According to legend, the shadowy patches on the
necks of Siamese cats were the thumbprints of gods
picking them up to admire them.
In ancient Egypt, it was believed that cats captured
the glow of the setting sun in their eyes and kept it
safe until morning sunrise. Therefore, it was against
the law to harm a cat. This superstition was so
strong that when the Persians attacked Egypt, they
tied cats to their shields—knowing full well that the
Egyptians dared not put up a fight in case they
injured or killed the cat. (It is unclear how the cats
enjoyed the ride.)
It is said that the Manx cat lost its tail when running
late to board the Ark: Noah closed the door on it.
Freyja, the Norse goddess of love, marriage and the
dead, rode in a chariot drawn by cats, so farmers
left out offerings for cats to ensure a good harvest.