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5452Re: [ANE-2] Cats on tables in Haifa and Tel Aviv

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  • Heleanor Feltham
    Jun 30, 2007
      Reminds me of the cats in Turkey.

      In Ephesus I was told that..

      Once there were lions
      But they all shrank down to cats
      When it grew too wet.

      Everywhere..

      Hopefully greeting
      Tourists with cash or comfort
      Carpet sellers and cats

      And on the coast...

      A striped cat comes up
      Hopefully. The fisherman
      Hauls in emptiness.

      Heleanor Feltham
      Institute for International Studies, UTS

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Eliot Braun <ebraun@...>
      Date: Sunday, July 1, 2007 4:45 am
      Subject: [ANE-2] Cats on tables in Haifa and Tel Aviv
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com

      > You had me swallow hard and search my memory, until I remember that
      > I eat only fish at such restaurants.I assume that you mean cats
      > coming to eat the food, and not being served up as food in the
      > restaurants on the beaches of Haifa and Tel Aviv. Many years ago
      > there was a scandal in Buffalo NY. A 'Polynesian' restaurant was
      > closed down for serving cat (passed off as more generally
      > acceptable meat).
      > Hearty appetite all.
      >
      > Eliot Braun, Ph D
      > Ha-oren 12, Har Adar, Israel 90836
      > Tel. 972-2-5345687
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: BisnoCC@...
      > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2007 7:38 PM
      > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Domestication of the cat in the Near East
      >
      >
      > Scarcely a cat in ancient Israel. But today they can be found on
      > the tables
      > at any seafood restaurant on the beaches of Haifa and Tel Aviv!
      > Not
      > mentioned in the Hebrew Bible that I know of, but probably
      > because there was no
      > occasion to do so. Interestingly, however, they were not liked in
      > Mesopotamia at
      > all
      >
      >
      > In Mesopotamian literature, several types of cats are recognized.
      > In Old
      > Babylonian syllabic writing (cuneiform) they were su-a and su-a-
      > ri, and in
      > Akkadian, an older form, šu-ra-a-nu, mu-ra-šu-u, and zi-ir-qa-ti.
      > šurânu was a
      > housecat, murašu was a wild cat, and those are the two which
      > concern us.
      > These and two others are still found in Iraq today.
      > Šumma alu means, "If a city" and is a series of omen texts which
      > we know of
      > from the 1st millennium BCE. In the 27th tablet of as Šumma alu,
      > there are
      > omens containing information for houses and their owners with
      > regard to the
      > appearance and behavior of cats, mainly šurânu, housecats, and
      > murašu, wild
      > cats. Their appearance, it says, was accompanied by screaming
      > (šasû), wailing
      > (damâmu), whining (bakû), vomiting, urinating, defecating, and
      > giving birth.
      > They sprung from above and below onto men, chairs, and beds, and
      > they dirtied
      > the window sills.
      > Housecats were associated with the mongoose; the wild cat with
      > the fox. All
      > four of these animals were on a list of harmful animals, having a
      > gloomy
      > appearance and were bad omens:
      > "When there is a housecat in the house (šurânu), a man will kill
      > a
      > mongoose"
      > There were special purification rites to keep cats away. These
      > rites
      > included rituals of cleansing of the owner and spreading gypsum
      > in the house and
      > tar on the doors,
      > "against the evil of the wild cat which always wails in the house
      > of man."
      > In ancient Babylon, the appearance of the wild cat, murašû, was a
      > bad omen.
      > The oldest record we possess of a cat in Mesopotamia is an Old
      > Babylonian
      > document from Sippar, (šurânu), dating from the 12th year of
      > Hammurabi.
      > 1 šu-râ-nu-um 1 cat
      > The end of the text lists beasts, birds, foxes, and wild cats.
      > This Assyrio-Babylonian word was known for a long time from the
      > Feasts of
      > Sargon, line 132.
      > Marduk apal iddin ". . . runs and climbs like a cat like himself
      > to the wall
      > of his enclosure and enters into the fortress."
      > There was also a Chaldean cat that lived in the marshes.
      > Murašû and murašitû appear as neo-Babylonian personal names. All
      > the
      > records which we possess for the housecat (murašû) belong to the
      > 1st millennium
      > BCE, as in the course of the 2nd millennium BCE the šurânu came
      > to mean
      > housecat as well.
      > This reference appears to be independent of the housecat
      > developing from the
      > wild cat in Egypt, which was completed by the Middle Kingdom.
      > There are no cats depicted in Mesopotamian art. But there is
      > written
      > evidence of a cat as a symbol of a deity on an uncompleted
      > kudurru (charter for a
      > grant of land) from the 12th century BCE.
      > Jay Bisno
      > Culver City, CA.
      >
      > ************************************** See what's free at
      > http://www.aol.com
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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