The Purrrrrrfect Pet

Smart, quick, and fuzzy can describe the Felis catus or as most people know them the domestic house cat. The domestic house cat is the number one pet in the United States. There are over ninety million in the United States alone. But where did they come from?

Scientists have found the jawbones of cats that lived with humans dating back nine thousand five hundred years ago. Scientists believe the first cats to be domesticated were in the Middle East. Farms of these fertile lands produced lots of crops which in turn produced a large rodent problem.  The people let the cats live in their town because they would get rid of the rodents. Cats became human’s partners by protecting the human’s grain from the rodents. Cats kind of domesticated themselves. Once they made villages their new home they started interacting with human and staying with them becoming pets.

Cats have played a very large role in human history as pets. The Ancient Egyptians were known for worshipping cats. Pharoses were even buried with their pet cats. In Beni-Hassan there was a cemetery with over three hundred thousand cat mummies. It was even I crime to kill a cat in Egypt. In ancient Egypt a cat’s life would have been nice. This cannot be said the same for cats in the medieval ages. In the medieval ages cats were hunted out of towns. Ever heard of bad luck from crossing a black cat? People believed that cats were creatures of the devil and were bad luck. Unfortunately this was the furthest from the truth. Some scientists believe that the black plaque could spread so quickly was because of the lack of cats. The cats would eat the rodents and stop them from freely roaming around. But once they started getting run out the rodents quickly moved in and spread the disease.

How did cats get from Egypt to Europe? Cats are not just from the Middle East. This is just where the first evidence of domestication lies. There are multiple species of wild cats. They are the Near Eastern wildcat, the European wildcat, the Central Asian wildcat, the southern African wildcat, and the Chinese desert cat. Cats in the east were seen has protectors and pest control. While romans used cats as a symbol of liberty. It is believed that all of these cats interacted with humans the same way. They followed food to people them stayed with their food source and slowly started to live among the people.

Cats have come a long way from their origins, but it seems that no matter where they are they can find themselves planted into human culture. From the ancient pest control to the present internet stars who speak broken English cats have been humans pets. The domestication of cats plays a big roll in human history and they are not planning on leaving any time soon. And what villain would be complete without a cat sitting in their lap?

About Mr. Mohn

Biology Teacher

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