All cats are unique in many ways in the animal world. The entire species from big cats to the most docile of domestic cats have several common traits. It is believed that the cat species evolved from a weasel type of animal over 40 million years ago. To put that into perspective, what many believe to be the first real human ancestors (homo erectus) evolved about 1.8 million years ago.
The first real record of cats being domesticated dates back to early Egyptians in the Upper Egypt area of the Nile River. These early African cats were great at chasing down and eliminating small pests and snakes. Grain that was one of the primary Egyptian food sources were constantly sought after by these pests (mice, rats, and other rodent type creatures) and cats were quickly recognized as a highly effective pest eliminator and a good animal to have around.
This worked out well for both the cats and the Egyptians. Once both lost their fear of each other, a more close relationship developed. The Egyptians were fascinated by the cat’s hunting and agile physical abilities, and the cats enjoyed a safe refuge from other predators plus all the food they could catch. Throw in the ability of a cat to see at night, their uncanny ability to escape physical harm, and their indifference to humans or other creatures and the cats were quickly elevated in stature.
Cats were spread across the region by grain ships used to travel up and down the Nile. Every ship would have cats to provide their unique skills to protect the grain. And like their friends the rabbits, cats multiplied and spread through out the whole region.
Soon cats were raised to the same level as royalty and it became against the law to harm one. The Egyptians called the cat a Mau (pronounced like meow). Later the word Urchat was adopted (which in lose translation is Cat). A cat Goddess was soon after created and called Pasht (close to pussy or puss). So these popular Egyptian names turned into our modern names of Cat, Kitty, Pussy, etc.
Later on the Romans quickly adopted the cats for pussy888 their rodent hunting capabilities and this allowed the spread of cats to the entire Roman Empire. After the fall of Rome, cats went through quite a troubled period. Especially black cats due to the religious purges and their association with sorcery and witchcraft. But that’s better left to a completely different article.
Many historians believe that the cat was quickly adopted due to their special attitude, demeanor, and skill at pest removal. Although cats can be part of a loose family or group, they really don’t care since they are totally self-reliant. A dog craves attention and acceptance; a cat can take it or leave it. Cats are perfectly happy on their own and don’t require any emotional connection, let alone approval.
The domestic cat, as we know it today, still has the same abilities and demeanor. To some this is very irritating and want more dog like qualities in any pet. But many also accept these characteristics as unique and this just enhances the joy of having a cat as a pet. That’s why you often hear someone is a dog or a cat person since the two pets have such a different demeanor.
Cats can be trained, go to any cat show and you will see remarkable cats doing all sorts of tricks. I’ve had a few that I raised from kittens that learned how to fetch, follow simple commands such as stay and sit, and would always come when called. But I also believe that they chose to do it on their own and they still retained the right not to do it whenever.
Another common trait that sets cats apart from many animals is their strength, agility, and balance. What would it take for you or I to jump three times our height from a sitting position? Probably not going to happen. The old adage about a cat having 9 lives comes from this unique ability to do unbelievable physical stunts.