Little is known of this mysterious Mesoamerican deity that apparently had a great influence in the development of the Xtuxtumeca society. The amazing depiction of the striped cat with big green eyes discovered by Professor Patrick Pemf, from the University of San Jose, within the archeological site of the old city of Xtuxtu has no precedent in the indigenous civilizations of that particular area and has been compared only to the worship of the Jaguar-God of more advanced cultures. The ruins of the magnificent temple, in which the colorful portrayal was revealed, lies beneath tons of debris and covered by a thick and almost impenetrable jungle. Due to carbon data obtained from the site, the scientific group lead by Dr. Pemf has come to the conclusion that the representation of the deity, as well as the surroundings ruins, belong to the period Preclassic of the Mesoamerican cultures (1000-600 BC).
The pictorial illustration of Cat-a-Catlan, also called “The Rescuer”, shows the arrival of the Cat-God coming down from Heaven to the rescue of King Xochetipolt and his people who were suffering the invasion of thousand of thousands of mice and rats during an epoch of drought causing the destruction of crops and the spreading of disease. Subsequently representations include the battle against the outbreak and its conclusion with the victory of the Xtuxtumecas, the beginning of the veneration of Cat-a-Catlan and the construction of his temple.
According to Dr. J. Salh-ha-zar, director of the expedition and spokesperson of the group, further excavations of the site will be required in order to have a clearer understanding of this intriguing civilization, its culture and beliefs, and their importance in the evolution of the region and other indigenous groups.
Jose A. Salazar