) and refusing to wake up and during the mother attempts she glanced a small black cat crossing from under the closed bedroom door!


Cats in the culture of the Egyptians
Bastet, Cat-Like Godess in Ancient Egyptians beliefsCats have a long history with the Egyptians particularly with the Upper Egypt people as the Ancient Egyptians were worshiping them under the name "Bastet" and reached up to mummify them after their death, and many people of Upper Egypt still believe that the killed human soul comes out as a figure of black cat without a tail, and they also believe that the only way to cure the twins of this case is the so-called name (Tahseeb) or (Immunization of children) which occur by taking the twins (whether one twin or two) to the sepulcher of one of the sheikhs (The holy men) before their ages reach to 40 days and they put the twins under the coffin (what is meant here is the coffin lid specifically ) and then read some verses from the Holy Koran on them.



Upper Egypt
Upper Egypt is an area in Egypt stretching from the south of Cairo city "Alayat city in Giza" to the south of Egypt which is known as " The Cataract area" and sometimes it is called on the northern part of Upper Egypt "Middle Egypt" which extends from "Alayat city in Giza" to "Sohag governerate" . The ancient Egyptians used to describe Upper Egypt area with the words "Ta Shemau" (Ta Shemau) which means "The land of sugar cane (reed)".

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