Tutan-cat-mun: Mummified cat found in Cornish attic

Wednesday, 20th February 2013

Britain has always been a nation of cat lovers, but it's safe to say our obsession with felines is nothing compared to that of the ancient Egyptians. Even the pharaohs bowed down to and worshipped cats, who were never buried at the bottom of the garden when they died but mummified and preserved for all eternity.

Somehow or other, one of these ancient felines took a wrong turn on its journey through the afterlife and wound up in an attic in Cornwall, where it was discovered by homeowner Peter Gray.

Mr Gray's father had worked in museums and was given the mummified cat as a gift, although after letting the relic collect dust in the loft for 50 years, the Porthscatho resident decided to finally have the cat looked at by experts.

"My father always said to get it x-rayed. The vets have confirmed it is a mummified cat and not a fake," Mr Gray told the BBC.

After handing the piece over to scientists at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro, it was established that the mummy is a staggering 2,000 years old.

Many Egyptian mummies are said to bring a curse to whoever looks upon them, although so far the ancient pet has been the model housecat.