How's My Kitty?
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ERIN GO BRAGH!, Entry for March 17, 2007


Crocks of gold guarded by cats and other supernatural entities are legion in Ireland and may be linked with treasures reputedly buried at crossroads as an offering to Hecate, goddess of the underworld, and the belief that cats were assigned to guard the treasure. Another Celtic myth tells that the cat, Hecate's companion, became her consort and subsequent "King of the Cats".

Cat-Kings in Ireland
were considered to be faerie beings, and rituals of the Cat-King cult took place in burial mounds and caves. Traditionally, caves were thought to be entrances to the underworld, and burial mounds antechambers to that forbidding place. The burial mounds were said to have been built by the "Danaans, "the people of the goddess Dana", whose power is believed to have been broken when the ancestors of the modern Irish arrived around 1000 BCE. The Danaans were thought to have become reduced in size and then, with their goddess, retired underground to inhabit the mounds as "faerie folk".

In Irish legend the folk hero "Finn mac Cumhail" was held captive by "Cormac mac Art," the King of Erin, who promised to free his prisoner only if a male and female of every species of animal were brought to him in the ancient city of Tara. The list included a pair of cats from the cave of Cruachain.

2007-03-17 15:47:50 GMT