08/21/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Egypt's Mau Cats Once Worshipped Now Garbage Dwellers

CAIRO, Egypt -- Drivers swerve to hit them. Frustrated landlords poison them. Their distinctive bodies -- gray and spotted, slender and wiry -- litter the streets of the capital.

It is an inglorious end for these once revered animals. They are members of the world's oldest breed of domesticated cat, the mau, once worshipped as a god and the pet of choice for Egyptian pharaohs.

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