This week’s instalment from Masonic Periodicals Online comes from The Freemason, 8 February, 1890, where we find in the Masonic and General Tidings section on page 92 a strange report of 20 tons of mummified cats arriving in the UK from Egypt.
'A CARGO OF CATS
There has just arrived from Alexandria at Liverpool, by the steamer Pharos, a consignment of nearly 20 tons of cats, numbering 180,000 feline species, taken out of an ancient subterranean cats' cemetery, discovered about 100 miles from Cairo by an Egyptian fellah, who accidentally fell into this cats' cemetery, which he found completely filled with cats, every one of which had been separately embalmed and dressed in cloth, after the manner of Egyptian mummies, and all laid out in rows...'
'Specimens of these have been taken by Mr. Moore, Curator of the Liverpool Museum, where they can be seen. In ancient times the Egyptian cat was buried with all honours, but those consigned to Messrs. Levington and Co., of Liverpool, after being purchased in Egypt at £3, 13s. nd. per ton, will be used in this country as manure. The Curator of the Liverpool Museum fixes the date of their interment 2000 years before Christ.'