Cat figurine

Middle Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 111

Already in the Early Dynastic Period, Egyptians deposited faience figurines of wild animals in temple precincts. These figurines were reintroduced in the Twelfth Dynasty, but as a component of burial equipment and with new species added to the repertoire. The controlled representation of desert animals may have assured the Egyptians of eternal safety, though they also likely had symbolic meanings. Cats were not yet fully domesticated in the Middle Kingdom.

Cat figurine, Blue faience with black spots, paint

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Small figures of a dog (24.1.51) and cat (26.7.902)