Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: the great white north
Lots of legends about this!
The Prophet Mohammed had a tabby cat which fell asleep on the sleeve of his robe. Rather than disturb the cat, he cut off his sleeve when he answered the muezzin (call to prayer). This cat once warned Mohammed of danger and to this day tabby cats have the 'M' mark on the foreheads in remembrance of his blessing and three dark lines on their backs where he stroked his cat.
The Egyptians believed the 'M' to depict the sacred Scarab beetle while in Christian folklore it is the mark of the Virgin Mary who blessed a cat which killed a venomous snake sent by the Devil to bite the Christ child in his crib. In a related version from Christian folklore, the infant Jesus was laying in the mangershivering from cold. Alerted by his cries, a mother tabby cat lay next to the child to warm him up. In gratitude, Mary stroked the cats forehead, marking it with an 'M' and to this day, the caring mother cat's descendents all carry the mark of Mary.
The non-religious version suggests that the 'M' is a set of frown-lines where the cat has been staring at a mouse-hole in concentration, waiting for the mouse emerge!