Stylist Tara Nichols posing on the street during Men's New York Fashion Week sporting some stylish spots. Stylist Tara Nichols posing on the street during Men's New York Fashion Week sporting some stylish spots.

For Day Six of Cat Nights, we’re seeing spots.

And don’t worry, it’s not sun spots after yesterday’s eclipse. No, we’re referring to the chic leopard and cheetah print that’s all over the sidewalks and red carpets right now. We’ve decided to make it our theme for today’s Cat Nights installment.

We mentioned Cleopatra in a previous post. It’s worth taking a closer look at ancient Egypt’s relationship with cats — beyond cat eye makeup. We’ve also hinted at the intimate link between felines and femininity. In fact, this association has been going on since ancient times.

Going way back, Egypt’s feline deities included Mau, Mafdet, and Bastet. The latter was the “Egyptian goddess of home, domesticity, women’s secrets, cats, fertility, and childbirth,” according to Ancient.eu. Sometimes Bastet was depicted as a domestic cat, other times as a woman with the head of a lioness. Scholar Geraldine Pinch describes Bastet as both a “nurturing mother and terrifying avenger.” It’s probably not too far out there to suppose that when fashionable women slip into spotted garb, they’re channeling both symbolic sides of cats to some extent.

As Ancient.eu continues, “women in [ancient] Egypt were held in high regard and had almost equal rights” as men, making Bastet a powerful deity. Cats themselves were also highly regarded because they kept the home and crops free of vermin and unwanted animals, helping control the spread of disease in the process. Taking all this into account, it shouldn’t be so astounding that cats have been prized and even worshipped for over 4,000 years.

Continuing the tradition, cats remain a popular part of fashion to this day. And of the most powerful ways this plays out is with wild animal prints. Channel your inner goddess by wearing spots like these fashionistas! — jas