The cat in ancient Egypt represented the goddess Bastet in one of her aspects. She was goddess of Bubastis, a city in the northeastern Delta. Originally linked to the sun god Re, she came to be associated with joy, felicity, and family closeness. She became very popular in the first millennium B.C. and joyous pilgrimages by boat were made to Bubastis for Bastet’s festivals. Small bronze figures such as this were left as votive offerings in her shrines.