In Japan, yokai is a general term given to demons, monsters, and spirits mentioned within folklore. In some of the legends, these supernatural entities were once in life human, an animal or even an ordinary household item. Several yokai born resulted from the anger and hatred creatures felt for the mistreatment at the hands of humans. Even abused household pets may transform into a malevolent force that terrorize former owners such as the nekomata.
In Japan, households possessed cats for either companionship, status or pest control. However, not ever human is kind, as some been tormented and eventually slayed by their owners. The pain, suffering and anguish those cats felt would set the conditions for it to under go a transformation. As depicted in legends, the animal remains or spirit manifested into a nekomata then seek retribution on its former owner.
Lore described Nekomata as a large, monster cat about the size of a mountain lion. One of their most distinguishable trait is its two identical long tails which in some legends said the ends were lite with flames. This yokai is intelligent and holds many abilities. Nekomata could walk up right on its hind legs, talk as a human, and, in a few myths, shape-shift into a young or elderly woman. Also, this yokai is capable of summoning fire and has necromantic powers to animate corpses.
Japanese folklore warns the nekomata is dangerous and malicious yokai. This entity resents humans and often blamed for disasters or misfortunes causing deaths, such as fires. Nekomata would first seek revenge against those who wronged it which usually ended in a slow agonizing demise. In some legends, it devoured their previous owners along with their families. Afterwards, the yokai turned to using its abilities in either threaten or enslave humans into doing their bidding while established power. The nekomata legend is one of several myths that expressed a fear that is believed to occur if anyone was to kill a cat.