From domesticated cats to mythic symbols of divinities, felines played an important role in Egypt for thousands of years. Likely domesticated in ancient Egypt, cats were revered for their fertility and valued for their ability to protect homes and granaries from vermin. For this reason, the popularly depicted cats symbolized security as well as fecundity and motherly care. Larger felines were also associated with royalty and closely linked with the sun. Diverse feline deities possessed both protective and dangerous qualities in the ancient Egyptian system of beliefs. Such goddesses as the ferocious lioness Sakhmet, or the cat, Bastet, are the best-known examples from a long list of divine felines, but numerous other felines were just as significant. In a lecture titled “The Divine Felines of Ancient Egypt,” exhibition curator Yekaterina Barbash of the Brooklyn Museum explores the various roles of cats and lions in Egyptian mythology, kingship, and everyday life.