Mafdet (also spelled Maftet) is depicted as a woman with the head of a cheetah. Her name means (she who) runs swiftly. She is present in the Egyptian pantheon as early as the First Dynasty.
Mafdet was the deification of legal justice, or rather, of execution. Thus she was also associated with the protection of the king's chambers and other sacred places, and with protection against venomous animals, which were seen as transgressors against Ma'at.
Since venomous animals such as scorpions and snakes are killed by felines, Mafdet was seen as a feline goddess, although it is uncertain whether alternately, she also was meant to be a cat, a mongoose, or a leopard. In reflection of the manner in which these animals kill snakes and she was given titles such as, slayer of serpents.