According to one myth, Ra (who was at that point the actual Pharaoh of Egypt) was becoming old and weak and the people no longer respected him or his rule. They broke the laws and made jokes at his expense. He did not react well to this and decided to punish mankind by sending an aspect of his daughter, the Eye of Ra. He plucked her from the Ureas (royal serpent) on his brow, and sent her to earth in the form of a lion. She waged war on humanity slaughtering thousands until the fields were awash with human blood. When Ra saw the extent of the devestation he relented and called his daughter back to his side, fearing that she would kill everyone. However, she was in a blood lust and ignored his pleas. So he arranged for 7,000 jugs of beer and pomegranate juice (which stained the beer blood red) to be poured all over the fields around her. She gorged on the "blood" and became so drunk that she slept for three days and awoke with a terrible hangover. Thus mankind was saved from her terrible vengeance.
There are a number of different versions of the myth, and a number of goddesses are given the title "Eye of Ra", in particular Hathor, Sekhmet, Tefnut, Bast, Mut, Nekhbet and Wadjet . The "Daughter of Ra" was sometimes symbolised as a Cat who protected Ra from the serpent Apep (linking it with the leonine aspects of Hathor, Bast, Sekhmet, Tefnut, Mut, Nekhbet and Wadjet amongst others). The Cat was also thought to be able to cure and scorpion or snake bite and was associated with the goddesses Isis (although she is only linked to the symbol in its protective function).