Can you provide a bigger picture of cats in Egyptian society please?
Many people think that cats themselves were worshipped as divine. This is untrue, the Egyptians respected aspects of cats and other animals and associated their attributes with the divine. Their depictions of half-human half-animal hybrids were more complicated, and show that certain gods had these types of traits.
Cats were revered because they were able to kill vermin (mice, rats etc) that would get into food supplies and since grain was so important to daily life and food cats were important too. Cats also were able to kill snakes like the cobra. The Goddess Bastet, who I mentioned earlier, was the goddess of Protection, fertility and motherhood, because cats (large and small) tend to have large litters and are very nurturing and protective of their kittens. Also, it's worth mentioning that cats were believed to be first domesticated in the region!
Would you be able to tell me more about this?
This is a wood sculpture, which is interesting because wood was extremely expensive and rare. Very little wood survives the test of time which is why most artifacts we see are made of stone but Egyptians regularly used wood.
The sculpture may have worn a jeweled collar, based on the markings around the neck. And the gem on top of its head is a representation of a scarab, an animal also important to the Egyptians. So, while sculptures of cats often show accessories on the cats, scholars aren't sure if actual cats wore any adornments.
Were some of them used as containers for mummified cats?
Yes! Some of them were, the picture you sent me however wasn't as its solid wood. Mummified cats were often offerings to the Goddess Bastet. Mummified cats may have been thought to still have protective qualities.