Bronze figurine of Bastet (29-70-695), from the Merenptah Palace
at Memphis, Late Period (664-332
and friendly, the goddess Bastet was often shown in the form of
a domesticated cat or as a woman with a cat's head. Bastet was worshipped
as a goddess of fertility and joy. Many statues of Bastet show her
surrounded by kittens or holding a musical instrument called a sistrum.
At the site of Bubastis, there are enormous cat cemeteries where
worshippers of Bastet could present cat
mummies as votive offerings in her temple. Bastet is also associated
with the moon and in one myth, she was thought of as the moon's
eye. Her fearsome counterpart is the powerful lion goddess, Sekhmet.