In an astonishing discovery, a British man found that a stuffed cat in his dusty attic which he assumed to be a bizarre antique is a 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummy.
Robert Gray of Portscatho, Cornwall, who owns a bed and breakfast, took the ancient artifact in his attic for an x-ray, where images revealed the outline of a perfectly preserved ancient cat — complete with face, ears, spine and brain.
Gray, 56, said the object had belonged to his late father Peter Gray who was an Egyptologist.
But he had never realised the cat was a genuine piece of history and is worth several thousand pounds, the Daily Mail reported.
“My father acquired the cat in the 1970s as a token of thanks from a museum. It’s been in the loft languishing there for 50 years,” Gray said.
“It’s perfectly bandaged up and a very interesting item. Apparently interior designers love this sort of thing, as ghoulish as it sounds,” Gray added.
“It could fetch a couple of thousands pounds but I will probably donate it to a museum,” he said.
Experts at the Royal Cornwall Museum have now verified the remarkable find. Ancient Egyptians mummified animals as religious offerings or to ensure their beloved companions would follow them into the afterlife.
Gray said his research has suggested that often the mummies would be a fake.
“You went to the mummifiers and said you wanted to send goodwill to the afterlife but some would take your money and stuff a bunch of rags inside,” Gray said.