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Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016

Of Cats and Men

Posted Monday, December 24, 2007, at 3:37 PM

Guardian of the harvest
A couple of weeks ago I addressed the theory as to how, when and why we ever domesticated the dog. Well this week, I'd like to do the same for our other furry friend, Felis silvestris catus, the domestic cat. By the way, sylvestris means "of the woods" (I always wondered how Sylvester, from Looney Tunes, got his name).

Anyhow, here's how it might of happened, and the oldest fossil record showing cats and humans in the same burial plot is around 9,500 years ago. Sometime before then, us humans domesticated plants, and in the old world that would be grains like rice, wheat, barley, etc. Well, everyone knows that when we store these grass seeds, one type of vermin is sure to come around: Rats and mice, belonging to the order Rodentia, the most successful order (in terms of species and numbers) of mammals on the face of the planet. Wild cats, arguably the best predator amongst all the carnivores, would be soon to follow. And, we must surely of figured out that by letting the cats hunt around our grain bins, it would pay off by cutting our losses to those nasty, bubonic plague carrying rodents.

So thanks, Sylvester, for guarding our food supply and becoming friends with those of us that just can't quite bond with your canine counterpart. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.

Showing comments in chronological order
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I would like to hear some theories on why some people prefer cats and others prefer dogs as pets.......... outside of rodent control and sheep herding........

-- Posted by Johnny Yuma on Wed, Dec 26, 2007, at 3:02 PM

Yes Cats are good guardians. I think we should take our Super Hunter Cat over near Sampson and Summer Streets in Dyersburg. There have been several reports of the sighting of an "Unknown Bird Species" flying in that area at night. Maybe our Cat could catch it.

-- Posted by bond007 on Wed, Dec 26, 2007, at 3:03 PM

The bigest difference in man's relationship with cats and his relationship with dogs has to do with the type of bonding. Dogs like other dogs (they live in social packs) and they see us as part of that pack. They share food and protect each other from outsiders. They actually like us!

Cats, on the other hand don't even like other cats. When a mother cat, in a wild setting, has raised a litter to a certain size, she will run them off and never have anything to do with them again if she can avoid it. She definitely doesn't share any food with them. The reason cats seem to like people is simply that they see us as a food source, indirectly of course!They like us for what we give them. They can't actually eat us. But they would if they could!

-- Posted by lwalker on Thu, Dec 27, 2007, at 10:05 AM

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